Monday, November 26, 2001

Campus terror
“Universities have a serious problem. The type of liberalism so heavily favored by the intellectual elite has crossed the line. Professors throughout the educational world are supporting murderers and terrorists; they are justifying despicable actions because of the political philosophies of the actors. Murder, slaughter, and terrorism are OK, they say, as long as they are directed at law-enforcement officials or civilian Westerners. It’s fine as long as the murderer is anti-capitalist, anti-establishment or anti-conservative.
“This frightening ideology has not only blurred the line between liberalism and radicalism it has destroyed it. This ideology cannot truly be called liberalism it can only be called evil.
“The case of [former Symbionese Liberation Army member] Sara Jane Olson has revealed the ugly and dangerous thought processes of the professorial ilk. Olson, 54, stands accused of the attempted murder of Los Angeles Police Department officers.
“Despite Olson’s guilty plea, support from her comrades in the educational community comes streaming in. ‘I support Sara Olson,’ says Mary Brent Wehrli, a professor of social work at UCLA. ‘Olson has been denied the right to a fair trial,’ says Wehrli. Erwin Chermerinsky, a professor of law at USC, concurs his name, as well as Wehrli’s, is on the Sara Olson Defense Fund Committee’s official Web site.”
Ben Shapiro, writing on “Effects of campus liberalism far-reaching,” Nov. 20 in the UCLA Daily Bruin

Home to roost
“The last generation’s wave of campus speech codes and anti-harassment policies may have done more to suppress freedom than to remedy injustice in any meaningful way and it may be only now, after September 11, that the full costs will become apparent.
“Consider the case of Jonnie Hargis, a library assistant at UCLA. On Sept. 12 one of Hargis’ colleagues sent around a gooey e-mail sermon titled ‘America: The Good Neighbor.’ Hargis replied with a message of his own: ‘This is all well and good but avoids the fact that U.S. taxpayers fund and arm an apartheid state called Israel the U.S. is still bombing Iraq so, who are the “terrorists” anyway?’
“Two days later, UCLA suspended Hargis for one week without pay. The charge? Not that Hargis was seditious; nor that he had violated the alleged political neutrality of the university. Those were the rationales for repression in bygone years. Instead, Hargis was charged with ‘contribut[ing] to a hostile and threatening environment’ for his colleagues who have ‘ethnic, religious, and family ties to Israel’ It’s not hard to imagine the many crucial arguments that might be suppressed with the use of UCLA’s logic. Could secular feminist speakers be accused of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for traditionalist Muslims? Could antiwar faculty be accused of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for ROTC members on campus?”
David Glenn, writing about “The War on Campus,” in the Dec. 3 issue of the Nation

Critic, schmitic
“I say, when critics love your film, you love critics. When they hate your film, you hate critics.
“It’s the same everywhere, but maybe especially in France, where we have pretty good critics, except for three or four newspapers that are really dogmatic. To ask one of these kinds of newspapers in Paris to love ‘Amelie’ is like asking the pope to put on a condom.
“They hate these kinds of movies. They only like realistic movies with couples fighting in the kitchen very boring, very ugly. They like that and only that, and they hate the kinds of movies I make. But not the audience.
“We have a new generation of filmmakers in France that try to do something for the audience, and the audience appreciates it. For the first time, the box office is much better for French films than American films.”
“Amelie” director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, interviewed by Scott Tobias in the Oct. 31 Onion AV Club at

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