Progressive Graffiti

On Contact: a New McCarthyism with Ellen Schrecker | RT America

You’ve heard of the media watchlist put out by “friendly neighborhood propaganda identification service” PropOrNot. There is a comparable service for academia. Professor Watchlist aggregates the list of college professors who “advance a radical agenda.” (FYI, liberal professors are clamoring to get on it.)

Chris Hedges talks to historian Ellen Schrecker about the watchlists and today’s brand of McCarthyism. They also explore the conservative suppression of liberal higher education that has occurred for over 40 years. Schrecker says, “Be very aware of what’s going on. There’s an attack on the American mind.”

“On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges explores the rise of a new McCarthyism with Professor Ellen Schrecker, author of “Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America”. They examine the role of President Elect Donald Trump and the impact the suppression of dissent has had on higher education. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at a few recent examples of targets of this new McCarthyism.” ~ RT America

Why are the humanities and social science programs so important to education? They teach us to think about ideas, and perhaps more importantly, broaden our sense of what it is to be human.

“The truly endangered part of American higher education is the humanities and some of the social sciences. And these are what a college education should be giving people with regard to the notion of being a citizen… Martha Nussbaum… talks about the humanities as giving people a taste for the other… And that makes you… somebody who can understand more than just me, me, me.” ~ Ellen Schrecker 

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • i am afraid that watch lists that were discussed in the video will soon turn into Nazi-like witchhunts under Trump. Good information given here.

    • Yes, that is a real concern. Hey, are you at Univ of South Florida? I’m a Floridian, too. Glad to meet a fellow critical-thinker in the region. Thanks for commenting. Happy New Year!

  • Oh my, I watched the first few minutes of the video and there is some gross understatement. Juan Cole is on the watchlist for two things: claiming that Islamophobia and right-wing Jews are responsible for the shooting up of an African Methodist Church in S.C. and recognizing Israel as a state is racist. These are extreme, incendiary views, which the video does not describe in any detail and passes off as a little unconventional (he’s more than just critical of the state of Israel). Professor Miller compared Bush Jr. to Hitler and claimed he was trying to start a theocracy. The watchlist also includes a link to a source. It is not easy to get on the watchlist, and it is undeniable that universities are heavily leftist and it is very hard to be a conservative student. If you are going to defend the right of professors lie Juan Cole to state his extreme views publicly, from a position of power, then you also have to respect the right of conservative students to put together this list, which in the end does not limit free speech.

    • There are undoubtedly many deserving sites on the propaganda media list. Still, some quality alternative news sources are lumped in with the rest.

      I couldn’t agree with you more. The freedom-of-speech principle must apply to everybody… in order for freedom of speech to exist. (Those liberal profs should know that!)

      Along with that freedom, comes responsibility. Just because everyone is entitled to an opinion, and the right to express it, it doesn’t mean all opinions carry the same weight or value. In the end, information consumers need to keep their critical-thinking caps on. (More than anything, I wish people would get out of their emotions and use their left-brain more often!)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comment, Philosophy. God Bless and have a Happy New Year.

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