Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This is Instructive

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, courtesy of victorhanson.com

Hugh Hewitt brings our attention to a Stanford graduate being attacked by the student newspaper of his alma mater.

The Stanford Daily chastises alumnus Dr. Victor Davis Hanson (Ph.D. Stanford, 1980) for being, of all things, a raaaaacist! The source of the outrage is this 9/30/2010 post from Dr. Hanson’s blog.

Dr. Hanson addresses some cultural “absurdities” that seem to no longer be noticed. His article specifically references issues of political structure, education, and technology. In the second area, he makes the point that higher education is “politically intolerant” and points out some racial diversity constructs used in selecting students for college admission.

Sounds pretty innocuous, right? Not to the editors of The Stanford Daily. Their 10/7/2010 editorial characterizes Dr. Hanson’s analysis as “absolute trash” and calls on the Hoover Institution to censure him.

This is where the fun begins. Victor Davis Hanson writes a follow-up piece on 10/9/2010 for Pajamas Media and describes the editorial as “a McCarthyite attack.” Glenn Reynolds links to the reaction at The Stanford Review and Smitty from The Other McCain posts a comment on The Stanford Daily Web site.

What’s the take-away?

Be sure to read Dr. Hanson’s 10/9/2010 response. It showcases America’s style of cultural interchange: An individual challenges an issue of policy, and our culture responds with characterizations of intent. Dr. Hanson says, “Here are some anomalies in university recruitment policy,” and The Stanford Daily says, “Let us tell you who and what you are!”

UPDATE 10/14/2010:
Meredith Dake at Big Journalism has a post linking to a similar dust-up on the Rachel Maddow show last week (10/7/2010).  A scientist named Art Robinson is running for Congress in Oregon, and his encounter with Ms. Maddow is similar to Dr. Hanson's encounter with The Stanford Daily.  (What's with our Western Neighbors?  They've got research scientists and entrepreneurs running for political office!)

UPDATE 10/15/2010:
Tim Daniel from LeftCoastRebel comments that the language used by the editors of The Stanford Daily sounds suspiciously like that of "internet trolls."  Is he on to something?

I noted the incendiary adjectives used by liberal pundit David Sirota in this post, but you've got to admit the editors at TSD keep an abundance of troll-like, politically-charged adjectives at their fingertips:

"homogenous denigration"
"vitriolic ignorance"
"toxic assumption"
"mocking reference"
"callous and shrill remarks"
"gross generalities"
"racially charged language"
"despicable words"
"derisive, unfounded cheap shots"
"grossly generalizing remarks"

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1 comment:

  1. Victor Davis Hanson is a genius and one that I look to for inspiration. His reply to The Stanford Daily is perfection and completely correct. It is amazing how similar the 'trolls' from the TSD sound like internet trolls that attack strong voices too.

    Great post!