We, the undersigned members of the Stanford community, write in support of Professor David Palumbo-Liu, who has been targeted by Fox News and other conservative/far right media outlets on the basis of an egregiously inaccurate story about him in the Stanford Review. He is now receiving hate mail, including death threats.
We also wish to alert our community to the fact that right-wing campaigns against faculty have been accelerating rapidly, often resorting to distortion and falsehood, seeking to vilify and intimidate. According to the American Association of University Professors, “Over the last year, targeted online harassment of faculty has emerged as a significant threat to academic freedom.”
The Stanford Review article accuses Professor Palumbo-Liu of promoting "vigilante thuggery” at Stanford and describes an organization he co-founded to resist fascism as “a terrorist group.” Such mischaracterizations are amplified by Fox News and multiple websites in what the AAUP calls “the right-wing echo chamber,” bringing abuse and threats to a faculty member and seeking to intimidate much wider circles of the academic community.
We ask that the University enunciate a strict code of ethics for journalists, distinguishing between opinion pieces and news reporting. The Review's piece, packaged as a news story, is obligated to meet a standard of evidence. Palumbo-Liu’s response in the Stanford Daily’s Op-Ed section is clearly an opinion piece. The Review provides no evidence whatsoever for their claim that Palumbo-Liu is a member of a terrorist organization. Such reckless and inflammatory statements violate not only journalistic standards but also Stanford's Fundamental Standard, and they ultimately endanger all of us.
[Please include your Stanford affiliation in the Comment Section. Thank you!]
The Stand Against Intimidation of Faculty petition to Stanford University was written by Lisa Surwillo and is in the category Education at GoPetition.