Saturday, March 18, 2023
Stanford Students Demand Journalist Remove Their Names from Stories … After Targeting Other Students By Name – JONATHAN TURLEY
There is an interesting development in the controversy at Stanford Law School where U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kyle Duncan was shouted down by law students and condemned by a law school dean for discussing his conservative judicial views. Student protesters reportedly published the names of students in the Federalist Society online as part of their cancel campaign. However, Aaron Sibarium, a journalist for the Washington Free Beacon has said that a board member of the Stanford National Lawyers Guild, sent an email demanding the Free Beacon remove her name and those of other students from their reporting because it is threatening and dangerous.
Sibarium tweeted that “On Sunday, I identified board members of the Stanford National Lawyers Guild–one of the groups responsible for the posters–who in a public statement described the protest as ‘Stanford Law School at its best.’ A few hours later, the board demanded I redact their names.”
It was a highly ironic moment to be sure. However, I am more interested in another aspect of the controversy. I wrote earlier about the joint apology letter of Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Law School Dean Jenny Martinez. Neither Tessier-Lavigne nor Martinez promise to hold these students accountable or to sanction Steinbach. They merely express regret that “staff members who should have enforced university policies failed to do so, and instead intervened in inappropriate ways that are not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech.”
This latest controversy highlights the fact that the identity of some of these students (including those on videotape) who disrupted a speaker at the law school are known to the school. In this case, it was a federal appellate judge but we have seen this type of “deplatforming” at other schools. These students — and many faculty — voice a twisted view that silencing the free speech of others is a form of free speech.
Can't say any of this is surprising. Appalling yes, surprising no.