Does David Horowitz, the ex-Black Panther supporter turned neocon, get up in the morning and immediately start making a list of the lies he’s going to tell that day? Sure seems like it. Just this week, his website published a piece by Steven Plaut that falsely attributes a ridiculous quote to Professor Juan Cole:
“In a New York Times editorial, [Juan] Cole said that he saw the elections in Syria as a model for other Arab countries to follow: ‘The last thing the Arab people need is a red herring like ‘free and open elections’ to distract them from the international Zionist/Neo-Con conspiracy to take their oil.’ Professor Cole then added that President Assad’s ability to gain such a high percentage of the vote ‘all the while maintaining an oligarchic cult of personality oppressive regime mired in nepotism and corruption’ was ‘truly impressive’ and a positive sign of ‘Arab solidarity.'”
As Reason magazine’s Jesse Walker put it, “That quote isn’t just fake — it’s a fake so obvious that a retarded lemur could see through it.” Yeah, but not, apparently, Plaut — or Horowitz.
All lies all the time — that should be the slogan emblazoned on the masthead of the Horowitless website, as evidenced by yet another urban legend he’s spreading to the effect that a student at the University of Northern Colorado was required by some Commie-leftist professor to write an essay about how George W. Bush is a “war criminal.” Hmmm, more leftist indoctrination of our poor little fresh-faced American youth, eh? Not so fast. As Ralph E. Luker points out on the “Cliopatria” blog:
“1) The oppressive leftist professor turns out to be a Republican;
“2) The University has a copy of the original examination and the question wasn’t about President Bush as a ‘war criminal’;
“3) The student wasn’t obliged to answer the question that got twisted into that version by Horowitz;
“4) The student’s answer to the question didn’t fulfill the test’s instructions about the length of the essay.”
Robert Dunkley, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Northern Colorado, identified by Horowitz as the alleged culprit, told Inside Higher Ed “he would have explained himself or his course to Horowitz or his backers, but was never asked. ‘He’s cooked this whole thing up,’ Dunkley said.”
Cooking up a goulash of lies — that’s Horowitz’s job. He’s a real connoisseur of baseless innuendo, the Julia Childs of the poisonous smear. What’s even more outrageous is that, even after the mistake was exposed, Horowitz refuses to retract it or even acknowledge his error, just as Plaut never acknowledged the phony quote attributed to Professor Cole. Instead, he demanded that the exposers retract their statements — and, naturally, Glenn Reynolds complied. The next day, Horowitz came out with a non-apology that conceded almost nothing:
“So while we apologize for not having fully checked and corrected this story, we conclude that our complaint about the exam was justified. What happened in Professor Dunkley’s class at the University of Northern Colorado is not education, it is indoctrination. And that violates the academic freedom of the students who were subjected to it.”
Horowitz hasn’t changed one whit since his Commie days. For him, ideology still trumps reality every time.
The truly sinister aspect of all this is the unwillingness of Dunkley’s accuser to come forward. One of Horowitz’s junior spies, Erin Bergstrom, says that the student insists on preserving her anonymity becasue, you see, “she’s been very intimidated by the whole process.”
The poor little sensitive soul — she wants the “right” to remain in the shadows, while she hurls baseless charges at her professor. What really takes the cake, however, is that Horowitz and his tiny group of campus supporters have launched their campaign to impose neocon-style political correctness by forming a group known as “Students for Academic Freedom.” Everything about Horowitz is a lie — even the name he gives his front organizations. Well, at least he’s consistent.
Also, go here and check out Horowitz’s limp defense of his apparent unwillingness to employ a fact-checker. He writes:
“You ask me to vet everything in detail before I post it or report it. I don’t have the resources to set up what is essentially a grievance machinery to determine whether each and every complaint it valid.”
He’s throwing around smears, but claims he can’t afford to make sure they have even a minimal relation to reality. Luker’s comeback:
“If you would give yourself a salary cut — from the reported $179,000 — to some reasonable level appropriate to your skills, you could hire some staff to check out your blarny before you go trumpeting it.”
Actually, his salary is closer to $180,000. Horowitz hauls in millions every year from big neocon foundations and his deluded supporters, but why would an outfit that exists to promulgate baseless smears employ a fact-checker?
What Horowitz wants — and he’s now going to the various state legislatures to get it — is the neocon version of a Cultural Revolution on campuses nationwide, where professors are pilloried (and fired) for holding and expressing their political views, and everyone is intimidated by anonymous spies. If a more sickening hypocrite and political opportunist exists anywhere on earth, then I’d like to know about it.
“It’s good to have this cleared up,” bloviated Reynolds in his retraction, “so it won’t serve as a lingering distraction.”
Yeah, that’s right Glenn: we wouldn’t want anything to distract us from the main task of targeting innocent people, smearing them, and trying to get them fired.