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'Columbia Review' Shows What's Wrong With Journalism, Universities
The Bulletin ^ | January 19, 2009 | Herb Denenberg

Posted on 01/19/2009 9:18:35 AM PST by jazusamo

I finally found a use for the Columbia Journalism Review, a publication of the Columbia University graduate school of journalism. If you want to know what’s wrong with journalism, read that publication of one of the nation’s leading journalism schools for the answer.

It won’t tell you what is wrong with journalism. No, by the quality of its product, it shows you what’s wrong with journalism. But that should not surprise you, as Columbia has long been a hotbed of anti-Americanism and loony leftism. You’ll recall it was the institution that invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give an address to the university community. You may recall that David Horowitz’s classic book, The Professors, talks about 101 of the most dangerous professors in the nation. Needless to say, Columbia University leads all the rest.

I happened to read an article in the Columbia Journalism Review (January/February 2009) titled “Un-American: Have You Listened to the Right-Wing Media Lately?” The article focuses on “the relentless and malevolent campaign that the right-wing media waged against the candidate [President Obama].” The author is Michael Massing, a contributing editor.

It calls the critics “vile and venomous” along with every other pejorative term in the thesaurus. Here’s how the author refers to conservative radio talk show hosts, “The noxious clouds emitted by these national windbags are further fed by gassy eruptions from scores of local and regional radio hosts.”


What is remarkable is that the author does nothing but name a long series of “right-wingers” and call them every name in his vocabulary. He does nothing but name-calling and never once produces even a scintilla of evidence or explanation to support anything he says. It is ironic, but his raving and ranting involves exactly what he accuses the right wing of doing. He is the classic case of all smears and no evidence, all hat and no cattle.

For example, he complains radio talk show host Laura Ingraham spent her nights “fuming” over Mr. Wright, among others. Mr. Wright, of course, is the Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright, Mr. Obama’s pastor, adviser, close associate, inspiration and friend for more than 20 years. The author of this piece argues Ms. Ingraham is part of talk radio whose “reach and rancor…had no equal.” The author fumes like this from beginning to end of his opus, but never shows us why it was wrong for her to fume over Rev. Wright.

The author, writing for this supposedly prestigious academic journal of a journalism school, produces an article that is virtually fact-free, devoid of any logic and analysis. The author assumes readers are tuned into his particular anti-conservative pro-Obama bias, and therefore all he has to do is condemn anyone who dare criticizes the liberal Messiah.

The reason Ms. Ingraham and others fumed about Rev. Wright is that he displayed a shocking anti-American vitriol. He was also a proponent of black liberation theology, an anti-white, racist and bigoted philosophy (a theology promulgated by a Columbia University professor at its Union Theological Seminary.) Ms. Ingraham no doubt wondered how Mr. Obama could sit in the pews of Rev. Wright’s church for 20 years and claim he never knew where Rev. Wright was coming from.

Mr. Obama proves he is a pathological liar first class out of his own mouth and with his own writing. In his book, Dreams of My Father, he talks about the first sermon of Rev. Wright he heard, the one he says changed his life forever. He does not comment on the racial angle in the book, but in this first sermon which changed Mr. Obama’s life, Rev. Wright blames “white folks” for world hunger. He said in that sermon:

“In this world, a where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere…That’s the world! On which hope sits!”


So from the very first Wright sermon, in a series that ran weekly for 20 years, Mr. Obama was put on notice Mr. Wright was a racist and bigot. Yet, when the infamous “God Damn America” came out during the campaign, Mr. Obama claimed he had no idea where Mr. Wright was coming from. If that doesn’t make him a liar, I don’t know what possibly could.

Rev. Wright told gigantic lies and spewed poisonous racism throughout his career. For example, he said, “They [the U.S. Government] lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”

So Mr. Obama’s claim he had no idea of what Mr. Wright was preaching is ridiculous on many counts. He not only sat in the pews for 20 years, but also was subjected to the church publications of Rev. Wright. Mr. Obama even got the inspiration for the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope, from a Rev. Wright sermon. As indicated, the first Wright sermon he ever heard changed his live forever and should have revealed Mr. Wright to be the bigot that he is and has been. Mr. Obama would have been reading the Chicago media, which often covered Rev. Wright and his views. As a politician he would have been talking to many people familiar with Rev. Wright’s views. Finally, he is likely to know about Rev. Wright’s views as when he came to Chicago he sought out Rev. Wright and his church because he thought that would help him further his career and advance the work he was involved in.

