Deacon notes below the New York Sun story by Jacob Gershman on the Columbia University report that was released today: “Faculty committe largely clears scholars.” Gershman reports:
In an effort to manage favorable coverage of its investigation into the complaints, the university disclosed a summary of the committee’s report only to the Columbia Spectator, the campus newspaper, and the New York Times. Those newspapers, sources indicated to The New York Sun last night, made an agreement with the central administration that they would not speak to the students who made the complaints against the professors.
The Sun obtained a copy of the report without the permission of the university administration. Last night, when a reporter from the Sun came to Low Library, the central administration building, for a copy of the report, a security guard threatened to arrest the reporter if she did not leave the building.
According to one student, senior Ariel Beery, one of the campus’s most outspoken critics of the professors, a Columbia spokeswoman told him that students were not being shown the report yesterday “for your own good.”
Attention here is naturally focused on Columbia’s news management. The university appears to have transcended its old in loco parentis relationship with students in favor of a gangland-style family — from “father” to “the Godfather.” Mean Streets comes to Morningside Heights.
In James Simon Kunen’s obnoxious book The Strawberry Statement celebrating the Columbia student shenanigans of 1968, Kunen noted that “Columbia” meant “America.” According to “student revolutionary” Kunen, the “Columbia” of 1968 had showed what “America” meant. Kunen’s commentary was leftist pap. It seems to me, however, that today Lee Bollinger really has showed what Columbia means, and it’s not pretty.
But what about the New York Times? Is it conceivable that the Times would enter into an agreement not to talk to the subjects of a report in exchange for being given access to the report a few hours before it is made available to the public? Is the Times to be muzzled at such a cheap price? Here is today’s Times story by Karen Arneson on the Columbia report, with nary a comment from the students whose complaints triggered the investigation. The New York Sun has shamed the Times, whether or not the Times has any shame left to feel.
UPDATE: Judith Weiss of Kesher Talk has posted a comment full of links to related items reporting that the Columbia Spectator rejected the same deal that the New York Times accepted (click here). Please check out her post and its revelatory links. Together with the New York Sun, the student journalists of the Columbia Spectator have shamed the Times. Unbelievable. (Thanks also to King Banaian of SCSU Scholars for the tip.)