“The Art of the Slur,” Revisited

BY AARON BARLOW

One Flew East

Sophia McClennen, writing for Salon, maps the amateurishness and ignorant Professor Watchlist that appeared recently. She also references a Jorge Tiede post on the Academe Blog “The ‘Professor Watchlist’ of the 1930s,” providing what should be the obvious history of such scaremongering. The top photos with her article appropriately juxtapose Senator Joe McCarthy with more recent rightwing gadfly David Horowitz.

The article, and particularly the picture, reminded me of an article of mine from a decade ago, “The Art of the Slur.” In it, I write:

Horowitz has gathered attention for the “straw man” he sets up in The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America — the good that America can achieve is being subverted by a group of nefarious academics. His remedies, listed in an “Academic Bill of Rights,” mingle statements no one can disagree with — such as, “The central purposes of…

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