Monday, November 11, 2002

Hmm. Now that most of the tenured social sciences and humanities faculty on my campus have signed a letter about Campus Watch-- a careful letter that allows professors with very divergent political views to sign it, unlike the Judith Butler petition I've blogged about before-- some of the fun has been taken out of my little crusade against the website's attack on the University of Chicago. Keeping it up would start to look like currying favor with my senior colleagues. (Many of the signers are tenured members of my department, and at least one is an administrator who was involved in hiring me.) This would be especially tacky since they had the decency not to ask junior faculty to sign their letter; they deliberately avoided creating the temptation to curry favor, or the fear of retribution among dissenters. So I think I'm going to quit talking about Campus Watch now.* But I would like the record to show that my first post on the subject preceded this faculty letter by nearly two months-- and that it documents a public disagreement I've had with a tenured member of my department on these subjects, so at the time I could hardly have been accused of sucking up. And I'll close by beating my drum one last time: If Campus Watch is sufficiently embarrassed by its University of Chicago reports-- filled with stories that have been discredited, irrelevancies, rumors, and complaints abou the peaceful expression of anti-Israeli views-- that it feels the need to put disclaimers on them, then it ought to be embarrassed enough to take them down. The statement by the University's Hillel Center seems to me the final nail in the coffin of those reports' credibility.

So the complete arc of my comments on Campus Watch:
September 19
September 23
September 26
September 27
September 29
October 22
November 6

*(That is, unless they really do something new to annoy me...)

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