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Right-Wing Whiner

Reported by Nancy - October 19, 2004 -

On this morning's edition of FNL (10/19), at 11:52am (EDT), Brigitte Quinn interviewed 2 Cornell students about "left-wing" censorship on campus.

It was a typical FNL story, complete with faux outrage over unproven allegations.

Here's the background: In September, Cornell's Student Assembly Finance Committee made two charges against a campus newspaper, "The Cornell American": 1) that the group that requested funds last spring had falsely claimed their current advisor to be a staff member at the university; & 2) that the group had proposed funding for a nonpartisan literary publication, as opposed to a politically biased newspaper. These charges were submitted for review by the Student Assembly Appropriation Committee as well as by the university ombudsman, but no decision has been reached as to their validity.

Tim Lim, of Cornell's Student Assembly Finance Committee, explained that the assembly was not interested in censoring ideas & that its main concern was that clubs adhere to SAFC guidelines & standard of ethics. He also pointed out that the hearing about the charges will be held later today & that no group had been "defunded" -- already granted funds were frozen pending the outcome of the hearing. Eric Shive, editor-in-chief of "The American", the paper supposedly being censored, denied the validity of the charges & attributed them to a political agenda on the part of the SAFC. Quinn's questions to both students were focused on a classic FNL red herring (trying to make this a "freedom of speech" issue while ignoring the actual allegations, which revolve around "ethics") & made no attempt to ascertain the objective FACTS of the situation -- she simply allowed each to spout charges/counter-charges. Quinn didn't say whether FNL had asked Cornell to comment. FNL's idea of informative banners during this segment included mentioning who has graduated from Cornell.

Comment/Question: The timing of this story struck me as curious, since the action suspending the paper's funding was taken back in September; then I realized that if FNL had waited any longer, the situation would have been resolved today at the SAFC hearing & FNL might have missed the opportunity to showvase anothe right-wing whiner. Has FNL ever covered right-wing bias on a college campus -- say, a Bible college that won't allow a chapter of GLAD?