Joseph Epstein canceled

Those of us who view the college campus as a hotbed of Stalinism have a current case in point with Northwestern University’s treatment of long-time university lecturer Joseph Epstein, easily our most prominent essayist. Saturday’s Wall Street Journal carried Epstein’s humorous advisory “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” Subhead: “Jill Biden should think about dropping the honorific, which feels fraudulent, even comic.”

As a result of his column, Northwestern first promptly turned Epstein into an unperson. Trotsky and Yezhov were “disappeared” on a slightly longer timeline.

As a sidebar to the unpersoning of Joseph Epstein, consider the case of HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Before he stepped into the political ring, Carson made his name as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Ed Driscoll reminds us that the New York Times refers to “Dr. Biden” more frequently than it does “Dr. Carson.” Indeed, doing a Google search this morning, I find that references to “Mr. Carson” seem to be the rule at the Times.

In Glenn Thrush’s 2018 story “Ben Carson of HUD on His Vexing Reign: Brain Surgery Was Easier Than This,” for example, we find: “Mr. Carson, people close to him said, has been whipsawed by a job he has found puzzling and frustrating — so much so that he considered quitting during recent wrangling over the department’s budget.”

Thrush surgically extracted this quote of “Mr. Carson” from an interview he conducted with him the previous week: “There are more complexities here than in brain surgery. Doing this job is going to be a very intricate process.”

One thing we can be sure of. Turning American universities into mindless Stalinist enclaves ain’t brain surgery.

Tweets via Karen Townsend/Hot Air.

Related: Dr. Steve, “Call me ‘Doktor’ Chill, not ‘Doctor’ Jill.”

UPDATE: Reader David Lunde lends a hand with the illustration below.

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