Aakash Abbi’s Actions Cause Students to Lose Scholarships

Good for Frank Luntz. There should be consequences for Aakash Abbi’s actions, though judging by his twitter feed, Aakash Abbi is not remorseful and does not view it as his fault that scholarships are going away.Aakash Abbi attended a lecture by Frank Luntz at the University of Pennsylvania. A student asked Luntz a question. Before Luntz began, he said he would only answer if it was all off the record. Then Luntz had a few choice and inappropriate words for Rush Limbaugh and others. While I disagree with Luntz’s assessment, for those blaming Luntz for what happened next, let me be blunt: but for Aakash Abbi’s actions, Luntz’s next actions would never have occurred.Aakash Abbi decided to be the arbiter of whether or not Luntz’s off the record remarks should be put on the record. He chose to send the audio to Mother Jones. Luntz has now responded to the breach of trust by withdrawing a scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania that helped students travel to Washington, D.C.On twitter, Aakash Abbi replied to me, on this topic:

Notice his complete unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions. He thinks it is Luntz’s fault. But Luntz would never have acted had Aakash Abbi not decided to be the arbiter of whether Luntz’s words got exposed. He’s now made it more likely that future speakers will not be as candid as Luntz was. He’s also ensured that some students will not get scholarships they otherwise would have.This is Aakash Abbi’s fault, not Frank Luntz’s fault. Maybe when he grows up, he’ll finally realize what his actions caused. Until then, in addition to proclaiming himself the arbiter of what should or should not be on or off the record, he is also proclaiming himself the arbiter of what is and is not a proportional response to his actions.

Maybe when he tries to get into the real world and potential employers let him know he doesn’t get to be the arbiter of these things he’ll mature. Until, students at the University of Pennsylvania surely know had Aakash Abbi not betrayed the confidence of a room full of his peers, the scholarship would still be in place.

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