Earlier this afternoon, I noted that conservative blogger Doug Ross offered $1,400 in gold to any progressive who could "provide me with a documented lie repeated by Fox News reporters."
In response, I pointed out that Fox's reporters had repeatedly claimed that then-Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan had "barred" or "banned" military recruiters from Harvard Law School's campus when she was dean. This was false; while Kagan had briefly banned the school's Office of Career Services from working with military recruiters, she never banned those recruiters from Harvard's campus. Throughout her tenure, Harvard students had access to military recruiters, either through the OCS or through the Harvard Law School Veterans Association, and indeed, recruitment was not affected by Kagan's actions.
I also requested that Ross follow through on his challenge and give me the gold.
Ross has now responded in the mature fashion we expect from the conservative blogosphere, calling me a "crackpot" and my employer a "Soros-funded, Marxist front group." He's also provided what he appears to think is a factual rebuttal; an article from the Christian Science Monitor which Ross says provides the "real details of who Kagan's recruiting ban worked."
Unfortunately for Ross, the article supports my statements, not those of Fox's "reporters."
The Monitor article repeatedly states - including in the portion Ross bolds in his response -- that for a period under Kagan's tenure, military recruiters were barred "from using the law school's office of career services to meet with students interested in military service." If that sounds familiar, it's because I mentioned that in the second paragraph of this post - and in my post earlier today. What the article does not say is that Kagan refused to allow military recruiters on campus. That's what Fox reported -- falsely.
The Monitor article, as cited by Ross, also reports that an Army recruiter said he was "stonewalled" by the career services director at Harvard. Ross comments, "Gee, this is a tough one. Do I trust the DOD or Soros Matters?" But again, it makes sense that the director of OCS wasn't working with military recruiters, as Kagan had banned OCS from working with the recruiters. The facts still remain, she did not ban military recruiters from campus, as Fox claimed, and (contrary to his claim that Kagan enacted a "de facto ban") her actions resulted in no decrease in actual recruitment.
At the hearing, when all the facts about Kagan's actions were clear, even Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, would say only that Kagan had "barred the military from the Office of Career Services," not that she had barred them from campus. Why didn't he say she had barred them from campus? Because that would be a lie.
To sum up:
Me: Kagan banned military recruiters from using Harvard Law's Office of Career Services, but not from campus.
CNN: Kagan banned military recruiters from using Harvard Law's Office of Career Services, but not from campus.
Sessions: Kagan banned military recruiters from using Harvard Law's Office of Career Services, but not from campus.
Fox reporters: Kagan banned military recruiters from campus.
The source Ross cited to support Fox: Kagan banned military recruiters from using Harvard Law's Office of Career Services, but not from campus.
If Ross wants to have an argument about whether Kagan's actions were just, or whether she should have taken them, or whether they had an impact on military recruitment at Harvard, that's fine, but he should have it with someone else. I'm just here for the money; the only question at issue is whether or not Fox's reporting was accurate.
Fox reported that Kagan had "a policy of banning the military from the campus" and that supported a "ban on campus military recruitment." Fox lied. Ross owes me $1,400 in gold.
UPDATE: In an email, Ross - who still seems unwilling to show me the money - responds to this post:
Perfect. In the section which begins:
"To sum up"
Curiously, you fail to mention the military recruiters -- the most important parties in the affair -- who say they were banned -- stonewalled, in fact -- from recruiting.
And Kagan said she was pleased with that fact.
Why not list both of them in your summary?
Oh, I know why. Because it doesn't fit your spin.
Of course, the military recruiters do not say they were banned from campus, they say they were stonewalled by the Office of Career Services.
Kagan does not say she was pleased to ban recruiters from campus, she says she was pleased to bar them from using the Office of Career Services.
We keep going around here, but the fact remains: Fox repeatedly reported that Kagan banned military recruiters from Harvard's campus, and that's just not true. They were denied access to OCS resources, but not refused access to the campus. Doug Ross owes me $1,400 in gold.
- Doug Ross