Friday, October 27, 2006

Barrett Comes and Goes

Last night was the big Barrett event. I wasn't there, because I didn't get tickets in time. Actually, I am not sure I would have gone anyway, but I did want to see the spectacle.

The coverage in the media so far has been interesting.

The Northwestern ran three stories about it today.

First, the talk
Second, the anti-Barrett rally
Third, an editorial

The coverage didn't make any reference to the academic freedom part of his talk, so I wonder what he had to say about that. He did get on the TV news with a few of his sensational claims including that the U.S. was now a totalitarian state. If that were true, wouldn't he be in jail??

I was struck by the report that the College Republicans had to import students from Marquette to man the picket line. I also wondered why the head of the college republicans showed up unshaven and wearing a dirty t-shirt. He must be a new kind of conservative!

I also caught the segments on the local news last night. All three local networks had a piece on the visit last night at 10PM. I imagine Fox11 did too, but I didn't wait until the end of the ball game to see.

The news coverage was very similar. They each showed Barrett, interviewed Andy Sabai and Nate Nelson. The most sensationalist channel, NBC 26 annoyed me by continually referring incorrectly to "Professor" Barrett. He is only a lecturer, as professor connotes a specific kind of job. It links him more closely to us than is true.

In some ways, I am glad the republicans set up a protest. It did a good job offsetting the media focus on Barrett. The protesters were more interesting to photograph than Barrett. It provided a good counter image to Barrett's passionate, irrational attack on the government.

Everyone had their say. Perhaps we can start focusing on the good work that occurs on our campus, like the big grant received by the college of business this week.

As a final note, Tony is still referring to me as a McCarthyite in his post this morning.


Anonymous said...

I followed the link on your blog, and read Tony's blog. I can't say I liked it much, since it seems more like political screed than academic discourse, but at the same time I can't find any reference to you. He does mention McCarthyite something or other, but it seems just a passing slap at the world while he moves on to praise the Greens for their bravery. Not really much of a post unless he is planning on running as a Green candidate again and needs their votes.

While I don't usually agree much with the Northwestern, I thought they had the best assessment of this whole matter -- life goes on. Odd man comes to town, says weird things, sky does not fall. If the Green want to take credit for this morning's sunrise, so be it.

Anonymous said...

finally someone else says something about how sensational NBC 26 is. that channel is worthless

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

>>>finally someone else says something about how sensational NBC 26 is.<<<

oh yeah, i've long thought they were the sleaziest of the local news channels. which is odd cause its usually fox not nbc that is sleazy. (although that "balanced news" crap on fox channel 11 is annoying. And is it just me or does tom milburn resemble kent brockman on simpsons???)

bob healy and stacy ingebretsen are both just so smarmy! they just love to whip things up into a froth and tug on emotions and fear. "what you need to know to PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN!!!" and then its some piddling story about poison ivy or bee stings. channel 2 abc is a lot more professional.