Harvard going Orwell, protecting students from conservative websites

As someone who spent almost two decades at Harvard, first as a student and then as a member of the faculty and officer of the university, I am ashamed at how far an institution that proclaims "Truth" ("Veritas" in Latin) as its motto has fallen away from that mission.  The Harvard University library system is now in the business of warning away students from polluting their minds with dissident information that might raise uncomfortable questions in Liberalville.  Can't have the youngsters questioning the orthodoxy of the left!

Thus, we have the spectacle of Harvard librarians rating political websites and warning away students and faculty, lest their minds become confused by viewpoints that might disturb the liberal mindset.  (For instance, remembering that when Bill Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys, it was a normal "replacement," but when Donald Trump did the same thing, it was an outrageous "ousting" of dedicated crime-fighters.)  Harvard undergraduates, too young to remember the Clinton firing, must be protected from viewpoints that might confuse them.

This graphic published by the librarians ought to be a matter of shame for the university:

"When in doubt, ask a librarian."

...because librarians are sophisticated consumers of political news, and because they have exhaustively researched each of the hundreds of websites they "rate"?

I am sorry, but this is dangerous nonsense.  I was grateful for the help that the staffs of several Harvard libraries (there are dozens of libraries at Harvard) gave me in my years there.  They knew what their collections contained and how to get a hold of even the most obscure items.  But they always knew they were in a service role, not in the role of determining what sources I should rely on.  That was my job!

How about, when in doubt, read what they have to say, read others, and make up your mind?  That was what I always did.

Consider this: the Harvard librarians do not trust students to make up their own minds.  Instead, they find certain viewpoints dangerous, and want to make sure that youngsters are warned away from viewpoints dissenting from liberal orthodoxy.

In actuality, it is the job of librarians to collect, organize, and store source materials for students and scholars to use in their work.  It is the job of scholars and students (not librarians) to evaluate those sources and appropriately draw on them in their research and writing.  At the mammoth Harvard University Library system, they seem to have forgotten this role distinction.  In the age of Trump, the dangers of exposing bright young minds to information incompatible with the worldview of leftists is so great that the librarians took it upon themselves to warn away students before those viewpoints ever reach their eyes.

One of the websites the Harvard Librarians ban as "biased" is American Thinker.  We have plenty of company on the right, much less on the left.  Doug Ross has collected the ratings for us and a number of our colleagues:

Site

Harvard Labels

Real Description

americanthinker.com

bias

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

AmmoLand.com

bias

   

Firearm news liberals hate

barenakedislam.com

hate

   

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

breitbart.com

political

unreliable

bias

Political news and opinion liberals hate

canadafreepress.com

conspiracy

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

centerforsecuritypolicy.org

bias

conspiracy

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

citizensunited.org

bias

   

Pro-free speech group that liberals hate

city-journal.org

political

   

Urban news that liberals hate

CNSNews.com

unreliable

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

commentarymagazine.com

political

   

Political opinions that liberals hate

conservativereview.com

political

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

counterjihad.com

bias

   

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

dailycaller.com

political

clickbait

unreliable

Political news and opinion liberals hate

dailysignal.com

bias

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

drudgereport.com

political

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

familysecuritymatters.org

conspiracy

bias

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

FreeBeacon.com

bias

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

freedomworks.org

political

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

frontpagemag.com

bias

hate

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

gatesofvienna.net

hate

conspiracy

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

heartland.org

bias

   

Pro-business group that liberals hate

heritage.org

unknown

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

jihadwatch.org

unknown

   

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

judicialwatch.org

unknown

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

lifenews.com

bias

clickbait

 

Pro-Life articles that liberals hate

lifezette.com

clickbait

   

Pro-Life articles that liberals hate

nationalreview.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

pamelageller.com

conspiracy

fake

bias

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

PeakProsperity.com

unknown

   

Economic facts that liberals despise

pjmedia.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

powerlineblog.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

rightwingnews.com

bias

unreliable

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

ShadowStats.com

unknown

   

Economic facts that liberals despise

SteveQuayle.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

theamericanmirror.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

TheBurningPlatform.com

unknown

   

Economic facts that liberals despise

theconservativetreehouse.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

theduran.com

unreliable

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

thegatewaypundit.com

bias

conspiracy

unreliable

Political news and opinion liberals hate

theintercept.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

therightscoop.com

fake

clickbait

 

Videos of news shows that liberals hate

truepundit.com

bias

clickbait

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

twitchy.com

clickbait

rumor

 

Tweets that liberals hate

unz.com

unknown

   

Politically incorrect articles that liberals hate

weaselzippers.us

unreliable

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

weeklystandard.com

political

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

westernjournalism.com

bias

clickbait

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

wikileaks.org

unknown

   

Government documents that liberals hate

wnd.com

bias

clickbait

unreliable

Political news and opinion liberals hate

zerohedge.com

conspiracy

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

Missing from any hints of bias are the New York Times, NBC News, and pretty much everyone in the MSM.

