- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 28, 2004

Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Dinesh D’Souza, Rich Lowry — the alumni list of the Collegiate Network reads like a who’s who of spirited conservative thought.

Established 25 years ago, the Delaware-based CN was founded to counter the politicization of American campuses and to support conservative student journalists intent on making their voices heard.

The organization has fostered 85 independent publications at such liberal strongholds as Harvard, Yale and the University of California at Berkeley — furnishing operational grants, journalistic training, editorial resources, internships and mentoring.

“The rise of a conservative media counterestablishment and today’s dominance of conservatism in the broader American society is no accident,” said CN spokeswoman Sarah Longwell. “It came about because of the vision and dedication of those who labored over the past quarter century to win the hearts and minds of an entire generation.”

Indeed, talk-radio host Miss Ingraham and book author Mr. D’Souza were both former editors of the Dartmouth Review, founded in 1980 by disaffected staffers from the university’s liberal student publication.



National Review editor Mr. Lowry, meanwhile, was the former editor of the Virginia Advocate, a monthly journal that promotes conservative values at the University of Virginia. Author and commentator Miss Coulter once edited the Cornell Review, another conservative student paper.

Now, the next generation has arrived.

Student-run or not, CN publications routinely play hardball these days, sounding the alarm about liberal bias in the media, excruciating political correctness and questionable academic offerings.

The current issue of the Cornell Review, for example, takes on New York Times writer Maureen Dowd, categorizing her work as “lazy simplification … showcasing Ms. Dowd’s willingness to employ tactics in the same sentence that she’s demonizing others for using. This is routine for Ms. Dowd; she’d be the worst pundit in America if the New York Times didn’t also print Paul Krugman.”

The paper has riled rival ideologies: In 1997, more than 200 protesters stole hundreds of Cornell Reviews and burned them in public while blocking traffic for several hours.

The university administration instructed police not to intervene in what was described as the “Nazi-style burning,” according to a Cornell Review account.

Meanwhile, CN methodically counters “Old Left” tendencies on campuses as well, exposing the foibles of affirmative action, the routine denial of funding for conservative college clubs and the “liberal orthodoxy” of speech and harassment codes.

It is a bona fide battle, said CN spokeswoman Miss Longwell, “to call higher education back to its touchstones of academic freedom and free speech and to promote unfettered debate and journalistic integrity in the mainstream media.”

The group also is proud of its alumni, she said, many of whom will join 100 student journalists on Thursday to celebrate CN’s accomplishments at an anniversary dinner in Washington. Keynote speakers include Mr. Lowry, plus William Kristol and Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard.

CN is part of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Del., a nonprofit educational group founded in 1953 “to further in successive generations of American college youth a better understanding of the economic, political and spiritual values that sustain a free and virtuous society.”

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