No teacher for Taliban Man, take 4

Joel Mowbray has forwarded his correspondence with Juan Cole in connection with Yale’s consideration of Cole’s appointment to the Yale faculty. In his May 25 message to Mowbray, Cole speaks with a bravado suggesting he thought the skids had been greased for his appointment:

Hey, Joel, it was great talking person to person. I felt like we got past the bullshit a bit as people. Thanks so much for having actually called, unlike most pundits who’ve had a go at me.

I apologize for not responding to your two columns. I don’t think they are good enough as polemic for me to spend my time on. You don’t really bring up anything of substance that I could sink my teeth into. And, frankly, I can’t imagine anyone taking them very seriously. In fact, they are so bad that no one bothered to send them to me. Usually my legions of fans are good spotters. Either they didn’t notice, or they concurred with my estimation.

Better luck next time.

If you’re ever in Ann Arbor (or who knows, maybe the northeast), beer’s on me.

cheers Juan

Mowbray responded on June 2 after we reported that Yale had passed on Cole:


It was good talking to you person to person. It’s obviously a courtesy I felt you deserved. I’d love to grab that beer sometime, although sadly, that won’t be in the northeast. For what it’s worth, I made sure additional information got into the hands of some key folks in New Haven (and into those whose opinions matter there). Apparently they found plenty of substance to “sink their teeth into.” From what I hear, enough of the right people took what I had written “very seriously.” Then again, the obvious deciding factor was not what I had written, but rather all that you have. Guess that means they didn’t count themselves as members of your “legions of fans.”

Oh, I appreciate you wishing me “better luck.” I certainly got it.


Despite Yale’s ultimate decision to pass on Cole, Cole’s message seems to me to lend some substance to Martin Kramer’s speculation this past April: “Inside job at Yale?”


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