But the author of this supposedly scholarly piece in the Columbia Journalism Review doesn’t go into the facts, doesn’t refute the facts or interpret them in any way. The author just ignores them and assumes it is wrong for anyone to mention Rev. Wright. In other words, the Columbia Journalism Review author assumes his readers are infected with the anti-conservative-hate-conservative bias that afflicts him. So he just has to recite what the critics say and it is immaterial if it happens to be true and relevant.

The author also objects to Ms. Ingram fuming over “Ayers.” This, of course, refers to William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist who was a friend and a close professional associate of Mr. Obama. This is the Ayers who bombed the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol and even recently said he regretted he didn’t do more bombing. The author of the article doesn’t question any of these facts. He doesn’t even mention or catalog them. He ignores the facts and assumes the reader is supposed to object that anyone would question a presidential candidate’s friendship and close association with an unrepentant terrorist. He just writes “Ayers” and assumes that is the equivalent of waving a red flag in front of a bull.

He calls Rush Limbaugh, America’s most listened to radio talk show host with about 14 to 20 million listeners, a character assassin. He doesn’t like some of Mr. Limbaugh’s descriptions of Mr. Obama such as him being a liar. Mr. Limbaugh probably decided he was a liar when he claimed he didn’t know anything about the anti-American venom of Rev. Wright or about his other radical positions. I reached the same conclusion. When Mr. Obama made that claim you had to assume he was either the dumbest man in America or the biggest liar. As his supporters claim, Mr. Obama is the smartest man on the planet, all that’s left is to assume he is a liar. Ask yourself when there has ever been a presidential candidate, before Mr. Obama, who had so many associates and friends who were terrorists, bigots, racists and crooks. Or anyone who had so many questionable associates but was apparently blind to their character and record.

He has a new name for every one of his right-wing targets. Take the talk show host Monica Crowley, who happens to be a beautiful, articulate and interesting talk show host. She is described as mephitic, which Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines as “foul-smelling.” Apparently the Columbia Journalism Review author and editor spend their time smelling talk show hosts instead of listening to them. Remember this article is a sorry and sad reflection not only on the author of the article but the editors and others involved with the publication.

Ms. Crowley’s comments are objectionable, as she, too, dared to criticize the Messiah. She said, in Mr. Obama’s view, “confiscatory taxes, socialism, domestic terrorists, anti-American racist rants, and convicted felons are swell.” Each of these assertions is defensible and certainly represent an honest and legitimate opinion of a talk show host in the business of giving her opinion.

The author has a long list of columnists whose major sin is criticizing the Messiah. For example, Jonah Goldberg is taken to task for writing Mr. Obama’s “pals from the Weather Underground [a domestic terrorist organization founded by Obama’s pal, Ayers] who murdered or celebrated the murder of policeman.” Mr. Goldberg is just stating facts that the author of the Columbia Journalism Review article doesn’t like. He expresses disdain for other conservative columnists including some of the greats such as Charles Krauthammer and Michelle Malkin.

At the top of the author’s complaint list is Fox News. He objects to Bill O’Reilly giving nightly reports on Mr. Ayers. First of all, that’s incorrect, as Mr. O’Reilly didn’t give reports every night on Mr. Ayers. But even if he did, that was a legitimate and important campaign issue in the reasonable eyes of many people. If a presidential candidate pals around with unrepentant terrorists isn’t that newsworthy?

The author also objects to some of the experts that frequently appeared on Fox News. The author objects to Dick Morris saying he is a “one-time-Bill-Clinton-adviser-disgraced-after-having-been-found-consorting-with-a-prostitute.” I have no brief for the sex life of Mr. Morris, but I’m more interested in the quality of his political commentary and his political predictions. He is a master political adviser and I think he is one of the best. But the Columbia Journalism Review author is only interested in ad hominem attacks, and here, as elsewhere throughout the article, does exactly what he criticizes conservatives of doing.

