The Jury Talks Back


Professor Under Attack Is Defended By William Jacobson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:26 am

I can’t do it justice, but this post is worth your attention. A lot of people at my alma mater have been involved in a smear campaign against a conservative pro-free market professor — and Bill Jacobson is fighting back. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen to people I know and it heartens me to see pushback. Any support you can give this guy would be appreciated, I’m quite sure.


  1. Ding.

    Comment by Patterico — 4/28/2017 @ 6:27 am

  2. What can we do?

    Comment by DRJ — 4/28/2017 @ 10:34 am

  3. Speaking as a college professor there isn’t anything those on the outside can do except force change through legislative action via funding, but that won’t be a popular option.

    Education in this country—at the highest levels—is treated as an experiment, a work in progress. For years the academics have successfully made this industry their personal sandbox, allowing them to play king and queen over student’s lives in hopes that ‘this time’ they’ll prove their way is superior and that ALL students will succeed through their methods.

    You see, the past successes of methods like classical education are completely ignored by this group of learned professors because they see it as insufficient. The flaw, they believe, is that some students fail. Educators don’t believe in the fallacy of humankind, they believe that every person has a right to succeed in life no matter the cost to others. So, they continue to play games, tweak, and otherwise destroy the educational profession in search of their panacea.

    What can be done? Again, if you’re outside the system there isn’t anything you can do because this group values degrees, credentials, and being part of the in-crowd among all else. It will take a complete revolt of those within the system (students—HA!—or right-minded faculty; which is highly unlikely given our numbers) or massive outside pressure that threatens the status quo on college campuses nationwide. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    This problem took decades, nearly a century, of constant pushback by progressives to gestate and get us to this point. It won’t be so easily turned around in our life times.

    Comment by Sean — 4/28/2017 @ 11:16 am

  4. If you noticed, on the main site, very few people lauded Jacobson for stepping up. Instead, folks piled on professors (like myself) in quite an uninformed fashion (even people I admire). I particularly liked hearing how little I work I do as a college professor from someone who isn’t a college professor.

    But that’s our Brave New World—all about slogans and posturing, on BOTH sides of the aisle. Cultural death by snark.

    I have written to Jacobson to see what other people might do to help. Honestly, just letting this professor know he isn’t alone, and is valued, matters.

    Of course, snark is more important. Sigh.

    Comment by Simon Jester — 4/29/2017 @ 11:52 am

  5. There is something profoundly wrong at the university level, robin, who has analyzed these things calls it mind arson, it makes impossible to understand another viewpoint

    Comment by narciso — 4/29/2017 @ 5:36 pm

  6. Simon Jester,

    The comments on Prof. Jacobsen’s letter to the editor in support of Prof. Collum have value. Pecking through the manure pile on the main site wouldn’t generate enough seeds of thought to feed a sparrow.

    Alinskyite tactics have been subject to diminishing returns ever since the Clinton’s fully embraced them in ’92. That’s what made the her ’16 harvest so enjoyable. It’s a pity the actual lesson remains unlearned – at least for the moment.

    Comment by Rick Ballard — 4/30/2017 @ 6:51 am

  7. A reasonable person has the right to expect that the one place where false smears would be stillborn is a university. It is supposed to be populated by intelligent and educated persons, isn’t it? The fact that the smears against Collum got any traction at all, necessitating an active defense, is an indictment of the sad state of academia today.

    I’m sorry you got caught in my shotgun pattern, Simon. I am also very proud to know some very good educators. To steal a lawyer joke, it’s the two-thirds that make all of them look bad.

    Ad hominem is as old as mankind. “Don’t listen to him, he’s a bad person.” But the reverse is as common. “Listen to him, he’s a good person.” Aristotle called it “ethos”, and it’s not a bad guide as a general rule. A good person can be trusted to do good things, and a bad person is likely to do bad things.

    Comment by nk — 5/1/2017 @ 3:21 am

  8. If you think I’m being unfair to academia, consider that one of the accusations against Collum is that he used the word “tranny”.

    Comment by nk — 5/1/2017 @ 5:11 am

  9. Simon, you’re right.

    But you’re a thinking man, and I’d say that even if you weren’t an academic or kept that private. You have a point of view that stands on its own and is self sustaining. You can justify your opinions coherently.

    The current state of politics makes that pretty unusual, and the ‘main’ site is a great illustration. Most folks there do not have a consistent ideology and their point of view is based on their hatred of opponent points of view. Take away fear of the left and their point of view collapses. That’s why when we talk about a great conservative academic the conversation is dominated by hatred of the academy… they are the bad guys, etc.

    It’s frustrating trying to have a conversation there and very difficult not to get caught up in reasoning with the unreasonable, who laugh that you were trolled into wrestling in their mud.

    But Jacobson did a nearly heroic thing and I’m glad that was recognized, even if the point of speaking truth in a crowd that wants you to shut up is completely missed by the horde of phony conservatives.

    Comment by Dustin — 5/2/2017 @ 7:05 pm

  10. Thank you, Dustin. I think that the current political climate has really turned some of my favorite people into fairly nasty folk…and driven off many more whose comments matter to me. What are we left with? Poor Patterico, Dana, and JVW working hard to create interesting essays…and other folks being nasty and weird in response.

    To each their own.

    Comment by Simon Jester — 5/3/2017 @ 2:47 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

Live Preview

Powered by WordPress.