If The New York Times did its duty by the National Alumni Forum, the same cannot be said about its treatment of The Dartmouth Review. On January 4, the Times ran an extraordinary puff piece about the president of Dartmouth College, James O. Freedman. Written by Sara Rimer, “A Shy Scholar Transforms Dartmouth into a Haven for Intellectuals” is a congeries of half-truths, misstatements, and outright falsehoods. The villain of the piece—as of every piece written about Dartmouth in the liberal press these days—is The Dartmouth Review, the conservative student-run newspaper that gained national celebrity for its courageously anti-PC crusades in the 1980s. According to Ms. Rimer, one of President Freedman’s many accomplishments was saving Dartmouth from The Dartmouth Review: “he restored tolerance and civility by standing up to a group of right-wing students … whose harassment of blacks, homosexuals, women and Jews had deeply wounded many on campus.”
In the course of her jeremiad, Ms. Rimer manages the extraordinary journalistic feat of writing whole paragraphs in which virtually every statement of fact is wrong. She claims that William F. Buckley, Jr., was on the paper’s advisory board—this, we suppose, was intended to be guilt by association—but in fact Mr. Buckley has never served on the advisory board of the Review, something she could have ascertained simply by taking a look at its masthead. The newspaper that was supposedly harassing blacks had a black editor-in-chief. It had also had three female editors, two editors from the Indian subcontinent, and three Jewish editors. She claims that the Review “published a confidential roster of a gay students group,” but this, too, is false. In short, her entire article, which was meant to portray James Freedman as a noble crusader against the forces of prejudice, is itself a specimen example of liberal prejudice blinded by ideology.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 Number 6, on page 3
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