The Chronicle of Higher Education is a superbly produced weekly newspaper, indispensable to anyone who wants to keep track of what's happening in the academic world. It is also, alas, an all-too predictable retailer of Received Opinion, faithfully passing on the unexamined prejudices that dominate our universities.

A case in point is Peter Schmidt's cover story for the April 6 issue: "A Clash of Values: Fetal-tissue conflict in Nebraska illustrates the vulnerability of researchers to politics." Here is the opening of the article, datelined Lincoln, Nebraska:

The University of Nebraska is complicit in the killing of innocent children. Of that much, the crowd gathered inside the state Capitol seems certain.

They concluded as much after learning that the university's medical center, in Omaha, has been using tissue from aborted fetuses in its research.

Most of them view the practice as an abomination, and stopping it as God's work.

They number about 60. Their ranks include a nun, a contingent of primly dressed retirees, and several mothers with young children in tow. They are people who do not have to be at work on a Friday morning—well-positioned to devote time to a cause.

Primly dressed, are they? Obviously they are fools, then. And with nothing better to do on a Friday morning!

Thought experiment: Suppose Peter Schmidt had sat down at his computer and typed out similar sentences about demonstrators against police brutality in Cincinnati, noting their sloppy, shiftless dress and the fact that they evidently didn't have to be at work and hence were "well-positioned to devote time to a cause"? Would such sentences have passed editorial scrutiny at the Chronicle? And in the event (well nigh unimaginable) that such a description ...

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