Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Fallout from a Smear, Finkelstein and The Progressive

By John Halle  Posted by Michael Leon (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

- Advertisement -

[Note: DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider can be reached at: 312/362-8890.] 

For those of us in the academy, among the most important stories of the week was a successful smear campaign waged by Alan Dershowitz and the Zionist lobby resulting in noted scholar and author Norman Finkelstein being denied tenure at DePaul University. The distinguished historian Raul Hilberg spoke for many in admitting to “a sinking feeling about the damage this will do to academic freedom.”

One might think that this story would be a natural for inclusion in “McCarthyism Watch”, a regular weekly feature on the Progressive Magazine website presided over by Progressive editor Matt Rothschild.

It won’t be.

- Advertisement -

That’s because of the minor but not insignificant role which Rothschild and Progressive columnist Ruth Conniff played in fueling the witch hunt.

A year ago, Finkelstein’s name came up on a Madison talk show where Conniff was appearing as a guest. Conniff shocked many listeners by describing Finkelstein as “a Holocaust denier” and a “celebrity in a certain, a pretty ugly anti-semitic group in the country.” Finkelstein protested demanding a retraction from Conniff’s editor, fearing that a respected publication’s denigration of his character could influence his upcoming tenure decision. Rothschild responded by reasserting the correctness of Conniff’s charges, citing in support canards circulated by Finkelstein’s chief antagonist, Dershowitz.

Since the DePaul administration’s deliberations were conducted in secret, it is not known whether Finkelstein’s fears materialized. It is not unreasonable to assume that Conniff’s slanders and Rothschild’s defense of them sent a clear signal that Finkelstein was fair game who could not count on the support even on the left fringes of the mainstream.

- Advertisement -

And indeed, there was one organ of progressive opinion which was silent on the Finkelstein case this week.
Rothschild is fond of citing Martin Niemoller’s adage of what happens when we don’t speak up when they come for others.

Like too many liberals, both now and in the Weimar Republic, one can always count on Rothschild and the Progressive for a howl of outrage.

Except when it matters.

John Halle is Director of Studies in Music Theory and Practice at Bard College. He can be reached at: halle@bard.edu

- reprinted from CounterPunch -


- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Michael Leon is a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His writing has appeared nationally in The Progressive, In These Times, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at maleon64@yahoo.com.

Michael Leon Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hector Jordan - Trail-blazing Hispanic Hero

Oliver Stone's Vital World Trade Center

Ray Nitschke and Bush's Iraq-Vietnam Speech

VA Document Contradicts US Atty in Jailed Vet Case

Gov. Tommy Thompson Is No Moderate on Iraq

Rutgers Basketball-Politically Correct and Apolitical