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FOX News Does Its Part For Right-Wing McCarthyism On Campus

Reported by Ellen - September 10, 2006 -

FOX News deliberately gave a PR boost to right-wing McCarthyism on college campuses Friday night (9/8/06) when Hannity & Colmes hosted UCLA alumnus Andrew Jones without a balancing guest and without mentioning that Jones is the controversial figure who tried to pay students to tape left-leaning professors’ lectures. Instead, Jones was presented as an independent expert who is head of the UCLA Bruin Alumni Association. Jones explained that his group is not the “official” alumni association but nobody revealed that it has a specific, McCarthy-esque agenda to “document,” “publicize” and “reform” what Jones describes as an “unholy alliance between anti-war professors, radical Muslim students, and a pliant administration” resulting in an “exploding crisis of political radicalism on campus.” FOX News also gave Alan Colmes' critical questioning one minute less than Oliver North's sympathetic portion.

The incident under discussion was a claim of reverse discrimination by a white graduate student, Dori Kozloff, whom Jones said was a liberal. However, neither she nor any representative on her behalf was there to discuss the basis for her claim. In fact, nobody from UCLA was there to offer another viewpoint. Instead, we got Jones’ sole perspective, which included incendiary and unsubstantiated claims such as “White (UCLA) students are denigrated on a daily basis.”

FOX News generally ignores any stories about black discrimination (unless it’s black conservative Michael Steele being discriminated against for being a black Republican). The “fair and balanced” Hannity & Colmes producers evidently saw no need to consider any African-American perspective on racial questions at UCLA, such as a recent editorial in the LA Times, “At UC, Race Must Matter,” by Jeffrey S. Lehman, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, professor of law and former president of Cornell University. Lehman pointed out some statistics that Jones and his FOX News soulmates conveniently overlooked: Out of 4,852 students expected to start as UCLA freshmen in September, only 96 — 2% — are African American. Nevertheless, a banner saying “White Discrimination?” was displayed on the screen during most of Jones’ interview.

Jones went on to assert to a credulous Oliver North, substituting for Sean Hannity, that one of the professors is a Canadian Marxist “infecting his students with this Marxist kind of thinking."

In addition to his failed efforts at taping professors, Jones has a history of dishonesty. According to the New York Times, Jones once worked for conservative activist David Horowitz, who has been lobbying state legislatures to pass an "Academic Bill of Rights" to protect students with minority viewpoints from partisan professors. But Jones was fired for pressing U.C.L.A. students to file false reports that they had been physically attacked by leftist activists. None of that relevant information about Jones' past was disclosed to the Hannity & Colmes viewers.

During Colmes' portion of the interview, Jones said that because the Education Department, in which Kozloff was studying, has a disproportionate number of Democrats, (54 to 4) “That means that there are a significant number of Marxists.” When Colmes questioned that reasoning, Jones claimed, “I’ve actually documented that there are Marxists there.”

Colmes also challenged the assertion that students’ minds are being infected. “How many students have walked out of there as radical Marxists because they were somehow exposed to these poisonous professors?”

Jones had no answer, of course. His response was to ask “How many conservative students never entered the graduate school of education because they knew that that was the kind of education that they were going to receive?”

Colmes may have been about to trap Jones with the next question, “Do you want affirmative action for professors?”

Fortuitously for Jones, time was up before he had to answer. Colmes should have had another full minute if both hosts were to have equal time (Colmes got 1:55 vs. North's 2:56, give or take a second or so). A chuckling North thanked Jones and added, “I support what you’re trying to accomplish here.”

You can watch the segment on FOX News.com. It will be in the “Free Video” box for the next day or so, until it gets posted to the main archive page.