Horowitz revives “tedious” Colorado case, casts Media Matters as “vigilantes”

After proclaiming that he had lost interest in the “tedious back-and-forth,” right-wing pundit David Horowitz is back, again falsely attacking Media Matters for America over an unsupported claim of anti-conservative bias at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). Horowitz has claimed that a UNC student, when asked to describe on a midterm essay exam “why President Bush was a war criminal,” received a failing grade for answering instead why Saddam Hussein was the war criminal. But despite his repeated assertions that he has lost interest in the debate over the UNC incident and that the controversy is ultimately insignificant in the face of “hundreds of cases” of classroom bias, Horowitz just can't seem to help himself, continually revisiting the specifics of the UNC case and relentlessly attacking Media Matters, most recently in an April 21 post rehashing the details of the debate.

Horowitz: Media Matters making a “mountain out of the molehill”

Horowitz has attempted to undermine the credibility of Media Matters' debunking of this story (here, here, and here) by downplaying the significance of the purported UNC incident. In a March 15 article on FrontPageMag.com, Horowitz, the publication's editor-in-chief, wrote: “We have mounted a campaign for academic freedom based on hundreds of testimonies from liberal as well as conservative students in more than 30 states and at colleges from coast to coast, but leftists have pounced on a single student's testimony about a single exam at the university of Colorado in an attempt to discredit all the evidence we have gathered and the case we have made.” In a March 17 post on Moonbat Central, the blog of Horowitz's DiscoverTheNetwork.org, Horowitz again asserted the insignificance of the UNC case, alleging that Media Matters was “creating a mountain out of the molehill of this particular case (our campaign is based on hundreds of cases).”

Horowitz: “Not even I the target am interested anymore.”

Following his assertion that the UNC case, as an isolated example of a larger trend, was unworthy of scrutiny or discussion, Horowitz and his advocates declared the debate surrounding the UNC controversy tedious and claimed to extricate themselves from it. In the March 17 post on Moonbat Central cited above, Horowitz wrote: “The back and forth with the Soros attack site MediaMatters has become so tedious that not even I the target am interested anymore.” This was followed on March 18 by a post by DiscoverTheNetwork.org managing editor Richard Poe, who echoed Horowitz's apparent fatigue, and extended an invitation to Media Matters: “We have tired of the game. We invite Mr. [David] Brock [president and CEO of Media Matters] -- along with any other misguided commentators, blogospheric or otherwise, who wish to follow his lead -- to say whatever they like concerning the hapless student persecuted by assistant professor of criminology Robert Dunkley at UNC.”

Despite claims of boredom, Horowitz continued the attacks

But four hours later, Poe, despite his professed indifference, posted another attack against Media Matters on Moonbat Central. And yet another three hours after that. One hour later, he again posted on the UNC controversy. On March 19, Poe responded yet again to a Media Matters item on the UNC issue.

Horowitz also returned for more. On March 20, despite his insistence of the triviality of the UNC case, Horowitz authored two blog posts on it, here and here. And in an April 21 article on FrontPageMag.com, Horowitz once again overcame his boredom. In the article, Horowitz reiterated his claim of the relative insignificance of the UNC incident, but then rehashed (at great length) the details of the debate, and again attacked Media Matters. Horowitz wrote that a “dishonest tactic of the opposition has been to seize the slightest ambiguity in the information we have been gathering in order to discredit the idea that there is any problem at all." He then attacked Media Matters as “vigilantes” and a “leftwing smear site,” and again accused Media Matters of “spreading the false story that I had invented the student, the exam and professor.” This accusation is false; as we have noted repeatedly, Media Matters merely pointed out that Horowitz had failed to provide any evidence that the incident played out as he had described it.

We do wonder how much Horowitz would have to say if he were actually interested in the topic.