Politics

Horowitz vs. Berube

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Via Arts & Letters Daily comes an interestingly laid-out conversation (complete with Ralph Stedman-esque caricatures) between prof-baiter David Horowitz and one of his main baitees, Penn State lit professor Michael Berube (who blogs here), who charted on Horowitz's recent list of "101 most dangerous academics in America." The Chronicle of Higher Education brought the two culture-war combatants together for lunch in Chicago. A snippet:

For dessert, Mr. Horowitz ordered fruit cobbler without the cobbler. Mr. Bérubé settled for a cappuccino.

Horowitz: You have more experience with students than I do. I'm amazed. I have these Republican kids who sign up— the reason I'm at Ball State is this kid signed up for a peace-studies course and thought he was going to learn about war and peace, and it turned out to be this guy recruiting people to his anti-military, nonviolent movement. I think the culture has been eroded.

Bérubé: Don't you find from the students you're talking to that they're not fooled by this? Let me ask: What actual effect does this have?

Horowitz: What you were saying earlier is part of my speech. The kids who suffer the most are the liberal kids because they don't get challenged. The conservative kids, if they open their mouths, they gotta know how to defend themselves. They're the kids who learn a lot . So to me it's the—

Bérubé: That's what I'm saying; it's not good for liberals …

Whole thing here.

A while back, Reason's Jesse Walker took David Horowitz to task for pushing a bogus "academic bill of rights," which sounds a lot like affirmative action for conservative profs.

Also a while back, I blogged Berube's interesting and nuanced review essay in The Nation about affirmative action. That essay is well worth reading, as it is an extremely rare instance of a critic, regardless of ideology, actually grappling with facts and theory. Check out more on that here.

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  1. Berube’s blog is definitely worth adding to favorites, regardless of political persuasion. (I generally agree with him, but still.) I especially like when he writes about his two sons, one of whom is seriously handicapped.

  2. Horowitz used to hose a weekly show on the local NPR affiliate. What a hoot. It was a bit like a real life Borat, where his guests were generally non political writers/entertainment people unaware of him or his reputation. The ensuing half hour would be a cringe inducing interview where the guest would almost audibly twist in the wind while Horowitz would convert any topic into an affimation of the social/political conservative worldview, while the guest would try to remain polite.

  3. I’ve been trying to judiciously address this issue, but I’m at a loss. How do you order fruit cobbler without the cobbler? That’s like ordering fruit pie without the pie.

  4. I wouldn’t mind a brief explanation, myself.

    Maybe a picture! 😀

  5. I suspect it was just a fruit plate.

  6. I’d guess the writer meant …fruit cobbler without the crust….

    David H. sounds like he’s trying to avoid carbs, without going all Jim Webb on dessert.

    Kevin

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