The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Preying on Vulnerable Teenagers’?

Posted on | May 2, 2018 | Comments Off on ‘Preying on Vulnerable Teenagers’?

“Remarkable” is the word Professor David Bernstein charitably uses to describe a blog post by a University of Southern California Law School professor who argues that left-wing student protesters are being victimized by advocates of free speech:

“When students are goaded into tactical mistakes, journalists should ask themselves whether mean-spirited provocations by seasoned political operatives preying on vulnerable teenagers and inexperienced young adults genuinely deserve news coverage. The United States faces serious economic challenges which get far less attention than this stage-managed political theater.”

This is not merely remarkable, it’s astonishing, and not in a good way. These “vulnerable teenagers” are engaged in political activity of a very public and controversial sort, i.e., attempting to suppress dissent against their own radical ideology. For this professor to argue that journalists should ignore the riotous behavior of far-left campus mobs — as if intolerant extremists taking over our universities are not inherently newsworthy — is a dangerous attempt to deprive the public of valuable knowledge.  These universities are supported by taxpayer subsidies, and parents are expected to fork over tuition money to send their “vulnerable teenagers” to these schools. As such, what happens on campus deserves news coverage so that the public at large can make informed decisions in terms of how our children are educated.

By the way, who is the USC professor making this argument? Professor Michael Simkovic has been called the “‘Everyone Should Go To Law School’ Poster Child” for attacking anyone who dares suggest that a law degree might not be worth the staggering student-loan debt that many acquire in pursuing such degrees. The simple fact, which Professor Simkovic stubbornly refuses to face, is that the Internet (particularly LegalZoom) has significantly lessened the demand for lawyers. Simple contracts, wills, incorporating an LLC, etc. — a lot of stuff that used to generate billable hours for attorneys can be done competently by anyone smart enough to log onto LegalZoom. A smart, aggressive, hard-working lawyer can still land a job and make a career for himself, but the prospects for a mediocre law-school graduate are not so promising that going heavily in debt to get that degree is a smart move.

Profesor Simkovic doesn’t want journalists to tell the truth about student riots — enraged mobs of “vulnerable teenagers” — for the same reason he doesn’t want journalist to tell the truth about what a law degree is worth. He doesn’t want parents to get a whiff of the rotten stench of decadence emerging from American higher education. As Scott Greenfield says, Professor Simkovic’s “crazy polemic is complete bullshit.”

And also, remarkable.



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