Another Profile In Courage


The student paper at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign runs six out of the 12 Danish Muhammad cartoons. The college shows its support by firing the editor and the opinion editor, the editorial board of the Daily Illini publishes a public shaming of the two, and a mob of diversity brownshirts holds a rally against "hate."

Editor Acton Gorton and his opinions editor, Chuck Prochaska, were relieved of their duties at The Daily Illini on Tuesday while a task force investigates "the internal decision-making and communication" that led to the publishing of the cartoons, according to a statement by the newspaper's publisher and general manager, Mary Cory.

Gorton said he expects to be fired at the conclusion of the investigation, which is expected to take two weeks.

"I pretty much have an idea how this is going to run, and this is a thinly veiled attempt to remove me from my position," said Gorton, a U. of I. senior who took the newspaper's helm Jan. 1. "I am feeling very betrayed, and I feel like the people who I thought were my friends and supporters didn't back me up."

Interestingly, U.I. Ubrana-Champaign is also the home of Francis Boyle, the secret hero of my long-ago article on the anti-defamation industry. In addition to being a staunch opponent of the school's Fighting Illini mascot, Boyle is the law professor—or more accurately, the apenecked, purplenosed paddy slob—who sought Justice Department help against students and colleagues he believed were harrassing him on the basis of his Irish ethnicity.

In case all the self-censorship has made you forget what all the hubbub is about, take another look at the cartoons.

Thanks to commenter Mark Deming for the tip.