Horowitz falsely claimed he doesn't attack professors' "political speech" outside the "classroom"April 10, 2006 2:46 PM EDT ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER
On the April 6 edition Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, right-wing activist David Horowitz, the president of Students for Academic Freedom, falsely claimed that although he has criticized what university professors teach in the classroom, he has refrained from criticizing "professors' political speech" outside of the universities at which they teach. Horowitz added that he makes "a very clear distinction between what's done in the classroom" and "what professors say as citizens." In fact, in his most recent book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (Regnery, January 2006), Horowitz criticized numerous professors for their political views and participation in political events outside the classroom.
During a discussion regarding an April 6 debate at George Washington University between Horowitz and University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, co-host Alan Colmes told Horowitz, "You attack professors fairly often, David. But often it's what they say outside of a classroom ... that you may not like politically." Colmes added that "[t]here's a difference" between "what they do in the classroom and what they do outside the classroom." Horowitz replied: "I make a very clear distinction between what's done in the classroom" and "what professors say as citizens." He claimed that he has "criticized [peace studies programs] harshly, but not professors' political speech."
However, an examination of Horowitz's writing in The Professors, reveals numerous occasions in which he has attacked professors' extracurricular speech and activities. In The Professors, Horowitz devoted a few pages to each professor, detailing why he believes they are "the most dangerous academics in America" as the book's title suggests. While Horowitz chronicled the professors' classroom activities in some instances, he also sought to support his assertions by pointing to some professors' personal history and political activities outside the classroom. Below is a list -- by no means exhaustive -- of examples from Horowitz's book:
● Professor Marc Becker of Truman State University. Horowitz criticized Becker for being an organizer and media developer for the anti-war group Historians Against the War . [Page 50]
● Professor Laurie Brand of the University of Southern California. Horowitz noted that while "temporarily working in Lebanon, [she] took to the streets to protest the planned effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power." Horowitz claimed that Brand is also dangerous because she "even drafted a letter of protest to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell... listing a number of anti-war arguments ranging from the tendentious ('regime change imposed from outside is itself completely undemocratic') to the ludicrous in charging that in excess of one million Iraqis could die because of damage to Iraq's water supply resulting from the war." [Page 75]
● Elizabeth M. Brumfiel, professor of archaeology and anthropology at Northwestern University. Horowitz pointed out that under her leadership as president, the American Anthropological Association's "principal campaign in 2004 was public support of same-sex marriage." He further noted that the group "refused to hold meetings in Louisiana, because of that state's laws against sodomy, and has pledged that its boycott will remain in effect as long as those laws are on the books." [Page 79]
● David Cole, law professor at Georgetown University. Horowitz criticized Cole for being a member of the board of directors at the Center for Constitutional Rights, a "radical" civil rights group, and for signing a "statement of conscience" condemning the "war on terror." [Page 96]
● Professor Angela Davis of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Horowitz noted that she "was a frequent guest speaker at anti-war rallies ... during the months preceding the 2003 war in Iraq." [Page 118]
● Professor Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University. Horowitz claimed that Ehrlich had "attacked the Bush administration" and characterized the professor as a "relentless critic of American foreign and domestic policies" because of an email he wrote into a forum titled "11 September 2001" on Bryn Mawr College 's Serendip website. Horowitz claimed that in the email Ehrlich "theorized that a central cause of the attacks against the United States was the unequal distribution of wealth worldwide; that American affluence was resented and viewed as unjust by much of the human race" and that "the Taliban, in his view, should have been permitted to remain in power." [Page 141] While Ehrlich did state in the email that the U.S. should "parachute... containers of food" and drop "some of our pre-packaged medical facilities, and leaflets volunteering to supply physicians on loan to operate them," he also said that "[t]his is not to say we should not continue to try to identify, defund, and destroy terrorist networks, and punish the perpetrators of the recent atrocities. But some move like this might make clear that the United States will not indiscriminately destroy innocent people to get revenge on the guilty."
● Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law and policy at Princeton University. Horowitz noted Falk's opposition to the Iraq war and cited an article Falk co-wrote in 2003 in which he stated: "Nothing in Iraq 's current behavior would justify a preemptive attack against Iraq. ... there are available alternatives to war that are consistent with international law and are strongly preferred by America's most trusted allies." [Page 162]
● Professor Gordon Fellman of Brandeis University. Horowitz attacked Fellman for, among other reasons, allegedly being "a leader of the protests at Brandeis against Operation Iraqi Freedom." Horowitz chastised Fellman for claiming that "this war has been planned since before Bush became president... and it sets a horribly dangerous example of preemptive war." [Page 172]
From the April 6 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
COLMES: The issue that I want to talk about is what you were debating with Ward Churchill. I don't agree with a lot of what Ward Churchill says. And I don't -- but I think the point is the right to say what you believe outside of a classroom. You attack professors fairly often, David. But often, it's what they say outside of a classroom, the fact that they run peace groups, they go to demonstrations, or that they do things that you may not like politically. And there's a difference, isn't there, between what they do in the classroom and what they do outside the classroom, which is their right as American citizens?
HOROWITZ: Actually, Alan, I make a very clear distinction between what's done in the classroom and what's done within the setup of the university itself and what professors say as citizens, as I said this evening. I defended Ward Churchill's right to say what he said on the Internet. Just as I would defend, of course, [co-host] Sean [Hannity]'s right to challenge him on that. What I have criticized is peace studies programs, which are not studies about the causes of war and peace, but which are indoctrination programs in a left-wing agenda, that the United States is an imperialist aggressor, that the military is the -- responsible for wars instead of preventing wars, and that terrorists are freedom fighters. That, I have criticized harshly, but not professors' political speech.