Saturday, 15 September 2007

My Final Statement on KC Johnson's Until Proven Innocent; or, You Know You've Made It ... (By the way, I lied .) ... when The Weekly Standard smears you: And, just a few days ago, Group of 88 sympathizer Scott Eric Kaufman, a journalism instructor at the University of California at Irvine, posted an entry on his blog, Acephalous, calling for Johnson to be ostracized by the prestigious history website Cliopatria, even though Johnson has a doctorate from Harvard and is the author of four scholarly books. I'm a what? Group of 88 sympathizer? News to me. Also quite nice to be reemployed: I loved my time working in the literary journalism department, and wish that University of California regulations would have let me keep teaching in it. As for the (oft-repeated) claim that I called for KC Johnson's ouster from a group blog to which I don't contribute, I offer my (oft-repeated) explanation: KC: I said nothing about how to manage Cliopatria. In this regard, I believe there must've be some context I've missed, as you and Ralph both think my criticism of you is a call for your removal from the roster. I said, quite plainly, that "keeping you on the roster does the rest of [the contributors] a disservice." I suspect—given the context I'm missing—that any comparable statement in which I distinguish between what you've written and what your compatriots have would've sounded like I was armchair managing Cliopatria. Also: Ralph, my point was that, in my opinion, the works he's doing at Durham-in-Wonderland isn't up to par with what I expect from Cliopatria. I don't expect to see Horowitzian attacks coming from Cliopatria's contributors, and that's what I observed over at Durham-in-Wonderland. The problem isn't that they're conservative arguments, but that they're bad arguments. So kudos to Charlotte Allen for landing her review of Until Proven Innocent in The Weekly Standard. Perhaps next time she (or her fact-checkers) will verify the accuracy of her statements before they're published. (Fact-checking is something of a sport at the Standard, after all.) UPDATE: Ralph thinks I ought to own up to my words and admit I called for KC to be barred from Cliopatria. As I meant nothing of the sort, honesty bars me from doing that. What I can say is that I don't think KC should be barred from Cliopatria or otherwise ostracized by the academic community (online or otherwise).

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