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  • Fordham President Attacks Conservative Club for Hosting Coulter

    11/10/2012 12:13:32 PM Posted by Patrick Coyle

    Ann Coulter ImageAnn Coulter was scheduled to speak at Fordham University on November 29. Her appearance, organized by the conservative club on campus and funded by the school, would have marked the first time this fall a conservative addressed the Fordham student body.

    Upon the announcement this week of the event, the conservative club was routinely attacked by others on campus. In fact, one member was singled out as a racist on a Tumblr blog that has since been removed. 

    Adding to the attacks against the club was the university president, Joseph McShane. Instead of welcoming Ann Coulter and encouraging students to consider her ideas, he issues an email to students, alumni, and faculty blasting the club for inviting her to speak.

    He writes that groups area allowed to bring speakers with "diverse viewpoints" and that the school won't block her from speaking, yet he felt compelled to openly attack the conservative group leadership for hosting her. The text of his email follows:

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------

    From: <The_Office_of_the_President@>

    Date: Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Subject: University Statement

    To: Students_on_Gmail%FIRE@

    University Statement on Ann Coulter Appearance | November 9,

    The College Republicans, a student club at Fordham University, has
    invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus on November 29. The event is
    funded through student activity fees and is not open to the public
    nor the media. Student groups are allowed, and encouraged, to
    invite speakers who represent diverse, and sometimes unpopular,
    points of view, in keeping with the canons of academic freedom.
    Accordingly, the University will not block the College Republicans
    from hosting their speaker of choice on campus.

    To say that I am disappointed with the judgment and maturity of the
    College Republicans, however, would be a tremendous understatement.
    There are many people who can speak to the conservative point of
    view with integrity and conviction, but Ms. Coulter is not among
    them. Her rhetoric is often hateful and needlessly provocative-more
    heat than light-and her message is aimed squarely at the darker
    side of our nature.

    As members of a Jesuit institution, we are called upon to deal with
    one another with civility and compassion, not to sling mud and
    impugn the motives of those with whom we disagree or to engage in
    racial or social stereotyping. In the wake of several bias
    incidents last spring, I told the University community that I hold
    out great contempt for anyone who would intentionally inflict pain
    on another human being because of their race, gender, sexual
    orientation, or creed.

    "Disgust"was the word I used to sum up my feelings about those
    incidents. Hate speech, name-calling, and incivility are completely
    at odds with the Jesuit ideals that have always guided and animated

    Still, to prohibit Ms. Coulter from speaking at Fordham would be to
    do greater violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of
    fearless and robust engagement. Preventing Ms. Coulter from
    speaking would counter one wrong with another. The old saw goes
    that the answer to bad speech is more speech. This is especially
    true at a university, and I fully expect our students, faculty,
    alumni, parents, and staff to voice their opposition, civilly and
    respectfully, and forcefully.

    The College Republicans have unwittingly provided Fordham with a
    test of its character: do we abandon our ideals in the face of
    repugnant speech and seek to stifle Ms. Coulter's (and the student
    organizers') opinions, or do we use her appearance as an
    opportunity to prove that our ideas are better and our faith in the
    academy-and one another-stronger? We have chosen the latter course,
    confident in our community, and in the power of decency and reason
    to overcome hatred and prejudice.

    Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President


    • Readers' Comments

    • Too bad. You should have stayed strong and stuck with inviting Ann. Now how can you even hold your heads up??
      Posted by Tam on 11/11/2012
    • The Jesuits are a very poor example for Christians and especially for Americans. They'll cover Catholic symbols to serve a president and now they speak against free speech. The only fault Ann coulter has is that she has a different opinion then this fool of a president of a fifth rate university.
      Posted by John walsh on 11/11/2012
    • In today's world telling the truth is a revolutionary act. What turns people off about Ann Coulter is that she tells the truth and doesn't sugar coat it. She does not compromise her values to make friends like so many these days, especially University Presidents who spend much of their time schmoozing or shall I say ass kidding to get donations.
      Posted by m duncan on 11/11/2012
    • It is striking that the Jesuit ideals Mr. McShane speaks of allude to his ignorance of tolerance and of who it is that he is really speaking about. We have a President of the US that meets all of the criteria that he opposes and accuses Ms. Coultier of possessing. Apparently he lacks clarity of understanding what he truly stands for. Daniel 12:2-3 sums it up as to choices being made by this school. A Jesuit institution such as this one is making its choices and those responsible for hypocritcal choices will pay the consequences. There will be a day of reckoning.
      Posted by A. Theroux on 11/11/2012
    • Now I've seen it all. Are the Liberals afraid that Ann Coulter might say the TRUTH and the students of Fordham would be exposed to all of the lies of the left. I have a suggestion for President Joseph M. McShane, change your name to Joseph M. McShame or Joseph M. McStalin.
      Posted by Joker on 11/11/2012
    • Actually, the College Republicans are the ones who made the decision that Coulter should stay away, not the liberals. Why did you not report that important fact? Why is it wrong that others express their free speech that they think Coulter is wrong? Free speech is a two way street. You, YAF, just don't like that anyone other than you should have it. You should launch an all out attack on the College Republicans for uninviting Coulter, if free speech is really what you care about. But attacking Republicans is not what you're going to do, because you are really just an arm of the Republican party, not an organization that defends the constitution. Here is the statement from the College Republicans: "Looking at the concerns raised about Ms. Coulter, many of them reasonable, we have determined that some of her comments do not represent the ideals of the College Republicans and are inconsistent with both our organization's mission and the University's. We regret that we failed to thoroughly research her before announcing; that is our error and we do not excuse ourselves for it. Consistent with our strong disagreement with certain comments by Ms. Coulter, we have chosen to cancel the event and rescind Ms. Coulter’s invitation to speak at Fordham." The Republican statement went on to say that the group "made this choice freely before Father McShane’s e-mail was sent out and we became aware of his feelings -- had the president simply reached out to us before releasing his statement, he would have learned that the event was being canceled. We hope the university community will forgive the College Republicans for our error and continue to allow us to serve as its main voice of the sensible, compassionate, and conservative political movement that we strive to be. We fell short of that standard this time, and we offer our sincere apologies."
      Posted by on 11/12/2012
    • Love the comments from all you conservatives on here whining. "We have a President of the US that meets all of the criteria that he opposes and accuses Ms. Coultier of possessing." Is that right? Actually, Ann Coulter publicly called John Edwards a "faggot" and thinks women shouldn't be allowed to vote because it causes Republicans to lose elections. Yeah - definitely sounds like someone who speaks the TRUTH. And thank you to the above commenter who provides the TRUTH about this situation - the College Republicans canceled this event, not the EVIL LIBERALS. I'm very liberal, and I agree with Fr. McShane that there are plenty of Republicans that could come to the University and have a thoughtful, meaningful discussion or presentation promoting conservative ideals. Ann Coulter is not one of them.
      Posted by Fordham's #1 Liberal on 11/12/2012
    • @Fordham's #1 Liberal: No, she did not call Edwards "faggot". She said that she wanted to talk about Edwards, but you have to go into rehab if you use the word "faggot". Like so much of what Coulter does, the comment was *meant* to be taken out of context, so it could be played for gullible liberals like yourself in your "5 minutes of hate" sessions. Some small portion of those liberals would actually go and look up the source material, and would begin to question the press that made the accusation.
      Posted by Hired Mind on 11/12/2012