The author also objects to the appearance of Karl Rove, almost universally regarded as a master political consultant  and credited with electing President George W. Bush twice. But he is dismissed as a professional “Democratic detractor” and an “architect-of-the-most-unpopular-presidency-in-American-political-history.”

The author refers to “Obama’s supposed ties to Tony Rezko, Acorn, Louis Farrakhan, Muslim fundamentalists, black power advocates and of course, Bill Ayers.” This dishonestly suggests the ties weren’t real, but many were actually admitted by Mr. Obama. For example, he admitted his ties to Mr. Rezko and said the land-deal was “bone-headed” on his part.

What is most disturbing about the article is not that it is nothing but a series of name-calling, ad hominem attacks devoid of analysis or arguments to persuade the reader the right-wing critics of Mr. Obama are wrong. The article might get a passing grade if it appeared in a tabloid as the opinions, raving and ranting, and fulminations of a columnist. Maybe some readers would find the opinions interesting. But what’s worse is this is supposed to be the pinnacle of academic journalism. This is supposed to be scholarly, carefully researched and reasoned, fair and balanced. But it is nothing more than liberal lunacy.

When it comes to the author’s solutions, he goes from bad to worse. He complains mainstream media have shied away from criticizing these evil demons of the right. He then complains when right-wingers are covered, they are “coddled.” He cites an article on Mr. Limbaugh in The New York Times Magazine. It commended his “basically friendly temperament.” The author objects apparently on the theory that you are not supposed to say anything good about a right-winger. The author objects Barbara Walters named Mr. Limbaugh as one of her “10 most fascinating people” for 2008. Again, the author isn’t interested in the truth. He believes right-wingers like Mr. Limbaugh can’t possibly be fascinating to Ms. Walters or anyone else. He believes, as apparently the Columbia Journalism Review believes, that right-wingers and conservatives are supposed to be condemned, and their good qualities must be ignored or denied.

The conclusion of the article hits the lowest note. The author writes, “It’s time for reasonable Republicans to step forward and denounce the Limbaughs and Hannitys for what they are — un-American.” This comes out of the blue and the author never explains why they are un-American. Of course, that was part of the title of the article, so I guess that’s the justification for throwing in the accusation.

After reading this journalistic garbage, I have only one suggestion. There ought to be a constitutional amendment prohibiting any graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism from working in journalism. Incidentally, I don’t have to tell you whose picture covers the front-cover of the issue in which the article in question appears. Well, guess. You’re right — President-elect Obama.

Columbia University and its Review represent what happens when universities fall into the hands of loony leftists, left to run amuck and undisciplined by other opinions and perspectives. What’s most depressing is Columbia is typical of many if not most of our colleges and universities. They represent centers not only of blind one-sided lefty liberalism but also anti-America, anti-conservative, anti-military biases and a lot more. For some powerful documentation of this read Mr. Horowitz’s The Professors and his other excellent book on the subject Indoctrination U.

What’s the answer? You can inform yourself on the issue and spread the word. You can also cut off contributions to places like Columbia University. I have a good friend who cut off his yearly contributions to the school and was mailing lists. He doesn’t want to anything to do with it and neither should anyone else. You can also generate political pressure to stop public funds going to those colleges that are centers of lefty lunacy and that get any government money.

Finally, you can lend your support to those organizations fighting these academic abuses. One such organization is David Horowitz’s Freedom Center. Since 2003, it has sponsored a campaign for an academic bill or rights and to restore academic freedom and open inquiry to college campuses.Mr.  Horowitz is one of the most important thinkers of our time, as he not only identifies critically important issues, but also adopts and implements action plans to bring about reforms. The Freedom Center Web site is at horowitzfreedomcenter.org  or just go to Google and search for Freedom Center of David Horowitz.

Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and  consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at advocate@thebulletin.us.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: columbia; columbiau; denenberg; enemedia; journalism; msm
The Bulletin is a small but growing Conservative newspaper and has other good articles, try checking it out at link.
1 posted on 01/19/2009 9:18:36 AM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo
The country could save millions next year by simply asking the media to pick the next president outright without an election.

