The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday December 7th

Conservatives Call UNC Campus Liberal

UNC received national attention after a series of teach-ins relating to the events of Sept. 11 was attacked as being too liberal.

But two recent teach-ins on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus have been the subject of national criticism from several prominent conservatives. Radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy both have made references to the University's "liberalism" on their shows, citing the teach-ins as an example.

Chancellor James Moeser has received hundreds of e-mails from across the nation criticizing the University for its "anti-American" behavior. The Web magazine frontpagemag.com, sponsored by prominent conservative David Horowitz, has featured several articles criticizing the University.

But UNC's national attention might have been prompted by conservatives with ties to campus.

Scott Rubush, associate editor of frontpagemag.com, is a UNC graduate and was the publisher of the Carolina Review while he was at the University. Rubush said he continues to follow events at his alma mater and heard about the teach-in. He called Michelle Oswell, a UNC graduate student in music, to write an article because he had seen her Web site about the teach-in. Both Oswell and Michael Burdei, junior political science major and staff writer for the Carolina Review, were paid the standard $100 for freelance work.

Rubush said the article, titled "America's Enemies Rally at UNC-Chapel Hill," was faxed to major media outlets and could have landed in the hands of the conservative talk show hosts. "It would be possible that Limbaugh and Liddy had seen it," he said.

Rubush said once the faxes were sent out, other news organizations likely picked up on the story and launched their own. "It's sort of a feeding frenzy," he said.

Catherine Lutz, a UNC anthropology professor and an organizer of the teach-ins, said the articles in Horowitz's magazine proved to be good fodder for radio shows. "Media feeds on the media, and the two students' article about the initial teach-ins characterize the teach-ins in a completely false way," Lutz said. "Those hate radio shows ... their goal is to get people angry at left targets."

Lutz said the student connection to the University has aided in the increased media attention.

"It's not because we have more progressives on campus, (and) it's not because we've said anything different from what's been said around the country," she said.

Rubush said UNC might be receiving more scrutiny from Horowitz's organization than other colleges, but he insisted that Horowitz has not targeted the University.

"Chapel Hill is coming under scrutiny because of their radical ideas," he said. "If they hadn't opened their big mouths this wouldn't have happened."

In an interview with The Daily Tar Heel on Tuesday, Horowitz also said he is not targeting UNC. "My intention is focused nationally," he said. "What got my attention was the lunatic left that is so entrenched in (UNC)."

But Lutz said the articles that appeared on Horowitz's Web site did not accurately describe the teach-in. "They made up a story to fit their liberal image," she said.

Horowitz, who was involved in a national debate last year because of an ad he authored denouncing slave reparations, said he has plans to speak at UNC.

He said he will continue to expose liberalism on the campus until there is more equal representation of political views at UNC. "The University of North Carolina is a one-party school, and I'm going to wage a war to make it a two-party school."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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