Conservative Newspaper Attacked

The Morris NorthStar

The Morris NorthStar

Our colleagues at The Morris NorthStar, the University of Minnesota at Morris’ conservative student publication, have found themselves in a precarious position as of late. Following the very vocal diatribe of an outspoken liberal professor of biology, hundreds of copies of the paper were stolen from distribution bins scattered around the University of Minnesota’s campus. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative nonprofit group, approximated the theft to have incurred a loss of nearly $1,750 to the small student-run paper. Such an incident follows another one that occurred last January, when around 100 copies of The NorthStar had been defaced after it had published a pro-life story.

Despite recent media attention, this aforementioned vocal biology professor – Dr. Paul Zachary Myers – has shown little hesitation in continuing his harsh rhetoric. In a Fox News interview last Friday, Myers described young Republicans as “assholes.” His views on the conservative Morris NorthStar are only slightly worse – “a terrible, terrible paper” and a “terrible little rag” that ought to be treated like “hate-filled trash.”

Such radical opposition to The NorthStar is nothing unfamiliar. Many other conservative publications in the United States, including our own Dartmouth Review, have similarly been victims of popular demonization and even, as in the case of The NorthStar, physical action. Fortunately, opposition to The Review has remained limited to its derogatory use as a doormat upon delivery or to a poorly thought out, anti-Review provision in the recent Freedom Budget.

In any event, colleges and universities are meant to be a forum for free and civil discourse and debate. Instead of urging the paper’s mass disposal, Professor Myers could have better represented his views by simply writing a strongly worded letter to the editor to The NorthStar. In that way, political polarization is avoided and a back-and-forth channel of discourse could have been established between the stakeholders of The NorthStar and its ideological opponents.

We at The Dartmouth Review hope such lowly incidents of petty intimidation and silencing remain outliers in what should be a peaceful and open exchange of ideas.