At Wesleyan—the dictionary representation of “Stereotypical Ultraliberal Private University”—there is a movement afoot to defund The Argus, the student newspaper. Not only to defund it, but to dispose of all the copies of the vile rag that remain on campus. A petition to do so has nearly 150 signatures. These crusaders demand that the trashy broadsheet be completely disappeared, until some very reasonable steps are taken, including (from The Argus):
These demands include commitment by The Argus to create work study/course credit positions; a monthly report on allocation of funds and leadership structure; a required once-per-semester Social Justice/Diversity training for all student publications; active recruitment and advertisement; and open space on the front page in the publication dedicated to marginalized groups/voices, specifying that if no submissions are received, The Argus will print a section labeled “for your voice.”
Wow—it will be a tragedy for the media at large if the writers of this petition do not bring their bold layout and design choices into the newspaper world upon graduation. Shake up the stodgy front page layouts of today in favor of a glorious vision of the future.
“What,” you may ask, “has angered so many people?” I am frankly disappointed in you, that you have to ask. The answer, as always, is “a stupid op-ed written by a college student and published in the student newspaper.” In this case, it was a stupid conservative op-ed arguing that the Black Lives Matter movement is maybe, just maybe, responsible for every riot and dead cop in America. If I were summing this op-ed up for you I would say “in expending this number of words to sum up this op-ed for you, I have already wasted a small piece of both of our lives.”
If you were ever a college student, you may recall that everything a college student writes is bound to be ill-informed, charmingly naive, knuckleheaded, remarkably ignorant, or some mixture of all of the above. It is thoroughly unsurprising for any college newspapers to publish any stupid op-ed on any topic. And, for the same reasons, it is equally unsurprising for college students to enact a dramatic, poorly thought out and philosophically inconsistent backlash to said op-ed.
Does any of this matter? No, because—and I say this not to denigrate college newspapers—college newspapers are the most unimportant segment of the media in the whole wide world. They’re just practice! Journalism scratch pads. Since college newspaper content is not really worth getting that upset about, we are able to just sit back and enjoy the spectacle of, on the one hand, a hapless conservative kid bumbling through an anti-BLM argument in the pages of the Wesleyan paper, of all places, and, on the other hand, a group of outraged liberal kids exhibiting a knee-jerk reaction that reveals that they should probably go to a few more philosophy classes before doing, really, anything at all.
When someone writes something dumb you just write about how dumb it is on the internet, kids, that’s how free speech works. Never stop talking.