Thursday, June 07, 2007

Katie's clumsy propaganda

Today, boys and girls, we aren't going to so much look at what Katie has to say as how she says it.

Aw, do we have to Spotty?

Yes, grasshopper, it will make you a more insightful person. You see, in addition to being a communis rixatrix, the Commissioner of Troubling Signs, and the local rep for the Tendrils of Redemption (tm) home self-flagellator, Katie is also a clumsy propagandist. In her column today, Katie recounts how a group of plucky Macalester College alumni/alumnae (take that, Katie!) are swimming against the liberal tide of political correctness at their alma mater. It's a brave and moving story, sprinkled with quotations like these:

"Every issue [of the alumni magazine] focused on another left/liberal cause," he [Roger S. Peterson, a mossy graduate from the 60s] said. "You can't tell me that every Mac grad is a public-interest lawyer who spends all his weekends recycling.

"Our goal should be to convince today's students that this lack of diversity is harming them," said Elizabeth Thomas, a 1998 grad who also attended the meeting [to offer themselves as a sacrifice on the altar of moderation]. Graduates often learn this the hard way when they enter the real world, she says. "You believe you are open-minded and tolerant, but you discover ... you're not."

We can be pretty sure, boys and girls, that the aforementioned Roger S. Peterson is no recycling-crazed public interest lawyer! Norsiree! And Liz? Perhaps Liz just had a rough re-entry after her ride through the arc of college. Spotty thinks it is mostly that Rog and Liz always were or became conservatives (how else would they get featured in a Katie column?) and they are now just embarrassed by the school's brand. Spot also has to say, Liz, that students have plenty of time to have the idealism wrung out of them in the workplace, your so-called real world, without having them start out as soulless grinds.

Katie also quotes with approval this:

Macalester's atmosphere was far more conducive to a real liberal arts education in 1967, Peterson said. "I don't recall one professor ever making a comment in class that made clear they were of a certain political persuasion," he said. Peterson cited Theodore Mitau, a highly regarded political science professor who was close to Walter Mondale. "He taught that there are always two sides to an issue," explained Peterson. "We never knew what his own views were."

Well, the prof probably said some other things too, Rog, that have no application whatever to the snake oil that Katie peddles. Here's the technique: pretend that your views are entitled to respect—and equal time in the media—simply because you hold them. If you claim to hold them because of the uninformed writings of the ancients, so much the better!

Back when conservatives were trying to wash off the stink of Watergate, they figured out that they were going to have to get the media to consider all kinds of tripe as a "side" and give them a hearing. And it worked. Katie is living proof of that, at least living at the Star Tribune. She works the territory twice a week. The public has swallowed all kinds of crackpot political and religious theories, junk science, and pseudo-science in the name of being "fair." Most of it needs to be hooted down, and college is none to early a place to start learning. Global warming doesn't exist, abortions cause breast cancer, the list goes on and on.

Here's another aggrieved student of just a couple of years ago:

"Macalester talks a good game of diversity," said Joseph Schultz, who graduated in 2006 and is a leader of the group. "But they don't have the kind that really counts: intellectual diversity."

When Schultz tried to challenge the affirmative-action status quo on campus, or to argue for a pro-life position as a student, he says, "Everyone glared at me. The usual answer was, 'How could anyone think like that?' It's like you're evil."

No, not evil, Joe. Maybe just reptilian. Kidding. But maybe, just maybe, some of the things you propose are antithetical to a just and fair society, and some people consider them evil. You can hold those ideas; it's a free country, but don't expect to get much respect at Macalester. You should have gone to Messiah or Regent.

Katie column today ends with the usual thud:

The former students at the Alumni of Moderation [is that newspeak, or what?] meeting never feared that their campus wasn't a "safe place." [that Macalester seeks to provide] But a routine recognition at Macalester that there might be more than one side to an issue? That's another thing entirely.

Spot bets that students and faculty at Macalester College listen better than Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Marty Seifert, Dick Day, or any other of thousands of conservatives Spot could name, ever did.

Update: REW told Spot at DL last night that Joseph Schultz is a former chair of the College Republicans at Mac. Alumni of Moderation, Spot's hind end.

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