We wrote last June about New Yorker fact-checker Talia Lavin, who falsely accused a disabled veteran of being a “Nazi” because she misinterpreted his military tattoo. It made quite a stir at the time, and the New Yorker fired Lavin. Her libel of the amputee veteran wasn’t a one-off; she hates Republicans, or suspected Republicans, in general:
The truth of the matter is that anyone who willingly declares themselves [sic] a Republican is aligning themselves [sic] with an administration whose official policy is to torment minorities, to empty the public purse both for private gain and for sheer cruel parsimony, to strip away healthcare from the afflicted and to comfort the wealthy.
Anyone who is a current Trumpist might as well be an ICE agent ripping an 18-month-old child from its mother’s arms, or shipping a five-year-old boy to Michigan to dream of his father and weep in a stranger’s house.
One companion to the legion of Trump-voter-as-curious-oddity portraiture is the endless stream of op-eds prevailing upon liberals to be more tolerant. To cease being smug. To simply reach across the aisle, grasp a hand, and speak softly, leaving the big stick at home.
To which I say: tough nuts, sugar. When they go low, stomp them on the head.
Surprisingly, Lavin’s ignorant and baseless libel of a disabled veteran didn’t end her career. On the contrary: she was immediately snapped up by Democratic Party propaganda outlet Media Matters to report on “far right extremism.” There is, many would say, an irony there.
Not long thereafter, she embarked on an academic career. New York University hired her as a professor of journalism. Because insanely libeling people who might possibly be conservatives is just what NYU thinks journalists should do.
New York University has hired Talia Lavin as an adjunct journalism professor less than a year after the former New Yorker fact checker resigned after falsely accusing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent of having a Nazi tattoo.
What will Professor Lavin be teaching to NYU students who pay way too much for the privilege? You guessed it:
Lavin’s undergraduate course “Reporting on the Far Right” will kick off in the fall semester of 2019 at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. In its official faculty bio, the university billed Lavin as an expert in “far-right extremism and social justice.”
A neutral observer might say that Lavin, having accused a veteran of being a Nazi because he had a U.S. military tattoo, is an expert on far-left extremism. Needless to say, NYU doesn’t have any such course.
While NYU’s administrators and faculty are probably beyond hope, a few students, albeit liberals, retain a measure of common sense:
At least one current NYU journalism student questioned the decision to hire Lavin. “I sympathize with Lavin’s politics, but I don’t know why someone who had to quit their journalism job for falsely implying someone is a Nazi should be teaching at NYU,” said the student, who requested anonymity for fear of academic reprisal. “I know there are plenty of reporters out there in need of work who haven’t made a mistake like that.”
“For fear of academic reprisal.” NYU, RIP.