My morning just wouldn't be complete without possibly catching everyone's favourite right-wing academic conspiracy theorist, David Horowitz, in perhaps another one of his urban myths.
From this piece over at the web site of Lying, Right-Wing Slime for Academic Fascism, we have Dave making the following claim:
"At Columbia (University)," he said, "science professors showed 'Fahrenheit 9/11' the day before the election."
Wow, that's a pretty serious accusation -- serious enough to think maybe Dave's mentioned it before. And sure enough, this claim has some history to it. Or does it? From Dave's own Front Page Rag site, we have this piece and the salient excerpt:
On March 30, I spoke at Bowling Green State University, a state school in a blue-collar area about thirty miles outside Toledo, whose 20,000 students each pay $15,000-a-year tuition to attend. On election eve 2004, the university through its official activities program put on a showing of Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore’s hate film against George Bush and the American liberation of Iraq.
Hmmmm ... those two stories certainly match in terms of showing the film the night before the election. But that's at Bowling Green, not Columbia. And it makes it clear that the movie was shown by the college, not by a specific science professor. Could it be that Dave is just making up crap again? Well, if we read further, we find another claim related to that film:
At another school in Pennsylvania that I visited the week before, a biology professor showed Fahrenheit 9/11 to his biology class in the midst of the presidential campaign. In taking an entire class to show this propaganda film, the professor was obviously not teaching his students biology, or imparting any knowledge he was credentialed to share with them.
OK, this sounds closer but notice that this heinous academic crime allegedly occurred somewhere in Pennsylvania. Last I looked, Columbia wasn't in Pennsylvania so that's clearly not what Dave is talking about, althought you have every right to start feeling a mite suspicious that Dave simply tailors his stories for his audience.
Well, there's one way to settle this, isn't there? Let's just let Google run wild all over Dave's site and see what it comes up with when handed "Columbia" and "Fahrenheit 9/11". Surely, that's going to settle this. And what do we find? Hmmmmm ... nothing even remotely resembling Dave's claim.
So, let's open it up to the readership. Can anyone provide more detail on the Columbia story? Or is this just another Horowitz fairy tale? The lines are open.
Afterthoughts: Anyone who's followed the ongoing saga of serial liar David Horowitz has to be depressingly familiar with the pattern behind Dave's claims; specifically, they're maddeningly vague and never quite seem to agree in those critical little details.
For example, did this happen at Columbia? Or at Bowling Green? Or somewhere in Pennsylvania? Was it "a biology professor" (singular) or was it some "science professors" (plural)? Did it happen "the day before the election", or just " in the midst of the presidential campaign"? Details, details. And since I'm feeling particularly snarky today, I'm going to throw out an open invitation to the SAF's own National Campus Director, Sara Dogan.
Since the SAF published that piece on its website, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the SAF to stand behind its veracity. So, to Ms. Dogan, I have the following questions regarding the alleged showing of Michael Moore's film at some imprecise college or university by some unnamed faculty member (or members) on some unspecified date during the 2004 presidential campaign:
- At which college did this happen?
- When exactly did it happen? (That is, the precise date and time.)
- Where did it happen? (That is, the exact venue.)
- Who was responsible for the showing?
- Finally, if you can't substantiate this claim, will you pull that story from your site and issue a retraction?
P.S. Just in case Ms. Dogan doesn't read this blog, feel free to drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and give her a nudge. Fair and balanced -- that's our motto here at CC HQ.
UPDATE: The first commenter below refers interested readers to a write-up on Dave's visit to Bowling Green. Sadly, it's just Dave being Dave.