Yale political scientist Jim Sleeper charges Middle East Forum's Campus Watch with leading a "national campaign" against "politically correct liberals" on American campuses.
In a convoluted apologia for political correctness in academe (HuffPost College, "The 'Blame the Campus Liberals' Campaign Targets Yale," Feb. 12, 2016), Jim Sleeper, a lecturer in political science at Yale, blames Campus Watch (CW) for matters on which it has never commented and which lie far beyond its mission.
He charges that CW and others are responsible for "a national campaign to blame campus distempers [as exemplified recently by certain Yalies] on politically correct liberals":
That campaign has been crafted across more than a decade by Daniel Pipes of Campus Watch; David Horowitz . . . Roger Kimball . . . and . . . Greg Lukianoff.
Had Sleeper bothered to research CW's mission and record, he would have discovered that it critiques Middle East studies in North American universities. It does not deal with racial matters, student issues beyond Middle East studies, political correctness, or any other academic matter not involving Middle East specialists.
Sleeper offers three examples to bolster his claim that CW is involved in an effort to vilify the PC left: the 2005 Harvard faculty no-confidence vote against Larry Summers; Yale's enrollment of former Taliban spokesman Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi in 2006; and the recent controversy involving Yale residential college associate master Erika Christakis and her subsequent departure from Yale.
CW didn't comment on any of these controversies, because none of them involved professors of Middle East studies. It added to its archives a few articles by others that mentioned Hashemi only because they included comments about Middle East specialists. But it did not comment on the story.
Sleeper's attempt to reveal the perfidy of his ideological opponents has instead exposed the bias of his own writing, proving once again that for certain segments of the entrenched academic left, reality is determined more by political litmus tests than by rigorous research.
Winfield Myers is director of academic affairs at the Middle East Forum and director of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.