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Hard left student government attempts to shut down newspaper over op-ed written by Iraq war veteran
By Alex Thomas
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (INTELLIHUB) — Affirming the ever-increasing powers of PC “Thought Police” on college campuses across the country, the Student Government at a private liberal arts college has voted to cut the funding of the Student Newspaper by over 50% after the paper refused to censor an op-ed that criticized the controversial protest movement Black Lives Matter.
The controversy started shortly after the Wesleyan Argus published an op-ed by 30-year-old Iraq war veteran Bryan Stascavage that questioned whether or not attacking all police for the actions of a corrupt few was actually achieving anything positive rather than just stoking the flames and causing more hate between the police and Black Lives Matter supporters.
According to Stascavage, within a few days, “all hell broke loose” with crazed PC zealots destroying hundreds of copies of the Argus while attacking Stascavage and the newspaper throughout social media and launching a petition that called for the paper to lose its funding for daring to publish one op-ed that went against their beliefs.
After a statement by Wesleyan President Michael Roth in support of the newspaper warned of the dangers of “demanding ideological conformity because people are made uncomfortable,” and indications by the newspapers editors that they had no plans to censor the op-ed, the PC zealots turned to the student government to have the paper effectively destroyed.
On Sunday October 18th, the Wesleyan University thought police got their way after a resolution that cut funding to the newspaper by at least 57% was passed 27-0 with four members abstaining. Shockingly, not even one member of the student government voted in support of free speech and against a sort of hard left thought police dictating what is and isn’t acceptable speech in campus newspapers.
In a report on their papers funding being cut by over 50%, the Wesleyan Argus noted that “the resolution comes in the wake of a controversial Opinion piece published in The Argus in early September. Following its publication, over 150 students, including WSA President Kate Cullen ’16, signed a petition calling for the defunding and boycott of The Argus until the publication enacts a series of structural changes.”
The resolution was written by Wesleyan student and authoritarian in training Alex Garcia who, according to the report in the Argus, wrote in an explanation that the Argus should only print “special edition issues.”
So there you have it, a major student newspaper has been reduced to hopefully publishing a few “special edition” issues per year all because of ONE op-ed that went against the grain and challenged the hard left ideologues on campus.
For his part Garcia attempted to use a sort of Orwellian doublespeak in comments made on the Argus article, laughably insinuating that the defunding had nothing to do with the op-ed and that it was simply about putting limited resources to use in the right spots after using data to determine where the money was best spent.
The comments, quoted below, provide a clear picture into the mindset of the authoritarian liberal. Be sure to remember the actual facts of this case while reading Garcia’s lame attempt at deflection that bordered on outright lies.
Pretty fair article, though a bit misleading. I’ll post three points here and those that are reading them can decide for themselves what they think.
1. A detail people seem to be missing is that the Argus would probably be getting around $25k a year under this proposal (a $5k reduction). There would be just less funding allocated to print and more to people costs.
2. I never signed the petition that came out last month calling for the boycott of the paper nor would I ever do so. Free press and speech is so important.
3. The quote from Roth regarding content concerns is a bit confusing. I think it reflects his general concern that any sort of proposal would have their nuance lost in the national media. To address that, I’ve granted interviews to almost any media outlet that has asked—and for the most part they’ve done a great job of looking at the issue holistically. Of course there are always a few exceptions.
A comment in response to Garcia’s got directly to the heart of the matter while destroying the lame attempt at pretending a group of PC zealots didn’t just purposefully destroy a newspaper for publishing one article that they disagreed with.
People aren’t “missing” anything. Like the petition that tried to cast destroying newspapers as a “boycott”, this resolution takes half of Argus’ budget away and then claims it’s being done to make Argus better. The fact that you can serially make these dishonest claims with a straight face says more about you than you understand.
Garcia then further exposed himself with a transparent attempt at claiming the removal of funding had to do with “investments” when the student associations president was one of the signers of the petition that originally called for destroying the Argus.
I think you’re only hearing what you want to hear.
If a year long assessment of actual print readership is not enough to determine the amount of copies we should be printing then I don’t know what is.
The resolution proposes studying taking some amount of what students currently allocate to printing and using it for website and people costs instead. Again, there’s a whole year of research and student input before that decision is even made.
If the Argus is confident in their print readership numbers then there isn’t anything to be worried about is there? Otherwise, I’m not going to shy away from saying we will use data to make an informed decision next year about the amount we should invest in print versus the amount we invest in web and people.
The sheer amount of straight up transparent bullshit in the above comment by Garcia is absolutely unreal and, as noted above, is a perfect window into the mindset of the authoritarian liberal.
Another comment, written by the same person who exposed Garcia’s first comment as pure Orwellian doublespeak, summed it up nicely.
I’m hearing you just fine. Allowing the student association (whose president had the astonishingly poor judgement to sign a petition advocating destruction of offending newspapers) to dictate how Argus will operate (or not) and then pretending that’s “investment” is also patently dishonest and utterly transparent.
Yet another attempt by Garcia at deflecting the real and transparent reasons for the removal of the student newspapers funding was made in an interview he did with the Huffington Post where he claimed that “It is related to the discussion, but it’s not a reactionary response. It’s a well-thought-out and structural change.”
Not only do the facts at hand totally destroy this lame attempt at a cover up by Garcia, statements by the school’s President also make clear that this had little to do with any needed structural change and everything to do with attacking a newspaper due to ideological differences.
“I do think that any decision about student publications made in the wake of a controversial op-ed should be understood with real caution, and the concern about sustainable funding is not something that should… target… newspapers about which there are content concerns,” Roth said on Monday morning according to the Argus.
Roth also noted that there are other less important groups on campus that receive more funding than the newspaper and they did not have their funding touched whatsoever.
“It may be the right thing to reduce the number of copies of The Argus or any other group, but if sustainability is going to become a filter for the WSA in a systematic way, I don’t think that’s where you would start,” Roth said. “I mean, the fund for Spring Fling is many times, I think, what The Argus gets, and I’ve never heard anyone [propose a reduction of its funds]. I am concerned, from what I heard in advance, that the [content] concerns get translated into other issues.”
So no Mr. Garcia, you and your 26 other thought police comrades did not pass this resolution for any other reason than to hurt and most likely destroy a newspaper that refused to accept your calls for censorship. You and your allies are the definition of authoritarian liberals whose belief system stands in direct contrast to free speech.
It is also important to take note of the fact that the original op-ed was written by an American patriot who put his life on the line in Iraq and who has now come home only to find that students at his own school have no problem attacking him as a racist and attempting to silence his speech.
This article originally appeared on Intellihub.com.
About the Author
Alex Thomas is a reporter and opinion journalist who has worked in the alternative media for over three years. His work has been featured on numerous news outlets including Infowars and RT. You can contact him here. Alex is an exclusive weapon of Intellihub. Read more articles by this author here.
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