Editor’s note: C-Ville is a weekly tabloid published in Charlottesville. Rob Schilling is host of The Schilling Show on WINA radio.
by Rob Schilling
Charlottesville’s remaining weekly “news” publication, C-ville, has libeled University of Virginia Board of Visitors member Bert Ellis.
On page 11 of the paper’s April 26 print edition, C-ville references the now infamous “Fuck UVA” sign controversy, by publishing the following:
Ellis in NYT
The New York Times points to UVA Board of Visitors member Bert Ellis as an example of rising “anti-woke” education movements. In an article exploring the sharp tension surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and the deep political divide between education policymakers, writer Stephanie Saul frames America’s larger battle surrounding education policy around Ellis. Ellis has been deeply controversial since his appointment was announced, due to his destruction of a “Fuck UVA” sign on the Lawn and co-founding of the DEI-critical Jefferson Council. [emphasis added]
However, neither the New York Times nor any credible source has accused Ellis of destroying the sign. The referenced Times account reads:
In 2020, a student had hung a sign on her dorm room door that protested slavery, genocide and “KKKops” — and included an expletive directed at the university.
Her door faced out, onto The Lawn, a grassy court that was designed by Thomas Jefferson and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Mr. Ellis appealed to Mr. Ryan, the president, to have the sign removed, which the university declined, citing the student’s free-speech rights.
“I decided that, shoot, if the university wasn’t going to take it down, I’d take it down,” Mr. Ellis said.
He said that he got as far as knocking on the student’s door. But after campus representatives asked him to desist, he left without carrying out his mission. [emphasis added]
Perhaps, realizing its error, C-ville edited its online version of the story (without citation of the original language) to instead reference Ellis’ “attempted destruction” of the sign:
Yet, while he may have intended to remove it, no credible source indicates that Ellis actually “attempted” to destroy the “Fuck UVA” sign.
So, even C-ville’s “corrected” version is libelous toward Ellis.
Long a mouthpiece for progressive causes and the Democrat party, C-ville’s breach of the truth is not surprising—but it may be actionable.
Bert should sue for defamation, as I think actual malice could be proven. But probably not worth the backlash which would come. But he should at least have his attorney send a cease and desist letter.
Sadly it is beginning to become apparent that Charlottesville is the “San Francisco” of the east coast and “CVILLE” is the “Pravda” of Virginia. Bad ideas coupled with false propaganda.
The damage that both have done is readily obvious.
You are absolutely right on the money. A crime.
It is a tragedy that the Lawn which is so beautiful is being so defaced. Freedom of speech is one thing but blatant destruction of property is quite another. This defacing of the Lawn began 40 years ago and not one president had the courage to stop it and shame on them.