Shalom Goldman's article in the last issue of Academic Exchange takes Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer to task for daring to criticize the biases of Middle Eastern Studies Departments. He links their website—Campus Watch—to a new form of McCarthyism. But his description of the old McCarthyism does not inspire confidence in his grasp of facts.
Goldman makes the astonishing claim that "between 1949 and 1962 over eight hundred college faculty members were fired for ideological reasons." I have studied McCarthyism and communism for many years and have never seen such a number bandied about even by those who believed McCarthy ignited a reign of terror in America. Ellen Schrecker, a fierce critic of McCarthyism, put the number at "over a hundred."
Professor Goldman might respond that even one firing for political reasons is too many. But where is his evidence that Pipes and Kramer—private citizens—have called for anyone to be fired? They have criticized the political views held by a number of academics. Goldman asks whether "attempts to stifle dissenting voices fall under the rubric of free speech?'" But since when is he or any other academic immune from public criticism? Instead of crying foul about voices dissenting from his orthodoxy, he ought to engage them in argument.