|php Setting The Record Straight: Campus Watch responds to "Edward Said: On Hijacking Language and Creating Facts"

Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

Edward Said: On Hijacking Language and Creating Facts
by Julian Vigo
October 5, 2008

False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
False allegations of suppressing free speech
False allegations of attacking critics of America's policy in the Middle East

Campus Watch Responds:

Julian Vigo, who, according to her bio "has been at professor at universities across the world where she has taught visual anthropology, comparative literature, performance studies, cultural theory, theories of modernity and postmodernity, and gender studies," devotes an inordinate amount of space in an already long essay on Edward Said to insulting Middle East Forum founder and president Daniel Pipes and to portraying Campus Watch as part of a "McCarthyist" assault on academia. In the essay, which is reprinted at her blog, endoplasm, Vigo writes:

. . . these journalists are informed by all hues of academic production which have been silenced and placed under scrutiny since 9/11, more notably since 2002 when Daniel Pipes, a quite unremarkable scholar, created Campus Watch, a modern day McCarthyist website in which dossiers were published on professors it deemed "hostile" to the United States (and more to the point, those who were critical of Israel), keeping track of everything and everyone Left and un-American in the academic halls of U.S. universities. Later in 2002 Campus Watch removed the dossiers on the eight professors and now keeps a list of "recommended professors" and scholars whom it deems "balanced."

As we've noted on many occasions, Campus Watch's critique of the field of Middle East studies is based on scholarship, not on political viewpoints, including hostility, or a lack thereof, towards the U.S. or Israel. Politicized professors who devote their careers to activism rather than to education are the problem. CW has no governmental power to wield over those we critique, nor do we seek it, so calling us "McCarthyist" is not only meaningless, but utterly clichéd. What can one expect from an essay filled with clichés and name-calling.

(Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell)