In the wake of Donald Trump's stunning election as president, the political divide between right and left has hardened on campuses nationwide, the New York Times reports.
At first glance, the Times seems to put aside Kellerism for a day and provide an evenhanded account of what college-age Republicans and Democrats are feeling and saying.
The Old Gray Lady even opens with an anecdote featuring a young Trump supporter:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Amanda Delekta, a sophomore at the University of Michigan and political director of the College Republicans, was ecstatic when her candidate, Donald J. Trump, won the presidential election.
But her mood of celebration quickly faded when students held an evening vigil on campus — to mourn the results — and her biology teacher suspended class on the assumption, Ms. Delekta said, that students would be too upset to focus.
She was outraged. “Nobody has died,” Ms. Delekta said. “The United States has not died. Democracy is more alive than ever. Simply put, the American people voted and Trump won.”
She circulated an online petition and accused the university president of catering to the liberal majority by suggesting that “their ideology was superior to the ideology of their peers,” as she put it, when he sent out an email publicizing the vigil and listing counseling resources for students upset by the election. Three days later, she was invited to meet with the president in his office.
But read a little closer, and the piece's "balance" becomes less impressive.
Yes, sources on the right — including Delekta — are quoted. However, the Times never explains what motivates them. The right's issues, for the purposes of the campus divide story, are frustratingly generic:
Ms. Delekta described how she had been offended when a classmate wondered why as a “white female,” she had not voted for Hillary Clinton. She resented what she saw as identity politics on campus.
“My identity is so much more than my race and my gender,” Ms. Delekta said. “We’re all so much more similar than we think.”
She was able to separate Mr. Trump’s policies from his personal attitudes toward women, she said later. “I’m not electing a grandpa or a babysitter,” Ms. Delekta said.
OK, but which of Trump's policies were important to her? Was it his promise to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationally? Was it his defense of religious liberty? Was it his concern over Hillary Clinton's private email server scandal?
The Times offers no mention of such issues. Zero. Zilch. (Holy ghosts, anyone?)
On the other hand, the story highlights the left's specific problems with Trump:
The day after the election, Biddy Martin, president of Amherst College in Massachusetts, called for tolerance and acknowledged that some people might be rejoicing. But she also said in a speech on campus: “In the mirror we see virulent forms of racism, misogyny, homophobia and other ills; and we see them celebrated by some as though the expression of our worst impulses were the definition of human freedom.”
Amherst also saw a bit of a controversy surrounding a professor who was singled out for his views.
The professor, Hadley Arkes, an emeritus professor of political science, pulled out a bottle of champagne in his political science class to celebrate Mr. Trump’s election. An editorial in The Amherst Student newspaper criticized him for bringing alcohol to class, and suggested that college officials hold him “accountable” for supporting a candidate the paper’s editorial board thought was bigoted, homophobic and misogynist.
“There are students on this campus whose lives and civil liberties will be compromised in the next four years,” the editorial said. “Not only does Amherst’s nonpartisan stance invalidate their struggles, but brash and insensitive political partisanship creates irreparable scars.”
So there you have it: a bit of false balance from the Times, but not the kind we often hear about.