Having, over the course of the last few months, documented the sleazy, pathological dishonesty of David Horowitz and his little leprechauns, the laughably-misnamed Students for Academic Freedom, it just occurred to me that there's one incredibly easy way to shut Dave up once and for all -- just give him what he wants.
Since Dave is constantly bitching, whining and moaning about the overwhelming (in his own mind, anyway) pro-liberal, anti-conservative bias in academia, what better way to test his claims than to give him his own college class to teach?
Seriously, I propose that some college or university in the U.S. -- ideally, one that Dave has viciously slagged in the last little while -- invite Dave to teach a single, one-term course. Since Dave is perpetually slobbering about the under-representation of right-wing moonbats on the faculty, what better way to address this than to give Dave his very own course to try to set things right? So, let's hammer out the details, shall we?
First, would Dave agree to do it? It's hard to see how he could refuse and not become the laughing-stock of the entire galactic quadrant. How could he possibly justify being such a total pain-in-the-ass for years regarding alleged liberal bias on campus, only to refuse the opportunity that's handed to him on a platter? Really, there's no way he could turn down such an offer and have anyone (well, anyone sane, that is) take him seriously any more. So I think we're safe in assuming that Dave really couldn't weasel his way out of this.
Next, who'd pay Dave's salary? The obvious answer would be the college department itself, who could offer Dave their standard rate for a non-faculty, part-time instructor. It's hard to see how Dave could complain about whatever that rate was. After all, it was Dave himself who wrote:
“Eighty percent of the school budget is salaries,” [Horowitz] said. “You make between $60,000 and $100,000 a year. You teach on average two courses and spend six hours a week in class. You work eight months out of the year and have four months paid vacation. And every seven years you get ten months paid vacation.
Well, gee, Dave, if academics are so spectacularly overpaid, then you shouldn't have any problem accepting the same salary as any other part-time instructor, should you? I mean, grousing about the meagre pay you'd be getting would be, dare I say, just a wee bit hypocritical. But I have a better idea.
Let's let Dave pay for it himself -- that is, do it for free. After all, it does appear that Dave is already pretty-well paid, doesn't it? And given the bitching he's done regarding discrimination over the years, one would think he'd be more than happy to put in those hours for the sheer enjoyment of finally bringing some ideological balance back to academia. I mean, since Dave makes on the order of $5,000 per speech, surely that kind of income is going to cover any possible shortfall in his annual income. But wait. It could get even better.
Dave doesn't even have to donate his time. Why not have one of his wealthy, right-wing foundation backers put up the pittance of the several thousand dollars for his salary? As this article describes, Dave has some pretty rich friends:
In addition to the 35,000 individuals that contribute to Mr. Horowitz's center, several conservative foundations regularly send large checks. The most well known among them include the Sarah Scaife Foundation, which the conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife runs, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which, according to its Web site, is "devoted to strengthening American democratic capitalism" and supports "limited, competent government."
According to the most recent tax forms available, the two foundations gave a total of $620,000 to the center in 2003. Since 1998, the two groups have contributed about $3.5-million. The center received about $3.26-million in donations in 2003, and Michael Finch, the center's executive director, says about 40 percent of that comes from foundations.
In short, I don't think teaching a course is going to represent any kind of financial hardship for Davey Boy and, as I've already explained, with all the whining he's done over the years, how could he turn down the chance to finally prove his point? Ah, but you know there's a catch to all this, don't you?
If Dave wants to take anyone up on this offer, then he has to be prepared to follow the same rules that everyone else in that department does. First, he has to submit, and have approved, the course outline he's proposing. He has to prepare a detailed list of topics; he has to have real, live lesson plans; he has to create, hand out and grade assignments; he has to write and grade midterms and the final exam; he has to schedule regular office hours where he's available for student consultation; he has to attend the regular departmental meetings -- oh, yes, the whole nine yards as they say. None of this lounging around at home bullshit:
"I love my work space," he says. "I sit at my desk with my laptop. I listen to music. I take the dogs for a walk. Like most writers, I live in my head."
And the best part? The absolutely very best part? Yeah, you knew this was coming -- Dave has to do all this while abiding by the guidelines of his very own Academic Bill of Rights. No right-wing indoctrination, no anti-liberal bias, no ideological harassment. Because we'll make sure that there's at least one liberal watchdog in that course, taking notes, taping Dave every minute, to make sure he behaves. And the instant he slips -- boom! Official complaint to the college ombudsman.
So, who's willing to try to make this happen? Who thinks they have a course Dave can teach for a term? Paging Prof. Singham over there at Case Western Reserve. Your country needs you.