Setting The Record Straight
Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.
Campus Watch Responds:
[Ed. Update: After the publication of our correction, Salon corrected its error by removing "Campus Watch" from the passage quoted above and substituting "Campus Reform." We appreciate their taking note of our correction; we do not endorse their new text.]
Chauncey Devega reveals his intellectual laziness by asserting that Campus Watch smeared a disgraced professor whose name, in fact, does not appear on our site.
In his paean to Lars Maischak, a former lecturer in U.S. history at California State University, Fresno, Devega falsely charges that
Maischak made news in April when Breitbart published his February tweet: "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better." After an uproar, Cal State Fresno announced in August that he would not teach this fall. Maischak has since become a minor celebrity on the academic left.
Campus Watch's website has a handy search box along the left-hand menu. If one types "Maischak" into it, one gets a page that reads "No Results." For the uninitiated--including pseudo-journalists who can't be bothered to research their topics along with the publications that employ them--such a return indicates the absence of Maischak's name in CW's archives. Given the rarity of his name, this is a sure and certain sign that CW has never written about or posted anything on him.
Why would we? Maischak is a historian of American history. A cursory glance at CW's mission--or a passing acquaintance with organizations that critique higher education--would show that CW deals only with Middle East studies in North American universities. But to discover that, one must nurse his craft rather than his grievances.
Moreover, CW is not a "right-wing advocacy" group, but a project of the Middle East Forum that critiques Middle East studies regardless of the politics involved. We do not advocate anything except the replacement of politicized teaching and writing with rigorous, apolitical work. We combat any ideology, left-wing or otherwise, in pursuit of our mission.
Finally, CW does not "smear" anyone, and to state that we do is itself a smear. It is a curiosity of our times that professors and their cheerleaders charge critics with "smearing" and "censoring" academics when the members of other professions (as we've pointed out several score time before) assume that criticism comes with the job. We rarely hear physicians, attorneys, clergy, businessmen, and others yell for the smelling salts when someone dares to disagree with their work.
Is it asking too much for Devega and his ilk to get their basic facts straight before publishing? If past is prologue--and it usually is--we all know the answer. But fear not: we at CW stand ever vigilant, ready to correct the record again (and again, and again, and again).
Posted by Winfield Myers, director of academic affairs and of Campus Watch, Middle East Forum.
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