/s
2 posted on 01/19/2009 9:24:05 AM PST by texas_mrs
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To: texas_mrs
What's wrong with Journalism? Universities!

Morals, ethics, sense of nationality and pride are not (maybe never were) taught there. Impartiality - a totally foreign word to liberal University Professors. What do they offer?

Self serving egoism, biased dominance and hatred for the country in which they are allowed to spew their poison.

3 posted on 01/19/2009 9:30:23 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: jazusamo
It is ironic, but his raving and ranting involves exactly what he accuses the right wing of doing.

This is not irony, this is a tactic that the NAZIs and the Communist perfected 70 years ago. Attack your opponents or victims with the charge that you yourself are practicing. Contributing Editor Michael Massing knows exactly what he is doing, he is not ignorant, but he is dishonest and no academic.

4 posted on 01/19/2009 9:36:43 AM PST by fatez ("If you're going through Hell, keep going." Winston Churchill)
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To: jazusamo
It is ironic, but his raving and ranting involves exactly what he accuses the right wing of doing.

This is not irony, this is a tactic that the NAZIs and the Communist perfected 70 years ago. Attack your opponents or victims with the charge that you yourself are practicing. Contributing Editor Michael Massing knows exactly what he is doing, he is not ignorant, but he is dishonest and no academic.

5 posted on 01/19/2009 9:36:50 AM PST by fatez ("If you're going through Hell, keep going." Winston Churchill)
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To: jazusamo
“In this world, a where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year..."

Why would land-lubber Barry make that observation like that? Or would that be the writing of a ex-merchant marine sailor and anarchist named Bill Ayers?
6 posted on 01/19/2009 9:38:09 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: jazusamo
I finally found a use for the Columbia Journalism Review, a publication of the Columbia University graduate school of journalism.

Is it the right size to line the snake's cage?

7 posted on 01/19/2009 9:39:29 AM PST by Tax-chick (To oppose the god of this world by lifting up Christ.)
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To: fatez

Thanks...It seems Columbia and Massing as well as many Universities have adopted and perfected the tactic.


8 posted on 01/19/2009 9:43:09 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Thrownatbirth

Not much of a stretch to make a case for that with Ayers’ position in academia.


9 posted on 01/19/2009 9:44:50 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Tax-chick

Hah! Very appropriate use. :)


10 posted on 01/19/2009 9:45:41 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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BUMP


11 posted on 01/19/2009 10:33:30 AM PST by Captainpaintball (I 'aint to blame...I voted McCain!)
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To: jazusamo
The first problem with Journalism is the Universities themselves.


12 posted on 01/19/2009 10:38:03 AM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: jazusamo
Herb Denenberg is a fool. You can't walk away from the major institutions of power. Has it occurred to this man to support conservatives at Columbia? Or what about creating an American Studies/Values center like that at Princeton?
His solution is to burn the institutions of this country out of false populism.
13 posted on 01/19/2009 10:40:57 AM PST by rmlew (The loyal opposition to a regime dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution are accomplices.)
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To: rmlew

I see you are close to the source, so to speak. I believe he would be receptive to your comments should you contact him.


14 posted on 01/19/2009 10:46:23 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: angel90210; pabianice; SlowBoat407; Grampa Dave; Harmless Teddy Bear; international american; ...


Columbia Ping
15 posted on 01/19/2009 10:46:29 AM PST by rmlew (The loyal opposition to a regime dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution are accomplices.)
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To: jazusamo
As the founding president of the Columbia College Conservative Club, creator of the Columbia Political Union Party of the Right and secretary of the Columbia Conservative Alumni Association, I shall contact the author.
16 posted on 01/19/2009 10:51:29 AM PST by rmlew (The loyal opposition to a regime dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution are accomplices.)
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To: rmlew

Excellent, and thanks!


17 posted on 01/19/2009 10:55:14 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: rmlew

Tell him he needs to have someone proofread his articles too.


