In case you missed it, Fox and the right-wing have their knickers in a twist over Columbia University’s hiring of former 60s radical Kathy Boudin as a professor of social work. Never mind that Boudin has served more than two decades in jail for her involvement with the notorious Brinks robbery by the Weather Underground. Never mind that she has been rehabilitated and dedicated herself to social issues surrounding women and incarceration. And never mind what her current views, activities or teachings have been. Fox has seized on this issue and used it to paint Columbia as an incubator of radical liberalism and terrorism.
The Columbia Spectator wrote in 2003, when Boudin was asked to establish a women's HIV/AIDS program at New York's St. Luke's Hospital:
As a member of various radical militant groups during the 1960s and 1970s, Boudin advocated extreme measures to combat what she saw as racism, sexism, and American imperialism. And then, in 1981, she participated in the armed robbery of a Brinks security truck--and although she carried no weapon nor directly caused any injuries, she was, in her own words, "morally responsible for all the tragic consequences that resulted." Nobody pretends to justify Boudin's actions--they were repugnant.
However, in the years that followed, Boudin tried to make amends. At Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, where she was incarcerated, Boudin founded AIDS Counseling and Education, a women's group that provided support for HIV-infected women, combated stigmatism and harassment in the prison, and made sure that women had access to needed medication. She organized programs for teenagers with incarcerated mothers, taught classes on parenting, and helped Columbia Law School teach inmates about the rights and responsibilities of incarcerated parents. She published scholarship about her work in--among other places--the Harvard Educational Review.
The Spectator goes on to note, “Although Boudin destroyed lives 22 years ago, she has since made many others better.”
None of that was discussed this morning on “fair and balanced” Fox & Friends as they trotted out the son of someone killed in a completely different incident – the bombing of New York City’s Fraunces Tavern by the FALN, a Puerto Rican separatist group. Sadly, Mr. Connor also lost a godson in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and was there when the planes hit. Connor is certainly an expert on personal tragedy and the impact of extrremism on everyday lives. But on radicals and terror in general? Not so much. His bio in a 2009 editorial in the Los Angeles Times merely reads, “Joseph F. Connor works in finance in New York.” Still, Connor has made a name for himself in right-wing circles. He has testified and written against the confirmation of Eric Holder (as he did in the LA Times), appeared on right-wing radio and blogged for RedState.
But Connor had something better than credentials for Fox News: a willingness to suggest that Columbia is in bed with radical liberalism and Islamic terrorism. Tying Boudin to Bill Ayers at another academic institution, Connor indicated he had no knowledge of either of their curricula when he said:
There’s no doubt about it, there’s a connection between (Boudin’s) left-wing background, her radicalism, and the people at Columbia wanted that kind of celebrity, that kind of person in their school.
...(Boudin and Ayers) moved from an active terrorist role to the academic world to politics and even into the media. …It’s a dangerous involvement of these people to mold people’s minds and whitewash their background, really. And it’s a trend. It’s undeniable.
...Some of the same things that went on in the 70s are happening now with the Islamic terrorists, CAIR and all these other groups are becoming respected parts of our society. But you’re never quite sure where they’re going with this.
Any smart Fox-watcher knows where they’re going with this. It’s nothing more than their latest attempt to undermine universities. Because if Fox really cared about not presenting former criminals as experts, they wouldn’t have the likes of Oliver North and Mark Fuhrman on their payroll as credible news sources.