How the Media Becomes the Enemy of Campus Activists


Washington Post editorial takes up the attack on freedom of speech on American campuses:

No one has been able to explain how the media — earlier sought out by protesters wanting to publicize their complaints — became the enemy. But it was clear from the video , which went viral, that at least some students believed that their rights and views should trump the rights and views of others. Similar disturbing behavior was on display in another recent video, also gone viral, of college students exercising their rights. This time the scene was Yale University, where a professor was shouted down and bullied as he tried to express his views about a controversial e-mail written by his wife, a lecturer at Yale. Among the insults hurled at him: “You should not sleep at night! You are disgusting.” And “Walk away, he doesn’t deserve to be listened to.” Punishing dissent became far more than just a threat when the student government at Wesleyan University last month voted to cut funding for the 150-year-old campus newspaper because it had the temerity to publish an opinion piece by a conservative writer questioning the tactics (but not the message) of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Also in the Washington Post, Eugene Volokh answers the first sentence of the above quotation by suggesting that the Mizzou protesters simply aren’t used to dealing with journalists and wanted to keep absolute control of their message.  Volokh pulls up a bit short of the right answer, in my view.

Among the more telling statements in the viral video of the news photographer being pushed back from the central protest is the repeated complaint of the students and abetting faculty that “we asked you nicely” to leave.  It’s a totalitarian mentality for which the obvious next step to “asking nicely” is forcefully imposing, and it shows how the campus fascists think of news media.

Mainstream and (obviously) left-wing news media collude with leftists enough that they believe it’s how things ought to be.  A journalist who doesn’t respond with affable compliance when activists ask him or her to step outside of the designated area is therefore proving himself or herself to be a member of the enemy right-wing media.

Why the activists at Mizzou made the little tent village off limits, who knows.  If I had to place a bet, I’d wager the hunger-strikers were having a clandestine meal, or something like that, and even a friendly reporter might take an accidentally telling photograph with a McDonald’s bag in it, or something.

  • Max

    How about Ray Kelly at Brown? Are they afraid that the message will make sense? It seems like they’re afraid to let logical people think for themselves. I mean, they’ve already captured the mind of lemmings so let’s not let anyone else hear the message.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    “we asked you nicely” to leave

    I once knew a German woman with several European degrees. She was certainly not old enough to remember WWII, but had heard the stories in the family about women prostituting themselves in order to eat. The subject of the Holocaust came up. She said “If the Jews had just left when we asked them to, there wouldn’t have been any trouble”. Does that one work for you? Think the protesters at Mizzou would buy it?