Horowitz vs. Berube
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 …
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.