Jewish World Review
April 4, 2000 /28 Adar II, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY student David J. Wong, who is managing editor of a campus newspaper called "The Hoya," has a very bright future in newspaper journalism.
Last week, Wong exhibited all the finest and most familiar traits of the liberal media we've come to know and loathe: allegiance to ideological groupthink, aversion to controversy, deference to establishment bullies, and willingness to censor well-informed opinions that challenge politically correct sacred cows.
On Monday, Wong fired a conservative student columnist, Georgetown junior Robert Swope, because he didn't like the writer's strong views on feminist hypocrisy and politicized scholarship in the Women's Studies Department.
Swope became a bi-weekly columnist for The Hoya to get readers "to think and debate liberal and post-modern orthodoxies that they just accept as truth." His column was called "Sed Contra" – Latin for "But Against." Alas, Swope performed his job as lone campus media contrarian too well for his own good. Not a single staff member of The Hoya, faculty member, or administrator has publicly protested his firing, Swope told me.
In one recently published article for The Hoya, Swope opined that "women's studies programs have gained a foothold while weak-willed and half-educated college administrators cowardly hide in their offices, afraid of cutting the budgets of the most intellectually bankrupt academic fraud ever to hit the American academy."
Swope reported on the political activities of Georgetown's Women's Studies Department, including the publication of a newsletter that promoted pro-abortion fund-raising and advertised job opportunities at the radical Feminist Majority Foundation and in Hillary Clinton's campaign for U.S. Senate. "This isn't an exercise in intellectual activity; it's left-wing political advocacy funded by an institution that isn't even supposed to be in the business of politics," Swope noted.
Feminist students and scholars, naturally, balked and squawked.
Swope's latest submission, which led to his firing, criticized a recent local production on campus of an infamous, sexually-charged play by feminist Eve Ensler titled "The Vagina Monologues." Was Swope guilty of sloppy reporting? Unethical behavior? Bad writing?
No. He simply reported on one of the play's most offensive scenes – the seduction and statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl by a 24-year-old lesbian – and questioned Georgetown's official sponsorship of such illegal and immoral tripe.
In the unpublished column, headlined "Applause for Rape at Georgetown," Swope described the campus reaction to the play: "Like clap-ridden sailors in a Southeast Asian strip joint, the mostly female audience who attended the monologues hooted and hollered, laughing and clapping at just about every piece presented" -- including that statutory rape scene, in which the older woman plied the young girl with vodka and orange juice before molesting her.
Strong stuff. Provocative stuff. Exactly the kind of writing that belongs on a student newspaper's opinion page – or any opinion page -- dedicated to free expression, free thought, and a free market of competing ideas. Yet, in an e-mail, The Hoya's Wong told Swope that the paper dropped his sharply-reasoned columns because they were not "constructive" and that "all you do is criticize." (Wong did not return my call seeking comment.)
Wong's instincts – to panic, cower, and pander in the face of heated criticism from left-wing interest groups -- will serve him well in the mainstream media. Swope, for his part, is undaunted and is trying to get his job back. "It is a shame that a student could be censored and removed like this because of his conservative views at an institution where diversity of ideas and freedom of speech are regularly trumpeted as ideals by which to live," Swope told me.
Get used to it, kid. Sadly, the Wongs of the world inherit the Fourth
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children