This Horowitz not our PSU prof

The David Horowitz who was scolded by a columnist in The Oregonian last Sunday for creating “a tidy scandal” is not the David Horowitz who is a professor of history at Portland State. But PSU’s Horowitz said he has been mistaken for the other David Horowitz before.

The explanation: The two have some history in common. Both were conspicuously active in opposing the Vietnam War. The other David Horowitz, PSU’s Horowitz said, appeared as a speaker at Portland State a few years ago in connection with the proposed Measure 9, an anti-gay measure voted down by the electorate.”He’s in my FBI file,” the PSU Horowitz said.

Both are authors. PSU’s Horowitz is co-author of “On the Edge: The U.S. Since 1941,” among other tomes. The book is used in the class, HST 329, The U.S. in the 20th Century, taught by Horowitz.

The other David Horowitz is Los Angeles-based, writes journalistically and has been author or co-author of a number of books. One of his more recent is “Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes.”

The Los Angeles Horowitz at one time considered himself a militant advocate of the new left but now identifies himself with the forefront of neoconservatism.The “tidy scandal” accusation came in a column by Charles Krauthammer, syndicated through the Washington Post Writers Group. The “tidy scandal” was Krauthammer’s label for the consequences of an ad Horowitz placed or attempted to place in a number of college newspapers. The ad attacked the proposal to pay reparations to descendants of American slaves.

Krauthammer wrote, “His full-page ad in several college dailies provoked a predictable outraged reaction.” Some college editors, one of them at University of California at Berkeley, were pressured to issue apologies. At Brown University all copies of the paper containing the ad were confiscated.

Krauthammer commented, “Horowitz’s gambit cleverly exposed the intolerance of the academic left. The unintended consequence, however, was to resurrect the idea of reparations.” The columnist went on to say he is one who has long favored the payment of reparations.

In Krauthammer’s scenario, the United States would make a lump sum compensation of perhaps $50,000 to every family of slave descendants. He estimated this would cost about $440 billion, a big sum, he said, but manageable.The neoconservative Horowitz has mounted considerable material on the Internet about his ad campaign, including excerpts from Frontpage magazine, published by his Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

The ad is headlined “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks – and Racist Too.”

Thirteen college papers printed the ad without apology or incident, three printed the ad but apologized, one printed an ad attacking the ad but did not run the ad itself.

Among those which Horowitz listed as printing the ad without incident were papers at the University of Chicago, Boston University, Ohio State and Princeton. Prominent among those which rejected the ad were Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Cornell and Dartmouth.

Patty Mamula, adviser to the advertising staff of the Vanguard said there has been no attempt to place the ad in the Portland State paper. However, she said, the e-mail circulating among college papers around the country is abuzz with comments about the ad, some deploring it, some defending it on the grounds of the First Amendment right to free speech.

Mamula stressed that the Vanguard is a student-run paper and her job is advisory. However, if she were consulted, she would advise against running it, “because it’s dishonest.”

Paloma Wright, advertising director of the University of Wisconsin Badger Herald, wrote that the ad ran without her approval. The school’s multi-cultural student coalition planned a rally in protest and also requested the paper to run its own ad in response. The coalition submitted ad copy which called the paper a “racist propaganda machine.” The paper rejected the headline submitted and asked the coalition for revisions.

Michael Fribush, general manager of the University of Maryland Diamondback wrote that he was not advocating the stance represented by the ad but stated, “I do not believe it is a newspaper’s job to run one side’s opinion but reject ads from the other. Probably a better way to put this is to ask another question: Would you run an ad in your newspaper that supported slave reparations? If your answer is yes I don’t see how you could reject the Center for the Study of Popular Culture ad.” Fribush said his paper has neither received nor run the ad.

Krauthammer’s column advocating payment of reparations added an additional proviso, that the payment would end affirmative action.

“I doubt that anyone on either side of this debate is prepared to accept this deal,” he wrote.