Professor Sleeper comes back for a few more bites this morning in the Yale Daily News, accusing Little Trunk and her co-author of lies and worse: “The preaching of hate to the already converted.” Little Trunk’s co-author James Kirchick weighs in with his biweekly YDN “Off the Fence” column: “Why I’m on the decent side of the left.” Professor Sleeper has abandoned the guise of an arbiter promoting civility. As between the two of them, Kirchick is (in this context perhaps unfortunately) the one who is mature, impersonal, and accurate.
Just for starters, let’s note a few of the errors of fact in the column of former journalist Jim Sleeper: 1. On MSNBC no one used the term leftist to describe Sleeper. It was never uttered. 2. Joe Scarborough is from Florida, not California. 3. Neither LT nor her co-author has ever described Sleeper or his column as “anti-war, leftist.” 4. Campus Watch is not devoted to silencing traitorous anti-war professors any more than Andrew Sullivan and Daniel Pipes are. 4. Sleeper reports that in an e-mail exchange with LT he didn’t substantiate the charges he “hadn’t made” against her — although readers may recall that he did call her and her co-author neo-Stalinist and used the term “Fedayeen Uncle Sams” in a manner that apppeared to apply to them. (In his article this morning, he appears to call them Stalinists simply.) 6. Professor Sleeper claims to have “20 hate e-mails and two death threats.” Do you suppose we could have an independent audit? Having seen copies of some of the e-mail sent to Professor Sleeper in the wake of the publicity his original column received, I believe he might be confusing hate with disagreement. 7. Con-intern=Comintern? After saying he doesn’t throw the term “Stalinism” around lightly? Apparently history is another one of his weaknesses. 8. Professor Sleeper defends his characterization of the FrontPage article as making ad hominem arguments, but his quotations from it make it appear that he doesn’t understand what an ad hominem argument is. 9. Sleeper denies having “named” LT and her co-author in his original Yale Daily News column, although he identified their published article and defamed the authors of it. Under libel law, he “identified” them. His not having “named” them is a distinction without a difference, apparently the only kind he knows how to make.
Dear readers, we will undoubtedly have more to say later, but as for now we leave judgment in your hands.
UPDATE: Little Trunk has spoken with the Scarborough Country MSNBC producer who booked her on the show Sunday night. Contrary to Sleeper’s assertion in his column today, the producer states that he called Sleeper 9 or 10 times and left two voicemail messages inviting him to appear on the show. He states that he called him again on Sunday when the segment was rescheduled to air live that evening.
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