That’s why professors and students at SMU oppose it. Nobody opposes libraries. They are opposing a propaganda mill. They are opposing an institution intended to be the enemy of truth.
We expect that people who work for a business will normally put the profits of that business ahead of other interests. For example, that tobacco company scientists will work to show that smoking doesn’t cause cancer. We expect that politicians will say anything to get elected. We expect that religious leaders will deny certain secular truths (like evolution) if it contradicts what they regard as higher truth (the revealed word).
Academics are expected to be working in search of truth, for it’s own sake.
They are hired because they demonstrated scholarship. That is, they have produced some work that has met objective, verifiable, truth seeking standards.
They are supposed to be disinterested (in the most positive sense of that term). Their work open to peer review. To be vetted and critiqued. That they will be rewarded for being right and languish for being wrong. That they will be dismissed if it is discovered that their research results were falsified or that they cherry-picked their evidence to give false results.
In the real world that does not work perfectly, but that’s the standard.
When someone is called a “Senior Scholar” at the Heritage Foundation, that is intended to give us the illusion that such a person is a genuine academic, pursuing real truth, wherever it may lead, and that he is doing so in an institution – a foundation or an institute – that is dedicated to such ideals.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Nobody is funded by the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Freedom Forum, or any of the rest because they have a disinterested dedication to truth. They are brought on board because they follow an ideological agenda and are willing to hew to the party line.
It would be more accurate to describe someone writing for such organizations as a “Paid Political Hack,” from a “Right Wing Propaganda Factory” funded by “Greedy Corporations and Psycho Billionaires who Hate Taxes.”
Just because they give themselves honorable names, doesn’t mean we have to use them. Using such titles of honor adds to the illusions and delusions.