Saturday, March 19, 2005

Dave Horowitz, "political bias" and the Canadian Cynic challenge.

I apologize for going on so tediously about conservative wingnut David Horowitz but, just when you think there's nothing left for him to lie about, well, he manages to surprise you. Regarding the last couple of articles about Horowitz and accusations of political bias, I just this minute noticed the following claim from one of Horowitz's recent defensive maneuvers

Secondly, I have not conducted a “campaign against what [Horowitz] calls political bias in college classrooms.” In fact I have never used the term “political bias in college classrooms.” ...

Yeah, yeah. we've read that swill already, but it's the next paragraph that perks up one's antenna stalks:

(The term “bias” has appeared in my writings and speeches only in reference to the university hiring process which has resulted in absurd majorities of leftwing professors on college faculties by ratios that range from 7-1 to 30 – 1....)

Hello. Now that's a pretty unambiguous claim, isn't it -- that Horowitz's only written references to bias were related solely to the university hiring process. I mean, Dave would never lie about something like that, would he? Oh, come on ... of course he would:

Study of Bias in the Selection of Commencement Speakers at 32 Elite Colleges and Universities

Executive Summary
(David Horowitz)

This study of the selection of commencement speakers is intended to supplement the Study of Political Bias in the Administration and to provide an independent measure of its accuracy.

Ooooooh ... Dave, you lying sack -- busted again. But there's a second, bigger issue that I haven't seen anyone slap around yet so I guess that's my job.

There have been a number of defenses of Horowitz that claim that Dave doesn't go after only liberal, left-wing "bias" on campus. The official fairy tale from folks like, say, the laughably-misnamed Students for Academic Freedom, is that they're terribly, terribly concerned about bias of all sorts, from both ends of the political spectrum. If that's the case, though, why is it so hard for Horowitz and his groupies to provide a single example of Dave having gone to bat for a liberal against conservative bias? Surely, if Horowitz is so even-handed and balanced, someone can come up at least one example of it, no? And, in fact, in that previous Horowitz article, Dave claims to do just that:

Finally, this is not a campaign about leftwing professors’ abuse of students in the classroom. It is about professorial abuse of students in the classroom whether the abuser is a leftist or a conservative, a Democrat or a Republican. We have defended liberal students [link in original article] whose professors have attempted to indoctrinate them (vid: my testimony to the Ohio Senate).

Now (and this is important), if Dave really and truly wants to convince folks that he's actually done the above, there's only one convincing way to do it -- he has to provide an example. And that shouldn't be just any run-of-the-mill example. If Dave wants to make his case, he should take the time to link to the best, the absolutely most convincing example he can come up with -- an example that will shut down his detractors once and for all, leaving them muttering, "Holy shit, he really did take on right-wing conservative bias. Go figure."

And, knowing all that, to what does Dave link, in his article, as his kick-ass, inarguable example of taking on the conservative establishment on campus? Why, this.

That's right. It's just the home page for the Students for Academic Freedom, which is a totally worthless reference. Is one supposed to start at the top and start reading each article, hoping against hope to find the smoking gun? Not fucking likely. I have better things to do with my time, which brings me to the David Horowitz "I can't believe he's not a lying sack of crap!" Canadian Cynic challenge.

If you, dear reader, truly believe that Dave has, in the past, defended liberals, well, first you need professional help. But, that aside, I want you to produce a link to a single, convincing example of such. Take your time, don't rush it. I want what you think is the absolute best piece of evidence you can come up with. I will, however, put some restrictions on what are acceptable submissions.

I won't even look at anything that's posted either at Horowitz's Front Page Mag site, or at the Students for Academic Fascism. If there's an article on either of those sites that links to an external URL, you can submit that external URL. But I think it's clear that, at this point, neither Horowitz nor the SAF have the credibility that I would line my cat box with.

So there's your quest. Go wild. The phone lines are open.

IMPORTANT QUALIFICATION: I am not claiming that Horowitz has never defended a liberal against conservative bias on campus. As anyone with even the most primitive understanding of logic knows, that would be trying to, as we say, "prove a negative", which is clearly impossible.

What I am claiming is that, despite the ongoing whining and bleating from Horowitz and his groupies, no one has ever produced such an example. If a convincing one is presented, I'll accept it.

But let me warn you against a common logical fallacy. When I say, "Prove that David did something," it is most emphatically not acceptable for you to come back with, "Oh, yeah? Well, you can't prove he didn't!" Anyone who tries something that insipid and sophomoric will rapidly be held up to public scorn and ridicule in ways you can't begin to imagine. So don't go there. Just don't.

No comments: