Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Poor Little Horowitz

Startled by the energetic reaction to his poorly thought and weakly researched recent attack on university professors, David Horowitz has changed tactics, moving from attack (his usual mode) to plaint. He’s sounding like the title character of Lieber and Stoller’s (recorded by the Coasters) “Charlie Brown”: “Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me.” He writes:
Prior to my academic freedom campaign, I published nearly twenty books and hundreds of articles over a forty-year period and without questions being raised about the accuracy or integrity of my work. Yet within a year of launching my academic freedom campaign a rash of articles, written by leftists, appeared across the Internet calling me a liar and someone who played loose with the facts.

Let’s see now, what’s the rest of that chorus? Oh yes:
He's a clown, that Charlie Brown
He's gonna get caught
Just you wait and see
What has happened, Charlie Brown--I mean, Mr. Horowitz--is that you just weren’t important enough for academics to debunk you before (actually, we should have been doing so, your The Art of Political War” How Republicans Can Fight to Win is one incredibly subversive and anti-American tract)—now, you have attacked us where we live. So what did you expect? You finally got caught.

Horowitz continues, in the face of so much that shows that “academic freedom” isn’t his goal at all, to claim he is fighting for just that. Of course that outrages those who really are working to instill the concept of freedom of thought into their students. Until he stops calling what he is doing his “academic freedom efforts,” he is going to continue to induce outrage.

It will also continue as long as Horowitz refuses to admit to his failings, rather than continuing his pathetic defense:
Without exception the bases for these claims are either differences of opinion presented as contradictions of fact, trivial errors common to any published text, and in one case a claim repeated from a source that proved to be incorrect. The campaign has been successful enough that whenever there is a liberal in the room now, the phony issue of my credibility is brought to the fore.
As anyone who has either looked at his book, listened (or read) his various statements on his “Academic Bill of Rights,” or who has seen the demonstrations of his falsehoods knows, there is no simple difference of opinion regarding these things or only “trivial” errors. The problems are substantial and amount to an attempt at deception. Unless he recognizes this, questions of Horowitz’s credibility will continue.

Not only is Horowitz’s “Academic Bill of Rights” campaign now dying, but his attack on academics has backfired on him completely.

If you want demonstration of Horowitz playing fast and loose, go to my older posts or go to Free Exchange on Campus, the group that seems to be annoying Horowitz the most these days by debunking, professor by professor, the falsehoods of his book.

Reocognize yourself, Mr. Horowitz:
Who's always writing on the wall
Who's always goofing in the hall
Who's always throwing spit balls
Guess who (who, me) yeah, you.

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