After Finkelstein, a New War on Academic Freedom
The vultures smell blood. They're still picking at the academic corpse of Norman Finkelstein, but they're looking for new victims everywhere.
Case in point is Frontpagemag's Steven Plaut, and his essay today, "The Next Piece of Housekeeping for DePaul?"
The focus of Plaut's "housekeeping" is his desire to sweep away assistant professor of English Matthew Abraham, whose primary crime appears to be defending Norman Finkelstein. Abraham noted, "Will those faculty associated with, and standing in support of Finkelstein, be the next targets of DePaul's administration? If so, I would certainly be a likely target." Plaut proudly declares, "Well, we would like to take Abraham up on the challenge..."
Here, Plaut reveals the fact that his cries about "academic standards" are nothing but a farce. Plainly, one cannot determine the academic worth of a young scholar by the mere title of his dissertation. Plaut complains, "he wrote a dissertation about 'The Rhetoric of Resistance,' in other words a propaganda tract for the 'revolutionary' left." Ah, it is so easy to be a right-wing nut; you are freed from the inconvenience of having to actually read the work you dislike.
It's particularly appalling to denounce the academic record of an assistant professor after one year on the job, when he is barely beginning the process of building his academic CV. This proves how Plaut and Horowitz want to purge left-wing faculty from college campuses, and it has nothing to do with academic standards. Welcome to the new wave of academic McCarthyism. If Matthew Abraham is next for the thoughtcrime of defending Finkelstein's academic freedom, who will be after him? And when academia stand up against this repression of dissenting ideas?