    • @Hired Mind: Exactly, and Fordham is right NOT to bring someone who spews out garbage like like solely to get a rise out of people. Thanks for providing further evidence of why this was a great decision (made by the College Republicans, not the EVIL LIBERALS) to rescind their invite.
      Posted by Fordham's #1 Liberal on 11/13/2012
    • I see the nations universities have truly become bastions of Socialist Liberal ideology. When you espouse that freedom of speech and expression is the hallmark of your ideals then turn around and blast anyone that does not think, talk or act in lock step with you, well then you have truly earned your Liberal Stripes. So blather on Liberals about how you are so much better than Laura Ingrahm and then look in the mirror to see a classic example of Hypocrisy. As for the Young Conservatives, well it appears that a new breed of RINO has been born at Fordham.
      Posted by Aleric on 11/13/2012
    • I see the Young America's Foundation has truly become a bastion of Fascist Conservative ideology. When you espouse that valuing human life from the time of conception is the hallmark of your ideals then turn around and call for more people to have access to guns, asserting military power around the globe by starting meaningless wars, and continuing enforcement of the death penalty, well then you have truly earned your Conservative Stripes. So blather on Conservatives about how you are so much better than Liberals and then look in the mirror to see a classic example of hypocrisy. See? I can spout off key words and generalizations too! This speaker, at a private university, was invited by a club funded in part by the tuition of thousands of students who strongly disagree with Ann Coulter's views. You want to speak of hypocrisy, then ask yourself is that really so different from all the Conservatives who whined that their tax money shouldn't be used to provide mandatory women's health services (birth control) or welfare programs? Oh, and for about the tenth time, the University expressed disappointment in the club's choice of speaker, but defended their right to host her. The Conservatives rescinded the invite, not the EVIL LIBERALS. Had this been a College Democrat club that rescinded an invite to a controversial Liberal speaker, this site would have championed it as a victory for Conservatives or mocked the Democrats for their lack of spine in refusing to go through with their plans.
      Posted by Fordham's #1 Liberal on 11/13/2012
      Posted by ANONYMOUS on 11/13/2012
    • It is ironic that freedom of speech is a right until it is in opposition to one's views. It appears that the Fordham President came under conviction. The email hints a bit of a confession of some sorts. I would be interested to see his MMPI results. Interesting analysing his email.
      Posted by Juan on 11/14/2012
    • As a former graduate student of Fordham University, and generally Jesuit-educated, I am embarrassed by McShane's screed. He does exactly what he accuses Ann Coulter of doing. "Naming calling" and "hateful" labeling. Trust your students; let them decide what to believe without such a heavy-handed attack. President McShane has the whole faculty, administration, and four years with his students. He can allow Ann Coulter one session without attacking the students who wish to hear from her directly.
      Posted by Ron Robinson on 11/15/2012
    • for the young republicans to cave in to administrative pressure is very sad. coulter's appearance should be re-instated, asap. wake up and smell your freedom.
      Posted by jimmer on 11/16/2012
    • We didn't cancel Ann Coulter's appearance and would not do so. It was the CR club on campus that caved into the pressure. But don't blame the victim. College administrators control scholarship assistance, recommendations, and awards. When the University leadership weighs in against a balanced education some students will buckle.
      Posted by Ron Robinson on 11/23/2012
    • Ann Coulter - bad. Pete Singer - good. Jesuit logic I guess.
      Posted by Mickey on 12/01/2012
    • Ann Coulter is yesterday's news.
      Posted by Jack on 12/03/2012
    • "The hottest college in America," according to now as cold as a hammer and sickle. Way to go catholic priest!
      Posted by SOL on 12/04/2012
    • Caving in to the President's wishes under the garb of intolerance for prickly ideas - is despicable for Fordham and the conservative group. So what if Coulter has ideas different from Liberal thought, and so what if she is brazen about them; at least that puts her at par with some of the left wing lunatic speakers that Fordham has encouraged in the past. The President of Fordham should be ashamed of himself and I hope a lot of Catholic donors withdraw their support.
      Posted by Joyce on 12/04/2012
    • As a former graduate student of Fordham, I am both saddened & angry at the disenvite of Ann Coulter...yet, You have the gaul to have Bill Maher as a guest. Shame on you McShane! I'll only give to Fordham again, when MShane leaves. If the club wants to re-invite Ann Coulter, I'll help
      Posted by bernadette Nestor on 12/04/2012
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