Saying “Imagine if the person behind [insert incident here] was a [Democrat/Republican] how much more outrage there would be!!” is such a common trope that I try to avoid using it when I blog. But, this story was too much to ignore:
The latest campus free speech controversy has a twist: It involves a conservative professor conspiring with students, in emails that sound like they were written by comic book villains, to dig up dirt on a progressive undergraduate.
[Conservative Professor Niall] Ferguson seemed to view Michael Ocon, a left-wing student activist slated to graduate in 2020, as a threat to [a] program [he was hosting]. In an email to two members of the Stanford Republicans, John Rice-Cameron and Max Minshull, he wrote that “some opposition research on Mr. O [Ferguson’s name for Ocon] might also be worthwhile.” Minshull, who works as Ferguson’s research associate, said he’d “get on” the dirt-digging.
Some of the emails had an overtly sinister tone. Rice-Cameron, who is, oddly enough, the son of Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice, wrote in one email that “slowly, we will continue to crush the Left’s will to resist, as they will crack under pressure.”
Ferguson wrote in another note, “now we turn to the more subtle game of grinding them down on the committee,” adding that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”
In general, right-wing students are not being victimized on campuses – they are merely being challenged. However, mainstream publications know that the key to page views and lively comment sections is to roll out the old canard of “liberal college professor silences conservative student”-type articles. When the story doesn’t fit the narrative, however, the story receives very little attention.