UMSL in Attacking Student Whistleblower: "MMfA Did Our Work For Us"

This morning Joel Pollak wrote how emails between UMSL administration show how the university was preparing to go after student whistleblower Phil Christofanelli. Background of UMSL story is here.

Now we know that the publicly-funded university and its labor studies program relied heavily on the taxpayer-exempt Media Matters for legwork:

On May 9, Christofanelli published a detailed first-hand description of the course. UMSL officials were determined to ignore his evidence: “Provost Cope, regardless of the accuracy of the student’s blog, is fully behind the appropriateness of the course,” wrote UMSL Senior Associate Vice President Ron Gossen in an email to staff on May 10.

Gossen added: “Media Matters did our work for us in showing how it’s [the video’s] edited.” Indeed, the emails suggest that UMSL may have relied on left-wing blogs rather than conducting its own research. In a subsequent email, Cope appeared to admit tacitly that she had not actually watched all of the videos, as she and George had claimed. [my emphasis]

Read Pollack’s full account of the soon-to-be-released emails, including how “UMSL officials circulated false accusations about Christofanelli, while failing to hold Judy Ancel and Don Giljum accountable for their labor studies course and its contents.”

If Media Matters’ activities as a “charitable organization” concern you, take action here.


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