Promoted from the diaries
The Chronicle of Higher Education has banned Naomi Schaefer Riley from its Brainstorm Blog. Ms. Riley’s offense was having the audacity to post a blog entitled: “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations” .
As you can imagine, this blog generated a firestorm of responses demanding that the CHE purge Riley’s blog from its web-site and terminate her services. The initial response of editor Liz McMillen was to encourage CHE readers to “view this posting as an opportunity—to debate Riley’s views, challenge her, set things straight as you see fit. ” McMillen reminded CHE readers that
When we created the Brainstorm blog five years ago, we hoped it would be a forum for debate — where views about higher education, academic culture, and ideas could be aired and discussed and often challenged. It is a blog for opinion, sometimes strong opinions, not news reporting by the staff. The writers on the blog—13 in all, from institutions around the country—fall on different points of the ideological and political spectrum. They are not staff members of The Chronicle nor do they represent the views of the staff or of the newspaper.
CHE then changed its mind and caved in to liberal outrage by terminating Ms. Riley. Here is part of McMillen’s explanation, which you can read in full here:
We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.
Since Brainstorm was created five years ago, we have sought out bloggers representing a range of intellectual and political views, and we have allowed them broad freedom in topics and approach. As part of that freedom, Brainstorm writers were able to post independently; Ms. Riley’s post was not reviewed until after it was posted.
I realize we have made mistakes. We will thoroughly review our editorial practices on Brainstorm and other blogs and strengthen our guidelines for bloggers.
Naomi Riley is a former editor at the Wall Street Journal and has published several books on higher education, including The Faculty Lounges: And Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Pay For. WSJ has published Riley’s response to being terminated: “The Academic Mob Rules.” You can read Ms. Riley’s bio and contact her here, and judge for yourself about her credentials.
I do not know Naomi Schaefer Riley personally, but, having spent 35 years in higher education, I do have a firm understanding of the concept of academic freedom. This would not be tolerated, if Ms. Riley was a Marxist.