Thursday, April 12, 2007

FinkelDersh Dust-up

Today's New York Times reports on the Dershowitz/Finkelstein controversy in a disturbing article. Aside from the inaccurate claim that the Chronicle of Higher Education first reported the story (in reality, it was Peter Kirstein's blog, which is a great resource of documents about the case), the author Patricia Cohen expresses her wish that a judge could silence both of them, which is a rather odd sentiment for a reporter to deliver in an article addressing free expression issues.

But the worst distortion in the article is the equivalence of fault between Dershowitz and Finkelstein. True, both have hurled insults at each other, and both have filed complaints with the other's university (which were quickly dismissed, as they should have been). But Dershowitz has taken his crusade against free expression much further, trying to get Finkelstein's book banned and then launching this fight to have Finkelstein denied tenure.

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