Tuesday, April 12, 2005

NYTimes Romanticizes Belligerent Professor Joseph Massad

A week after Columbia released its report findings on apparent intimidation of students by 'strident' pro Palestinian Professors - the NYTimes writes a dripping hero worship piece on Joseph Massad, the most egregious offender. It is an unflinching cult worship piece of the only professor a stacked committee close to the Professors chastised. Massad now becomes a 'cultured hero' fighting the 'forces of McCarthyism and defending free speech'. No mention at all of the strident intimidator who abuses college kids and his position to interject a one sided political view. This piece would make a Hollywood romanticization of Fidel Castro blush by comparison.

The writer glowingly observes -

  • his impeccable dress and Christian fellowship
  • fine taste in wine and magazines, perfect attire and cultured ingratiating manner with a metrosexual gloss
  • a Professor who 'won't stand for either anti-semitism or anti Palestinianism'
  • someone who once long ago held seders with a roommate
  • received (he says) hate email from 'other Columbia faculty'
  • someone on the front lines 'defending academic freedom' from the dark forces of McCarthyism
  • was intimidated as a student "for criticizing Pinochet" (A regular Che Guavara)
  • "allowed" 'student hecklers' into his classroom because he firmly believes in free speech

For background on the Columbia report and the Times' Faustian deal with the Committee see Solomon's summary and previous entries as well. [Highlights and link below]

At the Center of an Academic Storm, a Lesson in Calm
By ROBIN FINN - April 8, 2005
NY Times

IF intimidation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, Joseph A. Massad, the Columbia University professor implicated last week by a faculty panel investigating charges of intimidation of students by pro-Palestinian professors, is apparently on his best behavior as he sits on his spotless microsuede sofa a stone's throw from the campus where his classroom conduct has been denounced as "inappropriate." And where he has received hate e-mail, including this advice from a fellow faculty member: "Go back to Arab land where Jew hating is condoned. You are a disgrace and a pathetic typical Arab liar."

Not a nice thing to say to a Christian fellow who began holding Seders as an undergraduate in Albuquerque (he had a Jewish roommate). Who's intimidating whom here?....

According to Professor Massad, any self-respecting scholar of Middle East studies knows that "Israel is the party most responsible for the oppression of the Palestinian people." He has issues with the Palestinian national movement, too. (He does? she wants us to know this.... but of course doesn't say what)

He seems, if anything, ingratiating, not intimidating. The perfect host, perfectly attired, right down to the opalescent links binding his French cuffs. The reading material on his coffee table is decorative propaganda, apolitical: "The World Atlas of Wine"; a pictorial of a favored destination, Amberley Castle in Sussex, England; and a catalog in which he excitedly points out the brass chandelier, a handmade reproduction of 18th-century Islamic/Egyptian design, he recently purchased in Cairo. What a novelty: a politically pugnacious professor - he insists he won't stand for anti-Semitism or anti-Palestinianism in his classroom and packs scholarship to combat both - with a metrosexual gloss.

He maintains that he intimidated no students and is himself the target of a witch hunt with a Zionist agenda and an aversion to scholarship. He believes the Columbia administration "pre-judged" him and the faculty panel bowed to "McCarthyite accusations; the witch hunters are out there, and the committee threw them a morsel."

Poweline (4-12)
Horowitz's Frontpage War Blog 4-12
Solomonia 4-12
American Thinker 4-13
Little Green Football Minion Chief 4-13


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