Caught spreading untruths, Michael Goldfarb doubles down

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

On Friday, Michael Goldfarb suggested that Princeton gave Sonia Sotomayor "preferential treatment" by allowing her to teach her own class and grade her own work, and that she may have graduated with honors only because she was allowed to grade herself. Goldfarb then whined that he went to Princeton, but was never afforded such luxuries. At least one blogger took Goldfarb's claims a step further, writing that Sotomayor's "Princeton degree is not worth the paper on which it is printed" and calling it a "self-granted degree."

But it was immediately obvious that Goldfarb was full of it. The blog post he cited for this smear linked to a Princeton University press release that made things perfectly clear: Sotomayor didn't teach the class, didn't grade herself, and there was absolutely nothing unusual about the "treatment" she was given - the seminar she persuaded Princeton to offer was the 132nd such student-initiated seminar in the previous 12 terms.

I pointed all of that out at 12:48 pm on Friday, just two hours after Goldfarb's own post. Adam Serwer and Steve Benen and Julian Sanchez and Matt Yglesias and Scott Lemieux and Jason Zengerle all joined in, pointing out that Goldfarb was wrong; Sotomayor hadn't taught the class or graded herself.

Still, Goldfarb didn't correct his post. And he can't use the excuse that he took off for a long weekend, without access to the Internet. He posted again at 3:15 pm on Friday, and again at 5:00 pm, and at 7:42 pm, and again at 11:49 pm. But no correction.

Well, now Goldfarb has finally "updated" his post. But he didn't retract his dishonorable smears, or tone down his pathetic whining about not being allowed to teach a class at Princeton (based on his inability to successfully read a press release, he should be grateful he was allowed to take a class there.) Instead, he simply quotes an innuendo-laden email from National Review writer Matthew Franck:

Update: Matthew Franck of NRO's Bench Memos blog emails:

I thought the same thing about that bit of ethnicity-hustling that Sotomayor engaged in as a Princeton student-that she and her classmates got to run the whole show themselves when they got their seminar on "the Puerto Rican experience"-until I saw the press release from 1974 that the Daily Princetonian dug up. It seems they applied for a class of their own, and even got to set the readings and syllabus, under a loopy 1968 policy that handed this kind of curricular initiative over to students. But they did get an assistant professor of history to "teach" the class, after they designed it. (Some academic freedom he had!) Presumably he handed out the grades, but since he was (conveniently) an untenured assistant professor running a little class with some experienced Mau-Maus, you could almost predict the A's all around from day one.

That's all Goldfarb added to his post. No retraction of or apology for his false claims. Just a screed that continues to imply that Sotomayor essentially graded herself, and continues to obscure how common student-initiated seminars were. And note that the email makes it look like the press release in question was buried in some dusty archive somewhere - how was Goldfarb to know? Well, maybe because the press release was linked to in the very Stuart Taylor blog post that Goldfarb used as the basis for his smear?

Goldfarb has done a nifty job of pretending to meet the requirements of a correction, while actually obscuring the irresponsibility and stupidity of his original post, and continuing its unfair and baseless implications.

Maybe he's desperate to make the world forget about this by behaving even more deplorably?

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