Washington Post Takes Dim View of Jefferson Council. The Sentiment is Reciprocated.

University of Virginia students protest Mike Pence’s April 12 speech. Photo credit: The Washington Post.

It’s nice to see that The Washington Post finally has acknowledged the presence of The Jefferson Council as a player in the University of Virginia community. Friends and members might take umbrage at how author Peter Galuszka portrays us, but as the old saying goes, the only worse thing than bad publicity is no publicity.

The article, which is pegged on the free speech controversy surrounding former Vice President Mike Pence’s recent speech, describes the Council as “a small group of right-wing alumni” and insinuates that it is comprised of misogynists, xenophobes and racists. Writes Galuszka: “Once a bastion of preppy White men, [UVa] long ago admitted women and has expanded to more foreign students and non-Whites. That apparently seems threatening to the Old Guard, which is critical of the university’s attempts to extend its diversity outreach.”

Alluding to the 2017 Unite the Right rally of “hard-right fascists,” the article segues to the observation that “this most recent reactionary iteration seems to begin with [Bert] Ellis.” Galuszka describes Council President Ellis as a “wealthy television mogul based in Atlanta.” Yup. Just one step removed from advocacy of fascism and White supremacy! (Next time you get a chance, ask Ellis about the most recent entrepreneur he bankrolled.)

This is what we’re dealing with, folks!

At least the article quoted Ellis accurately.

I open the floor to comments from readers of this blog to detail the article’s most grievous transgressions. Have at it, folks!

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John Tate
John Tate
3 months ago

You are known as much by your enemies as by your friends. Proud to be a part of this organization!

Larry Chamblin
Larry Chamblin
3 months ago
Reply to  John Tate

I wish we could avoid thinking of those with whom we have political disagreements as our enemies. Though it is not easy in these times of such deep political divides, I try to think of myself as, first, a human being, second, an American, and third a progressive Democrat. From my perspective, THC and Fox News (and Daily Caller, etc.) make this ideal extremely difficult to live up to.

Vic N
Vic N
3 months ago

TJC is human. You can’t compare amoebas to humans.

Larry Chamblin
Larry Chamblin
3 months ago
Reply to  Vic N

See my comment to John Tate above.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 months ago

“Democracy Dies in Darkness” is on the masthead. Please.

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
3 months ago

I sent the online comment below in response to this bogus, biased article:

I am a co-Founder of The Jefferson Council along with Bert Ellis. Mr. Galuszka’s article could not be more one-sided or incorrect. I can assure the readers that we are not “a small group of right-wing alumni” as he categorizes our group. Ad hominem attacks and sweeping pejorative stereotypes directed at organizations are usually substitutes for presenting factually based critiques. This article is a prime example.
 
If conservative students attacked liberal ones or attempted to suppress open discourse at the University I can assure Mr. Galuszka and the readers we would have the same concerns. However, that is not the case at UVA. A vocal, intolerant minority of the student liberal left is openly attacking conservative students on social media and often in person. We have proof of this, and have presented these facts to the Administration and Board. Their response to date has been inadequate. We will continue our efforts until that changes and true intellectual diversity once again is the norm on the Grounds of Mr. Jefferson’s University.
 
I suggest Mr. Galuska get his facts straight before he attacks Bert Ellis or any other members of The Jefferson Council in the future.”
 

Andrew Skotdal
Andrew Skotdal
3 months ago

As a graduate of the College in 1993, my requirement for U.Va. is simply radical candor. Nobody’s ideas are safe to express unless everyone’s ideas are safe to express. That the school has brought itself to a point where only the views of one ideology are accepted (and others punished or shouted down) is contrary to what we were taught as students. The school sends representatives to visit almost annually seeking more money to fuel its edifice complex, and institutional recognition of the problem will only occur when the alumni cash machine is turned off. I don’t have a subscription to WaPo, but my view of the Jefferson Council is simply to advocate for transparency and open dialogue at U.Va. (and to depose the current leadership team). I support that.

walter smith
walter smith
3 months ago

The article in WaPo deserves a full fisking.
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Fisking
I have events today and can’t devote the time…but it needs to be shown to be as transparently biased as possible…and it shows we are over the target!
With any luck, I’ll have it tomorrow.

Clarity77
Clarity77
3 months ago

It would have actually been surprising had the WaPo article been truthful or fair, given it is currently our country’s version of Pravda. As UVA alumni our efforts are better focused on addressing the very root of indoctrination that then creates journalists who go on to work at propaganda outlets like the NYT and WaPo.
I believe it would be worthwhile to consider the approach Governor DeSantis is initiating in the Florida university system as outlined in the following article. https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/education/article260550802.html

Larry Chamblin
Larry Chamblin
3 months ago
Reply to  Clarity77

Academic freedom is just as important to a university as free speech is to individuals. How do you square the push for free speech with this attempt to curtail academic freedom? You can’t.