The Freest University in the World

September 23, 2015

In Blog News

Long Live Academic Freedom!

Long Live Freedom of the Press!

Last week I contacted University of Pittsburgh’s school newspaper.

I informed them about the last-minute cancellation of my speaking appearance.

The News Editor assigned a reporter to the story.

I was told that the story would appear on 22 September.

The story did not appear.

I was then told that the story would appear on 23 September.

The story did not appear.

Today I was told that the story would appear on 24 September.

If the story does appear, it will be after the National Security Symposium, making the story old news.

This would be convenient for the University; but is it beneficial for the pursuit of Truth and Justice?

The Administration’s current version of what happened goes like this:

At the last moment, the student group organizing the conference discovered that it hadn’t filed the necessary papers and was short on funds.

Never mind that I was contacted fully five months ago, and that the contract was signed, sealed and delivered on 26 August.

And, if the student group was suddenly short on funds, why is it that I—the very first person invited to speak at the conference—was the only one cancelled?

But it gets curiouser and curiouser.

It’s now said that a meeting was hastily called on the morning after the student group decided to cancel my appearance, where the faculty advisor, an honorable scholar from Cambridge University, was informed of this decision.

This Honorable Scholar then suffered a bout of temporary insanity.

He deluded himself into believing that the University administration cancelled my speaking appearance.

In the grip of this hallucinatory state, this Honorable Scholar sent me several emails and contacted me by phone blaming the blameless University administration.

This Honorable Scholar was then placed under a gag order by the University, presumably until he regains his sanity and realizes that my cancellation was just the result of a bureaucratic error.

The symposium will no doubt be a huge success.

Everyone will congratulate each other on holding a free, open debate on such a contentious topic.

Everyone, that is, except the Honorable Scholar, who was thrown to the wolves.

It recalls those glorious days when Communist Party hacks acclaimed Stalin’s 1936 constitution as the “freest in the world” amidst the Purge Trials.

(This is my final word on the subject.  It nauseates.)