Weekly Media Round-up: IUPUI Heats up the News Cycle, and Richard Celeste Continues to Get it Wrong

By July 18, 2008

FIRE’s public efforts on behalf of Indiana UniversityPurdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) student-employee Keith John Sampson, who was convicted of racial harassment for reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan, received a major boost this week, courtesy of the Associated Press. The AP ran a story covering IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz’s belated apology to Sampson following months of contemptible treatment at the hands of the university and IUPUI’s Affirmative Action office. The article, which first appeared on July 14, has been picked up by more than 200 separate news outlets, including CBS News, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times, to name just a few.

The AP article has also been cited and/or reproduced in dozens of blogs, including that of political commentator and radio and television host Sean Hannity. Other blogs to pick up on the feature include Hot Air, Richard Shenkman’s aptly titled Just How Stupid Are We?, and Indiana UniversitySouth Bend student Chuck Norton’s IUSB Vision blog, which has provided extensive coverage of recent developments in Sampson’s case. FIRE is thrilled to have so much attention drawn to IUPUI’s shameful treatment of Sampson, and hopes that this flurry of media attention will compel the administration to bring the matter to rest for good.

Also this week, FIRE was the subject of a blog written by Richard Celeste, President of Colorado College (CC). Specifically, the blog took on FIRE’s response to Celeste and the CC administration’s disgraceful punishment of CC student Chris Robinson and another unidentified student following the publication of their satirical flyer The Monthly Bag. Celeste’s intransigence and CC’s vaudevillian judicial process have made Colorado College the latest school to be put on FIRE’s Red Alert List.

In the space of 320 short words, Celeste denies that the disciplinary letters in the students’ fileswhich will remain until graduationconstitute sanctions, implicitly faults FIRE’s ratings (under which, in his words, only 2% of schools “pass”), and in general continues the pattern of distortion, misrepresentation, and contradiction that marked his first blog on the incident three months ago. The piece is a must-read for anyone who enjoys revisionist history as haiku, though do be sure to read Adam’s and Sam’s excellent responses as well.

Schools: Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis Colorado College