As John already pointed out, the Koch brothers are attempting to buy influence over who gets hired at Florida State University among other prominent universities around the country. Thom Hartmann took up that same debate with the deputy editor of Tucker Carlson's rag, the Daily Caller, Jamie Weinstein, and guess which side of the debate Weinstein was on?
While Hartmann argued that education all the way through the college level ought to be a basic right for all Americans so that those from poor upbringings might have a chance for upward mobility, and that the influence of those like the Kochs was doing nothing but teaching our kids junk science, Weinstein didn't have a problem with corporate America influencing the curriculum in our colleges. Weinstein argued that somehow those donations were making college more affordable for average citizens and that those being pressured by the corporations donating to the schools to teach an agenda more friendly to their causes is somehow bringing some "diversity" to that curriculum.
Hartmann reminded Weinstein of why we started tenure for college professors a century ago in the United States in the first place, which greatly resembles what's going on now.
Hartmann: Do you know how tenure started?
Weinstein: Because they were afraid of people getting fired for their political views.
Hartmann: Yeah, well, it was Scott Nearing, Scott and Helen Nearing. It was in 1915 and Scott Nearing was with the University of Pennsylvania and he spoke out against child labor and one of the provosts, one of the guys who was on the board of the college actually ran a factory that employed children as labor and the Supreme Court a year later or two years later had ruled that the child labor was Constitutional. And so they fired Scott Nearing and that led to such a backlash in the academic world that within five years, you had tenure. And this seems like the exact opposite of that.
Weinstein: No, what we have right now was the opposite problem in the United States which is that we have these university professors who get tenure and it's now just a funneling place where there is very little diversity of opinion in university faculties, especially in the arts and sciences programs. You would find more diversity of opinion in President Bush's Cabinet than you would in government departments across this country.
Hartmann countered that diversity of skin color did not mean diversity of opinion and Weinstein claimed that there was diversity of opinion and said that Bush had a Democrat in his Cabinet. I'm not sure who he was talking about here because none come to mind to me and the segment ran out of time with Hartmann before he got a clarification.
It's always interesting to see Hartmann go up against these right wing apologists with facts about our history and see how they attempt to counter him. Par for the course Tucker's buddy is nothing but an apologist for indoctrinating more of our kids into their right wing ideology and with little to no care whether everyone in the United States has a chance to receive a college education.
It's beyond a damn shame that so much of Europe among other countries consider students being allowed a college education something that should be a shared responsibility of their citizens just as high school is here and that we don't do the same to make sure we've got an educated workforce in the United States that can compete with the rest of the world economically.
It's also a shame that so often the choices here are either take out loans that you're not sure you can afford to pay back, or have no access to higher eduction at all if you're not lucky enough to get a scholarship.
The Weinstein's of the world are not only content that most in the United States won't get a chance at a college education to begin with. They're also content that what's left of those institutions is filled with propaganda from the likes of the Koch brothers among others.
This is the first interview I've ever seen with Weinstein, but given the fact that this guy is willing to work for Tucker, color me not shocked that he was also willing to play apologist for the Koch brothers making a mess of our universities.