The May 27 edition of the Bangkok Post carries an article by George S. McLeod titled "Witch Hunt." It purports to critique the "Israel lobby" for its efforts to influence the impending tenure decision of DePaul University professor Norman Finkelstein.
Along the way it makes several factually inaccurate statements about Campus Watch:
1. McLeod writes, "One controversial group is Campus Watch, which pays students cash rewards to report dissident professors."
Response: Campus Watch has never paid students, or anyone else, for information. Here, McCleod has confused Campus Watch with the Bruin Alumni Association, which did offer to pay students for information, but with which Campus Watch has no connection whatsoever.
2. McLeod quotes from the Campus Watch web site that CW (quoting McCleod's article quoting CW) "opposes 'professors that seem to lack any appreciation of their country's national interests and often use their positions of authority to disparage these interests.'"
Response: What CW's web site says is: "Many U.S. scholars of the Middle East lack any appreciation of their country's national interests and often use their positions of authority to disparage these interests."
3. McLeod writes: "Campus Watch's David Horowitz authored the controversial publication The Professors."
Response: David Horowitz is not associated with Campus Watch, and his work is entirely independent of CW.
4. McLeod writes: "The website also says that it 'invites student complaints of abuse, investigates their claims, and (when warranted) makes these known.' Campus Watch used to publish the home addresses of these professors, but has since stopped the practice."
Response: Campus Watch has never published the home addresses of anyone, and will never do so.
5. For the record, Campus Watch does not take positions on questions of tenure. We critique Middle East studies in North America with an eye toward improving them, and we reserve the right to critique the academic performance of any professor. But, as I explained to Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Education, in a November, 2006, article on attempts by outside groups to influence tenure decisions:
Myers said, however, that non-academics have every right to make their views known and that Middle Eastern studies professors are trying to prevent that from happening. "It is ultimately for faculty to decide. We're not saying ‘approve this guy and turn this other fellow down,' " Myers said. But he said that academics do not have the right to make these decisions in a "cocoon of silence" in which information about scholars' "politicized work" isn't well known.