Monday, May 24, 2004

E.L. Doctorow, treasonous literatus
Professor Cynthia Bogard, fool

Members of the Committee of Public Safety, fellow citizens,

I come before you today to offer an example of a growing phenomenon that poses a threat to the republic. The chattering class of writers and academics, no longer content to entertain, enlighten, or educate, has instead long engaged in anti-American slander and indoctrination. Today, at a commencement address at Hofstra University, E.L. Doctorow attacked the administration's Iraq policy and the Patriot Act. His verbal assault exceeded free speech, however, inasmuch as he spread lies about both. The full story is here.

What exactly did Doctorow say? First, he likened himself, as a "storyteller" to President Bush:

One story he told was that the country of Iraq had nuclear and biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction and was intending shortly to use them on us. That was an exciting story all right, it was designed to send shivers up our spines. But it was not true....

Another story was that the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in league with the terrorists of al-Qaida. And that turned out to be not true. But anyway we went off to war on the basis of these stories.

These Ted Kennedy-esque falsehoods have already been dealt with, here and by others. Saddam had WMDs -- we have found sarin. We have found illegal weapon delivery systems. He had used chemical weapons in the past and sought to acquire nuclear weapons. And we know he supported terrorism, both by al-Qaida and other groups. To ignore these facts and call President Bush a "storyteller" who lied is slanderous and treasonous.

Secondly, Doctorow criticizes the Patriot Act, passed to grand the government greater powers to pursue terrorists. Doctorow repeated the common falsehood that the Patriot Act would allow the government to monitor citizens' library use. The Patriot Act, however, requires a court order for the FBI to look into library records, the same way a warrant is needed to search a domicile or business. (A good defense of the Patriot Act is here at

Doctorow got the crowd response he deserved: a chorus of boos from most students and their families. Many were upset that their commencement had been politicized, others were angered by the content and tone of the speech itself. The jeering was so intense that Hofstra's president had to calm the crowd before the address could continue. Many of the faculty, however, cheered Doctorow's comments. One faculty member, Cynthia Bogard (fittingly enough, a sociologist) offered this nugget of asininity: "I thought this was a totally appropriate place to talk about politics because that's the world our students are entering." Then in a piece of arrogance that floored me, Bogard said, "I only wish their parents had provided them a better role model." Professor Bogard, how dare you insult the students and parents that expressed their clear-headed opinion on a seditious speech?

The students and parents who jeered Doctorow are commended.

E.L. Doctorow is denounced as a traitor.
Cynthia Bogard is exposed as a fool.

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