Letters to the Editor

NW Staff

Coulter coverage less than stellar
The North Wind’s coverage of Ann Coulter (April 17, “Coulter speaks on conservative views”) did the NMU student body a great disservice. Both the front page story and the accompanying editorial were departures from the paper’s recently excellent coverage of campus politics and news.

Coulter’s speech wielded the power to cause harm, yet provided an opportunity to educate. It is a shame that The North Wind choose to facilitate the former rather then seize on the latter.

Ann Coulter is a polemicist. Additionally, she is charged with demagoguery, polarization, divisiveness, and propagandizing. These criticisms more often hail from the left than the right. However, there are few, if any, on the right extolling the virtues of her deliberative and thoughtful insights, rendering the left’s assessment applicable regardless of the fact that the College Republicans want to paint her as some perverse form of entertainment.

By filling Coulter’s front page article with over 20 direct quotes, and only deviating in order to make room to paraphrase her, The North Wind ceased to cover the event and began to cover the message.

Nevertheless, the lead article’s most egregious failures rest not with the inclusion of Coulter’s whole message but the selective way in which a partial message was presented.

Where were Coulter’s disgusting “jokes” about Muslims? Where was Ann’s negative acknowledgement of the protestors? Where was the coverage of Coulter fans hurling insults at audience members solely because they did not agree with the speaker? And where was the coverage of the largely community-based crowd, which cheered belligerently at Ann’s liberal use of “us vs. them” polemics?

The news media must paint a full and fair picture or risk the enduring stain of bias. The North Wind did not accomplish a full and fair assessment inside the Coulter event. And for the record, a protester making “communist gestures” doesn’t make any damn sense.

News aside, I empathize with the pleas of The North Wind in favor of student engagement. Sadly, the editorial’s (April 17, “Event inspires students”) inconsistency on this subject does little to promote its own desired ends.

The newspaper’s support of active students stands in stark contrast with its editorial’s denunciation of walk-out protestors.

It appears that the editorial stood in favor of counter-protest activities but not that specific type of activity. This muddled conclusion on what is and is not an acceptable form of student engagement draws a razor-thin line indeed. Students listen when the message is clear. Stand up for what you believe in, but make sure you do it from your chair.

But maybe that wasn’t what The North Wind was trying to say.

Miles Baker
senior, political science

Thanks for supporting a cause
NMU’s Coalition of Contingent Faculty would like to thank Northern and the Marquette community for the interest and support this past semester. Since our founding in January, we have worked to increase our numbers in order to become truly representative of all adjunct instructors at NMU.

We have hosted three speakers on contingent faculty issues in order to educate ourselves and others on the role of contingent faculty in the greater university community, the issues relevant to contingent faculty at NMU and nationwide, and how such issues might be approached.

We have begun a dialogue with administration at NMU in order to create a system of open communication in which the concerns of all contingent faculty here can be effectively addressed.

We look forward to hearing from all contingent faculty members interested in learning more about our work and joining our coalition, further educating ourselves and others on the issues contingent faculty face at Northern, and working continually with administration on those issues. Be on the lookout in May, when TV6 will run a three-part series on issues that relate to NMU adjunct faculty, and also watch for our continued awareness-raising activities throughout the summer.

Thanks again.

NMU Coalition of Contingent Faculty