Former Evergreen State College Provost Michael Zimmerman claims in a column for the Huffington Post that faculty members called for Professor Bret Weinstein’s resignation over his decision to appear on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program.
“Our community has been put at risk, and the inevitable threats are already being made,” one faculty member allegedly wrote in response to Weinstein’s short interview with Carlson. “I call on Bret to apologize or resign, and invite other faculty members to also ask him to do so.”
Another professor reportedly called for a disciplinary investigation against Weinstein, arguing that he his appearance on Carlson’s program endangered students by making them “targets of white supremacist backlash.”
Demonstrate accountability by pursuing a disciplinary investigation against Bret Weinstein according to guidelines in the Social Contract and Faculty Handbook. Weinstein has endangered faculty, staff, and students, making them targets of white supremacist backlash by promulgating misinformation in public emails, on national television, in news outlets, and on social media.
“Why, then, did faculty attack Professor Weinstein for speaking with Tucker Carlson?” Zimmerman asked. “I believe that there were two reasons. First, as they had done all year, they were attempting to silence a divergent voice, one that repeatedly called for discussion. That Professor Weinstein was offered a platform on Fox News, an outlet whose politics is not aligned with that of most of the faculty’s, simply made it easier to attack him for speaking out.”
Zimmerman expressed concern that a faculty member at a public college might be punished for appearing on a mainstream news program.
Are faculty members actually saying that there are some news outlets that should be off limits, that merely speaking to them merits punishment? I suspect that, when pushed, most faculty members, even at Evergreen, would bristle at the thought of an approved list of media organizations.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org