The Kings of Hypocrisy: Dinesh D’Souza’s Downfall

It’s tempting to celebrate the news that Dinesh D’Souza has been forced to resign his position as president of King’s College in New York.

After all, D’Souza was the author of the maliciously inaccurate book about higher education, Illiberal Education (see my book The Myth of Political Correctness for an analysis of his many errors). And D’Souza recently got rich with the implausible“documentary” 2016 attacking Barack Obama using a third-rate conspiracy theory about anti-colonialism. And D’Souza has no qualifications for an academic job, let alone his reportedly million-dollar salary as president of a college.

Moreover, D’Souza’s downfall comes as a result of the usual conservative hypocrisy, apparently having an affair with a much younger right-wing female blogger, who has written incoherently about “the feminists/liberals who intended to destroy and transform that sacred cornerstone of American society—the traditional family.”

But as much as I hate D’Souza, I cannot agree with the idea that anyone at a university should be fired for engaging in alleged adultery.

King’s College does have an extremely repressive speech code (pdf) that include this bizarre rule: “The King’s College promotes a lifestyle consistent with biblical teaching: sexual intercourse is a gift from God to be enjoyed within a married, monogamous, heterosexual relationship. With the exception of married students, sexual intercourse is not allowed on The King’s College campus or student housing….”

It’s hard to believe that D’Souza meets this standard, but the fault lies with this repressive code, not D’Souza. No college should regulate the consensual sexual activity of its students or staff. D’Souza only got his job because of the right-wing politics of King’s College and its failure to uphold high intellectual standards. But he should not be fired because of the failure of King’s College to embrace the fundamental standards of academic freedom and the liberty of students and staff to choose how to live their lives.

12 thoughts on “The Kings of Hypocrisy: Dinesh D’Souza’s Downfall

  1. I’m no fan of D’Souza but I’m even less a fan of reporting that skews things. Specifically, was he actually fired? The reports I’ve read say that he was “asked” to resign, And as technical a distinction as that might seem, if D’Souza agreed — and chose not to fight the “request” — it seems disingenuous to report that he was fired.

    • As I wrote at the start, D’Souza was “forced to resign.” It seems perfectly clear that he would have been fired if he had not resigned, and to me this is not really different from being fired. No president can remain on the job with the Board of Trustees demanding his resignation, and to me saying that he was fired is actually a more accurate description than the misleading euphemism “asked to resign.”

  2. In response to Daniel Smith’s attack on my credibility, I must say that I completely disagree with him. “Fired” means this: to be dismissed from employment against your will. That’s exactly what happened to D’Souza. The fact that powerful people, unlike everybody else, are given the chance to resign before being fired, in no way changes the reality of what happened. The whole theatrical BS of offering a resignation and having it accepted doesn’t alter the fact that D’Souza was fired. What’s inaccurate reporting is to say that D’Souza simply resigned, as InsideHigherEd does (http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/10/19/dsouza-resigns-kings-college). Accurate and credible reporting requires telling the truth, not repeating the euphemisms found in press releases. And here’s the truth: Dinesh D’Souza was fired.

    • I trust this blog’s good readers’ ability to assess whether my words constituted an *attack* on your credibility, so I will refrain from countering how you’ve framed my words. Similarly, I hope you would trust us to evaluate for ourselves whether an organization or institution has acted in a way that is ethically “right” or “wrong”–even though it may be legal–which would relieve you of the burden of misrepresenting those actions in the name of truth.

      Fact is, D’Souza was not fired. Equally important, someone with his resources and prestige couldn’t be “forced” to resign–i.e., against his will–unless he consented.

  3. @ Daniel Smith – You have just won the “Prevaricator of the Year Award” – congratulations. Now, can I get your help to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is a Vietnam War hero. Thanks.

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