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Luntz and Penn student spar over secretly recorded footage
- action Yesterday, Mother Jones released secretly-recorded audio of GOP strategist Frank Luntz criticizing right-wing talk show hosts during a talk with College Republicans at the University of Pennsylvania. “They get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it’s really problematic. And this is not on the Democratic side. It’s only on the Republican side,” Luntz said.
- reaction “I’m very disappointed that at Penn, [the] trust between students and speaker is gone,” said Luntz, an former student and professor at the school, after the release of the audio. ”Call me naive, but I thought it was possible to have an open, honest conversation about American politics and not make it a national conversation.”
- rebuttal “The Penn environment should be one in which people are encouraged and expected to speak unencumbered by self-interest,” wrote Aakash Abbi, the student who recorded the speech. ”If influential GOP figures like Frank Luntz truly believe that the party’s media kingmakers harm the national interest but refuse to say so for fear of backlash, they knowingly work against the spirit of open and honest debate.”
There’s also a question of journalistic ethics. Luntz requested that the remarks remain off the record; while a journalist who was in the room verbally agreed to this request, Abbi (who isn’t a journalist) and Mother Jones (who wasn’t present) did not. So are they still bound by it? Does a request to remain off the record amount to a decree, or must it be agreed to? Regardless of where you stand, it’s a fuzzy area. Meanwhile, Luntz has withdrawn a scholarship in his father’s name since the remarks leaked.
“To associate vindictive, deranged killers with Islam, a religion of compassion and reverence, is about as morally reprehensible as equating greed and stinginess with financially successful Jews. It is a stereotype: a vile, reductive, inaccurate, immature stereotype... I am personally offended by this ad, and I am not even Muslim. I am offended by the misuse of the word “apartheid” — a form of racial segregation, not religiously fueled assassination. I am offended by the tradition of racism that this ad continues. I would like to remind the DP that the very same propaganda tactics were used in the slave-era south, where the faces of black men accused of seducing or raping white women were published in widely read newspapers and continued through the garish caricatures of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe.”—
Nick DeFina, University of Pennsylvania Student, in response to a full page ad published in the school’s newspaper (scroll to page 6). The ad was created by David Horowitz’ Islamophobic group called Freedom Center. In the past few weeks, full page ads have been purchased to advertise “Islamic Apartheid Week” in several university newspapers around the nation.
Read the rest of DeFina’s piece. (Share/Like the article to show your support!)
Massive New Archaeological Collections Database Released for Scholars and Public
For 125 years, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has been connected to some of the greatest archaeological excavations known to history, sending more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to every inhabited continent of the world. At its official founding on December 6, 1887, the University Trustees resolved to send “an exploring expedition to Babylonia”, with a provision to establish “suitable accommodations” for the artifacts recovered, including those of subsequent expeditions. Since then, Museum collections have grown to about one million artifacts from six continents and every millennium of human history.
Now, the Penn Museum celebrates its 125th anniversary year by placing an arguably incomparable collection of ancient artifacts online for the world to see. The Penn Museum Online Collections Database is designed as a utility for scholars to obtain preliminary information on artifacts for research purposes, for teachers and students to explore a region’s cultural materials, and for any person who wishes to electronically organize and file their own set of favorite “finds” and share them with others. Read more.
View the database online http://www.penn.museum/collections/.