Thursday, January 12, 2006

Marquette Student Government Brings Leftist Speaker to Campus, Claims He is “Conservative”

College campuses are notorious for having a leftist bias, and this bias usually extends to the speakers brought to campus. Thus we weren’t surprised to get an e-mail from one Michaella Radich, speakers commissioner at MUSG, announcing that student government is bringing a documentary film maker named Eugene Jarecki to campus.

Jarecki has gotten some notice for an anti-Iraq War film titled “Why We Fight.” According to the Internet Movie Database, the film asks:
Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki’s shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.
“OK,” we thought, just another example of a student government dominated by liberals and leftists bringing in liberal and leftist speakers (but no conservatives).

So we wrote Radlich and asked her the following:
Question: are you going to be making an attempt to provide a balanced slate of speakers, presumably by having a speaker who supports the Iraq War?
She replied as follows:
Mr. McAdams,

I assure you that this presentation is completely unbiased. This is not a Michael Moore attempt to exploit our nation or show a very liberal presentation, rather, this is the most conservative speaker available in MUSG’s price range. I have been researching for months to find a speaker to balance our campus’ political presentations, and Eugene Jarecki is completely unbiased says his agent as well as other universities at which he has presented.

Thank you for your concern and interest in our event.
At about the same time, she sent the following to all Political Science faculty:
I have heard some concerns about this speaker and the idea that he is anti-war — this is not true.

I assure you that this presentation is completely unbiased. I am not bringing Michael Moore, rather, this is the most conservative speaker available in MUSG’s budget. I have been researching for months to find a speaker to balance our campus’ political presentations, and Eugene Jarecki is completely unbiased says his agent as well as other universities at which he has presented. This is a blatant attempt on my and MUSG’s part to please especially the College Republicans as well as all other parties on campus.

Once again, feel free to contact me about any questions or concerns.
The claim that Jarecki is a conservative is simply stunning. One of our colleagues noted a review of his film that said:
“Why We Fight” purports to be about why America has gone to war historically, but let’s be honest here: It’s all about Bush and Iraq. Previous engagements like Korea and Vietnam are given only cursory treatment, the real thrust being that the current Iraq conflagration is wrong and that Bush is a bad president. This is just a Michael Moore film without Michael Moore — without the ego and the bombast and the cheap theatrics. It’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” that’s had a shave and a shower.
Naturally, leftist reviewers liked the film. One review said:
Ever since the emergence of Michael Moore as our Leftist Laureate, there has been a glut of like-minded, anti-war anti-Bush docs popping up, sometimes even invading the multiplexes. Of the ones I’ve caught, none have fueled my rage and given my pause [sic] quite like “Why We Fight,” a brilliant dissection and indictment of the rise of American Imperialism throughout the world. Though such props have been tossed to many of these other films, “Why We Fight” truly is “Fahrenheit 9/11” without the gimmicks, emotional chokehold, or hullabaloo (at least not yet). Writer/director Eugene Jarecki (“The Trials of Henry Kissinger”) has delivered a tour-de-force that has made me loathe the recently inaugurated administration even more than I did before, no small feat.
Jarecki himself is a bit less direct, but his leftist views come through. Quoting from an interview he did with the BBC:
One of the things that the film focuses on is the extraordinary prophesy issued by Dwight D Eisenhower in his last moments as president. He warned the American public of this “military-industrial complex” — a confluence of power that he saw as a threat to democracy itself. The film asks to what extent have the military-industrial interests, once a by-product of policy, come to define the policy itself? Eisenhower’s children told me that the president’s warning had not originally been worded “military-industrial complex.” The original formulation was “military-industrial-congressional complex.” That was dropped from the final draft, but it represents the fullness of his concern — that only with the collusion of members of Congress could the apparatus of the defence sector grow to wag the dog.

At this point in American history Congress is silent. It is supposed be the part of government that protects the weak from the strong but Congress is very much on the payroll of the strong. . . . If you look at the members of Congress and the Senate, you are often looking at multi-millionaires. Their lives are inextricably interwoven with the life of the financial elite in America and it’s difficult to differentiate the interests after a while.
It is of course possible to provide a balanced program of speakers — some opposed to gay marriage and some in favor, some in favor of affirmative action and some opposed, and some in favor of the Iraq War and some opposed.

But it appears that Marquette Student Government is trying to claim balance by simply calling a leftist speaker a “conservative.”

Update: The GOP3.COM blog reported that Jarecki was coming to campus back on December 26.

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