The Norman Transcript

Letters

December 9, 2012

Will cherry-picked the facts

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

I read George Will’s latest screed, “Closing of the American mind,” with interest. As an alum of one Oklahoma university and faculty member at another who focuses on writing, critical thinking and persuasion and is, thus, deeply involved in the college educational system, I felt his claims were worth investigating and did so. My conclusion? His argument attempts to persuade readers through a combination of fact cherry-picking, ad hominem attacks, purposeful non sequitur and deliberate hiding of relevant information. Some examples:

George Will reports the sad case of a university student and janitor Keith John Sampson in Indiana who was accused of racial harassment by a coworker for reading a book on the job and was fired. Mr. Will did not mention that when Mr. Sampson was accused, the ACLU, an organization Will loves to vilify, flew to his defense. His implication that the Sampson case is the norm on college campuses is false. Through cherry-picking, he tries to imply that all liberals or all college faculty members want nothing more than to treat everyone this way.

Mr. Will did not mention that when a University of Oklahoma vice president sent out his well-meaning but poorly phrased email, “liberals” were the first to protest loudly about this attack on free speech. By the way, the concern was that as a state school, professional email should be sued for work-related reasons, not political causes — a cause that Mr. Will would, I suspect, embrace, were it not for his agenda to smear college faculty as much as he can.

The Rhode Island College document that Mr. Will cites as evidence of a liberal attack on free speech was taken from a larger document that carefully explains how and when a judicial case may be brought against a student. That document explains in great detail the importance of a fair and impartial process.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014