Thursday, April 19, 2007

Title thought up, links added later

Just spoke to CU academic adviser Ken Bonetti, contact person for the Ward Churchill-supporting Students and Faculty for "True" Academic Freedom, and gleaned a little info:

  • The recording policy for the upcoming meeting on the 28th will be that "media," but no one else, can record. However! A DVD will be made. Thank God for small favors. The recording policy, by the way, will be announced on flyers (out soon!) and the internets.

  • This has apparently satisfied DU professor and co-founder of Teachers for a Democratic Society's (r68!) Dean Saitta, whom Bonetti said will speak as planned on the 28th.

  • No announcement was made of the recording restrictions supposedly in place at the colloquium from which El Presidente of Slapstick Politics and I were tossed, Bonetti said, because computer problems caused the person who was to make the announcement to "space it."

  • But such restrictions are common, Bonetti said. Even last night's CU speech by Kofi Annan had them. (Now, if I'd said to Bonetti that that wasn't perhaps the best example to use, do you think he'd have understood?)

  • In any case, these restrictions are particularly necessary in the Churchill brouhaha, where people's words have often been taken out of context. Even his own writings in Churchill's defense, Bonetti said, had been distorted by the anti-Churchill blog Pirate Ballerina. He didn't cite examples, but there's only one post he could mean. Unfortunately, that post, utilizing context not at all, shows Bonetti to have drunk early and deep from the Kool-Aid Springs in the Flatirons above Boulder.

  • Asked by a reporter (well, me) about CU ethnic studies instructor Ben Whitmer, Bonetti said he thought he'd heard of him, but that he, Bonetti, is not "integrated in that group" with Ward and Natsu Saito, each of whom he's met only "once or twice."

  • Finally, and unsurprisingly, Bonetti said the Churchill case is a politically motivated crock, and that Churchill's supposed scholarly defugalties fall far short of grounds for dismissal. "Not even close," Bonetti said. "There should have been a conference," he added, on the merits of Churchill's arguments and why he's "nasty" in making them.

    That's about it. Like Dean Saitta, Bonetti speaks reasonably and seems--reasonable. But as Saitta's example also shows, a surface reasonableness can disguise a badly distorted thought process.

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