Sondra Hale of UCLA and Lisa Rofel of UC-Santa Cruz have penned a mendacious screed signed by 61 other "scholars" (see the full text and list of signers here
) in which they make outrageous, slanderous charges against Campus Watch along with numerous factual errors.
Writing at the website of "California Scholars for Academic Freedom," Hale, Rofel, and their colleagues accuse CW of slandering and threatening violence against those with whom it disagrees:
A recently formed "Professor Watchlist" purports to alert students about professors they claim "advance a radical agenda in lecture halls." This watchlist echoes Horowitz's project, Campus Watch. The latter lists both faculty and students, threatening the latter with slanderous public information for use by prospective employers and the former with threats of violence. The Professor Watchlist names numerous professors from California institutions of higher learning. In response to the Professor Watchlist, faculty from throughout California, at public and private universities, have followed the lead of faculty at the University of Notre Dame, in sending the Professor Watchlist our names to be added to their list. We refuse to be intimidated by such harassment tactics.
CW challenges the authors and signers of this letter to prove that it has ever threatened anyone in any way, with either "violence" or "slanderous public information." It is a lie. We have never issued any kind of threat or slander against any person.
Moreover, CW does not list students. We certainly do not "threaten" them or anyone else with "slanderous public information." This is another outrageous, malicious charge made by people for whom facts are irrelevant.
Hale, Rofel, and the other signers also make the lazy error of asserting that CW is run by David Horowitz. As a cursory glance at our website would have shown, CW is a project of the Middle East Forum, a research institute in Philadelphia that is in no way connected to the David Horowitz Freedom Center, or any other enterprise anywhere.
That the likes of Hale and Rofel would pen a letter filled with lies and blatant errors is bad enough. But that 61 of their colleagues would sign it without bothering to fact-check it is not simply inexcusable; it proves just how low many members of the academy have sunk.
Did none of them find the charge that CW slanders students or threatens professors with violence just a tad bit suspicious? Do they imagine that we employ carloads of no-neck thugs who threaten to remove the thumbs or splinter the kneecaps of unrepentant profs? Are they so ignorant of those they despise that they can't be bothered to research if the Middle East Forum is a branch of the David Horowitz Freedom Center?
The embarrassing ignorance and willful blindness on display in their letter is equally evident in their biased, politicized scholarship and teaching. Eager to demonstrate their bona fides as fellow "radicals" bravely speaking truth to power, they embrace every intellectual and social convention of their tribe, adopt every platitude that substitutes for thought, and crush any dissenters who question their rule. Under their control, Western universities have squandered their heritage, cheated their students, and imperiled their futures.
Campus Watch calls on Hale, Rofel, and every other signer of the letter to withdraw their false allegations against it. Failure to do so will prove beyond a doubt their intellectual sloth, lack of scholarly ability, and moral corruption.
Winfield Myers is director of academic affairs and of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.