18 posted on 01/19/2009 11:36:21 AM PST by BubbaBasher (This space available for a bailout.)
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To: jazusamo
My response to Mr. Denenberg
Mr. Denenberg, I would like to thank you for your last two articles, which focused on the morass jokingly refer to as Patrice Lumumba on the Hudson by some graduates. The sad truth is that Columbia, once a college patriotically renamed after the symbolic personification of America, has now become an institution dedicated to changing America and leading the world against our traditional values. I could easily send you reams of paper on the leftward tilt and tactics of the university. For instance, your readers might be interested to read how the university acts as a slumlord seeking to use eminent domain to seaize property whose value it degraded, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/863igkhq.asp , even as it appeases the diversity grievance mongers by seeking to change the core curriculum of Columbia College. Similarly, the university now celebrates the campus riots which destroyed its reputation for a generation, http://www.columbia1968.info/ . (I would note that no member of the Majority Coalition or non-radical groups were invited to speak, at this onanistic celebration of nihilism.)

However, I feel that your call for conservative withholding contributions does a grave disservice. Conservatism and American values cannot continue to exist if we completely cede the institutions of learning and influence. One need only look at the current and previous two presidential administrations to see the disproportionate influence held by Ivy League university graduates. As Columbia's Journalism School has been a feeder school to the prestige press and an early creator of standards, Teacher's College all but created progressive education and remains at the forefront of using pedagogy to mold future generations. Social Justice and Diversity management, which is to say Cultural Marxism, is now explicitly part of the Philosophical Framework of Teacher's College http://www.tc.columbia.edu/administration/oaa/PDF_DOC/Conceptual_Framework.pdf .

If conservatives walk away from the premier institutions of higher learning, those which influence the courts media and grade-school education, we may as well cloister ourselves as the Goths end our civilization. And if the meddling in religious schools of the Carter years and current move to restore the tyranny of the "Fairness Doctrine" is any indication, such a defense will be futile appeasement in the name of virtue. Who exactly are we helping if in ending donations, we help ensure that students at these institutions are left ignorant of any conservative thought or influence?

The truth is that if a few individual donors cease to give, nothing will change. If you wish to change the university, the way to do it is to help those fighting on campus or and to create an alternate fund to promote conservatives and proper education such as the James Madison Program in American Ideas and Institutions at Princeton. Similarly, the conservative students fighting the battle at the university need our help. Currently, conservative student groups receive less than $1 for every $8 allotted to liberal and leftist groups, not counting the fact that the Muslim Students Association spends much of its $15,000 budget on attacking conservatives and defending America's enemies. Altogether, the left received over $35,000 to the $2,425 given to the right http://www.columbiaspectator.com/node/29595 .Those of us working to change this system and to promote conservative ideas on campus would certainly appreciate even a fraction of the donations given to Columbia.

Sincerely,

Ron Lewenberg
Columbia Conservative Alumni Association
http://www.columbiacons.org
Founding President (1998-2000),
Columbia College Conservative Club
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/conservative

19 posted on 01/20/2009 9:05:10 PM PST by rmlew (The loyal opposition to a regime dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution are accomplices.)
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To: BubbaBasher
Tell him he needs to have someone proofread his articles too.
The only thing I was worse at than following gender neutral rules in composition class, was proofreading my own writing.
20 posted on 01/20/2009 9:06:43 PM PST by rmlew (The loyal opposition to a regime dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution are accomplices.)
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To: rmlew

Very good response, thanks for the post and ping.

When you posted to me yesterday I felt you made a good point and feel stronger about it now. Hopefully he will make your point and Conservative endeavor known in his writing.


21 posted on 01/20/2009 10:10:24 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: rmlew

Hear hear.

Never went to Columbia but I did live in Columbia housing at 115th and Morningside with my Barnard assistant professor girlfriend who was also working on her PHD at Lamont Doherty.

25 years ago, it seems more radicalized now


22 posted on 01/20/2009 10:19:32 PM PST by wardaddy (This nation will be torn asunder within 50 years baring Lady Sarah)
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To: jazusamo
Although it is more than 250 words, I do hope "The Bulletin" runs it.

I am now considering using it as the basis of a piece explaining the futility of cloistering ourselves. Sadly, I am quite busy and behind on articles. Two weeks ago, Professor Gottfried called me out, and I have been tardy in responding.

23 posted on 01/20/2009 10:21:36 PM PST by rmlew (The loyal opposition to a regime dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution are accomplices.)
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