So much for academic freedom

Posted: Apr 18, 2006 11:05 AM
Scott Savage is a peaceful, devout Quaker who, like the Amish, avoids much of modern technology, and by all accounts is a gentleman in both his personal and professional life as a librarian in Mansfield, Ohio.

So, why has Scott been accused of sexual harassment at work, and why is his case lighting up the blogosphere?

You see, Scott works at Ohio State University's Mansfield campus, where he serves as head of Reference and Instructional Services at the university's Bromfield Library. Recently, the entire faculty voted – without a single dissenting vote – to investigate Scott for sexual harassment.

So what was his crime? Did Scott make sexually suggestive comments to a student? Did he grope a co-worker?

Nope. As a member of OSU Mansfield's "First Year Reading Experience Committee," Savage had the nerve to suggest four conservative books as required reading for the school's freshman class, namely: "The Marketing of Evil" by David Kupelian, "The Professors" by David Horowitz, "Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis" by Bat Ye'or, and "It Takes a Family" by Sen. Rick Santorum.

Suggesting these four controversial best-sellers was painful enough for the ultra-liberal professors there, but one of the books – Kupelian's "The Marketing of Evil" – caused the faculty to blow its circuits.

In fact, three professors became so agitated and threatened by the mere suggestion of their students' exposure to "The Marketing of Evil" that they claimed they felt "unsafe" and "threatened" on the campus, because of Kupelian's book, which they called "hate literature" and "homophobic tripe."

For instance, Assistant Professor Norman Jones (who teaches a course in "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature") said: "The anti-gay book Scott Savage endorses falsely claims that 'the widely revered father of the "sexual revolution" has been irrefutably exposed as a full-fledged sexual psychopath who encouraged pedophilia.' This is a factually untrue characterization of Dr. Kinsey and his work on every point. ... I am frankly embarrassed for you, Scott, that you would endorse this kind of homophobic tripe."

Excuse me, professor, but Judith Reisman, a Ph.D. researcher and world-renowned Kinsey expert, absolutely vaporizes your laughable defense of the mad pedophile sex scientist in her pioneering book "Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences."

Then there's Associate Professor J.F. Buckley (author of such gems as "The Social Critic: The Rise of Queer Performance Within the Demise of Transcendentalism"), who wrote:

Rather than waste your time with the paucity of intellectual rigor that Kupelian brings to the table, I encourage you to visit his website, and see for yourself his unmitigated homophobia and xenophobia. In short, he is a pontificating, phobic, cultural atavism bemoaning the loss of an (Anglo) America that only existed on such shows as "The Lone Ranger." ... As a gay man I have long ago realized that the world is full of homophobic, hate-mongers who, of course, say that they are not. So I am not shocked, only deeply saddened – and THREATENED – that such mindless folks are on this great campus. I am ending now, with the hope that I have seriously challenged you Scott, and anyone who "thinks" as you purport to do. You have made me fearful and uneasy being a gay man on this campus. I am, in fact, notifying the OSU-M campus, and Ohio State University in general, that I no longer feel safe doing my job. I am being harassed.

Fortunately, the Alliance Defense Fund has, like the Lone Ranger, ridden to the rescue and is vigorously defending Scott Savage from this vicious and obviously kooky attack on him.

Saying this is one of the most absurd cases he has ever seen, ADF Senior Legal Counsel David French commented: "Universities are one of the most hostile places for Christians and conservatives in America. It's shameful that OSU would investigate a Christian librarian for simply recommending books that are at odds with the prevailing politics of the university."

You can read the ADF's 48-page "Cease and Desist" letter here, which contains all the professors' demented e-mail rantings about Savage and Kupelian.

For a university that prides itself on academic freedom and presenting diverse points of view to students from all walks of life, it smacks of hypocrisy to ban materials that challenge the liberal orthodoxy. "The Marketing of Evil" is regarded as one of the hottest, best researched, and most eye-opening books of the year covering numerous issues. Unable to attack the substance of the book, the professors have resorted to the most effective (and most childish) form of “acceptable” intimidation – name calling.

The author of “The Marketing of Evil”, David Kupelian, gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation last September on the insidious marketing techniques employed to rewrite history and truth. Kupelian’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in public policy, marketing, or the reason for the fall of American culture. He’s also one of the best public speakers I’ve had the privilege of hearing. His words and work are brilliant and eye-opening, and should be required reading for college students across the nation.

As a matter of fact, “The Marketing of Evil” is one book every American needs to read. The OSU professors – frightened out of their wits just at the possibility that "The Marketing of Evil" could touch down on their campus – have made the case more eloquently than I ever could.

Related column: Don’t be manipulated by the master marketers by Rebecca Hagelin.