As someone who spent almost two decades at Harvard, first as a student and then as a member of the faculty and officer of the university, I am ashamed at how far an institution that proclaims "Truth" ("Veritas" in Latin) as its motto has fallen away from that mission.  The Harvard University library system is now in the business of warning away students from polluting their minds with dissident information that might raise uncomfortable questions in Liberalville.  Can't have the youngsters questioning the orthodoxy of the left!

Thus, we have the spectacle of Harvard librarians rating political websites and warning away students and faculty, lest their minds become confused by viewpoints that might disturb the liberal mindset.  (For instance, remembering that when Bill Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys, it was a normal "replacement," but when Donald Trump did the same thing, it was an outrageous "ousting" of dedicated crime-fighters.)  Harvard undergraduates, too young to remember the Clinton firing, must be protected from viewpoints that might confuse them.

This graphic published by the librarians ought to be a matter of shame for the university:

"When in doubt, ask a librarian."

...because librarians are sophisticated consumers of political news, and because they have exhaustively researched each of the hundreds of websites they "rate"?

I am sorry, but this is dangerous nonsense.  I was grateful for the help that the staffs of several Harvard libraries (there are dozens of libraries at Harvard) gave me in my years there.  They knew what their collections contained and how to get a hold of even the most obscure items.  But they always knew they were in a service role, not in the role of determining what sources I should rely on.  That was my job!

How about, when in doubt, read what they have to say, read others, and make up your mind?  That was what I always did.

Consider this: the Harvard librarians do not trust students to make up their own minds.  Instead, they find certain viewpoints dangerous, and want to make sure that youngsters are warned away from viewpoints dissenting from liberal orthodoxy.

In actuality, it is the job of librarians to collect, organize, and store source materials for students and scholars to use in their work.  It is the job of scholars and students (not librarians) to evaluate those sources and appropriately draw on them in their research and writing.  At the mammoth Harvard University Library system, they seem to have forgotten this role distinction.  In the age of Trump, the dangers of exposing bright young minds to information incompatible with the worldview of leftists is so great that the librarians took it upon themselves to warn away students before those viewpoints ever reach their eyes.

One of the websites the Harvard Librarians ban as "biased" is American Thinker.  We have plenty of company on the right, much less on the left.  Doug Ross has collected the ratings for us and a number of our colleagues:

Site

Harvard Labels

Real Description

americanthinker.com

bias

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

AmmoLand.com

bias

   

Firearm news liberals hate

barenakedislam.com

hate

   

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

breitbart.com

political

unreliable

bias

Political news and opinion liberals hate

canadafreepress.com

conspiracy

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

centerforsecuritypolicy.org

bias

conspiracy

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

citizensunited.org

bias

   

Pro-free speech group that liberals hate

city-journal.org

political

   

Urban news that liberals hate

CNSNews.com

unreliable

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

commentarymagazine.com

political

   

Political opinions that liberals hate

conservativereview.com

political

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

counterjihad.com

bias

   

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

dailycaller.com

political

clickbait

unreliable

Political news and opinion liberals hate

dailysignal.com

bias

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

drudgereport.com

political

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

familysecuritymatters.org

conspiracy

bias

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

FreeBeacon.com

bias

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

freedomworks.org

political

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

frontpagemag.com

bias

hate

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

gatesofvienna.net

hate

conspiracy

 

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

heartland.org

bias

   

Pro-business group that liberals hate

heritage.org

unknown

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

jihadwatch.org

unknown

   

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

judicialwatch.org

unknown

   

Pro-Constitution articles that liberals hate

lifenews.com

bias

clickbait

 

Pro-Life articles that liberals hate

lifezette.com

clickbait

   

Pro-Life articles that liberals hate

nationalreview.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

pamelageller.com

conspiracy

fake

bias

News about Isamic terror that liberals hate

PeakProsperity.com

unknown

   

Economic facts that liberals despise

pjmedia.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

powerlineblog.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

rightwingnews.com

bias

unreliable

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

ShadowStats.com

unknown

   

Economic facts that liberals despise

SteveQuayle.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

theamericanmirror.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

TheBurningPlatform.com

unknown

   

Economic facts that liberals despise

theconservativetreehouse.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

theduran.com

unreliable

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

thegatewaypundit.com

bias

conspiracy

unreliable

Political news and opinion liberals hate

theintercept.com

unknown

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

therightscoop.com

fake

clickbait

 

Videos of news shows that liberals hate

truepundit.com

bias

clickbait

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

twitchy.com

clickbait

rumor

 

Tweets that liberals hate

unz.com

unknown

   

Politically incorrect articles that liberals hate

weaselzippers.us

unreliable

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

weeklystandard.com

political

bias

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

westernjournalism.com

bias

clickbait

 

Political news and opinion liberals hate

wikileaks.org

unknown

   

Government documents that liberals hate

wnd.com

bias

clickbait

unreliable

Political news and opinion liberals hate

zerohedge.com

conspiracy

   

Political news and opinion liberals hate

Missing from any hints of bias are the New York Times, NBC News, and pretty much everyone in the MSM.

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