David Horowitz is caught fabricating persecution of conservative students again:

Right-wing activist David Horowitz, the president of Students for Academic Freedom (SAF), which purports to fight anti-conservative bias on the nation’s college campuses, has admitted that a story highly publicized by his group concerning alleged events at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) “appears to be wrong,” and that “our presentation of this case appears now to have had several faults.” Horowitz made the concession in an article posted on FrontPageMag.com, his online magazine, on March 15, under the headline, “Correction: Some of Our Facts Were Wrong, But Our Point Was Right.” On March 14, in a post on his FrontPageMag.com blog titled “A new Brock slander goes round the web (and is refuted here),” Horowitz had accused Media Matters for America, which raised questions about whether the Colorado story was true in a March 7 item, of “slander” and insisted the story was true. Despite Horowitz’s March 15 concession that the story is not true, the false attack on Media Matters is still posted on his blog.

The Horowitz about-face appears to have been prompted by a report, also posted March 15, on InsideHigherEd.com, which describes itself as “the online source for news, opinion and career advice and services for all of higher education,” that refuted nearly all of the claims Horowitz and his SAF group had made regarding a student’s purported allegations of political bias against her criminal justice professor at the UNC. Horowitz and SAF had alleged that a student in “[a] criminology class at a Colorado university,” when asked on a midterm essay exam to explain “why President Bush was a war criminal,” received a failing grade for answering instead why Saddam Hussein was a war criminal, and that this constituted anti-conservative bias. However, InsideHigherEd.com quoted a UNC spokeswoman as saying that “the test question was not the one described by Horowitz, the grade was not an F, and there were clearly non-political reasons for whatever grade was given.” All the information the university had “was inconsistent with the story Horowitz has told about this incident,” the website reported having been told by the UNC spokeswoman. The article also reported that the professor Horowitz and SAF attacked, Robert Dunkley, is a registered Republican. Before retracting their claims, Horowitz and SAF had gone to great lengths to maintain their veracity in the face of skepticism from Mano Singham, the director of Case Western Reserve University’s Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education, who questioned the Colorado story March 4 in a Cleveland Plain Dealer op-ed; and from Media Matters, which noted that media outlets were reporting the Horowitz story as if it were true even though there was no evidence to support it.

No surprise from someone whose followers seem to believe they’re protecting “academic freedom” by pushing to punish teachers for airing opinions they don’t approve of – like, say, criticisms of the President.

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