This is rather funny. In my "Academic Ethics" column last week for CHE, I wrote:
The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, Campus Watch, The College Fix, Breitbart, and College Insurrection, among others, devote themselves with some regularity to policing faculty speech, and then presenting it — sometimes accurately, mostly inaccurately — in order to inflame public outrage and incite harassment of academics who expressed verboten views. Because American law gives very wide latitude to malicious speech for partisan political ends, there is little legal recourse for faculty members subjected to such harassment.
Only "Campus Watch" felt the need to call attention to itself and respond, in a letter CHE published (I don't fault CHE for posting their self-serving and fact-free nonsense, about which I'll say more in a moment). Now Wikipedia reports rather candidly, with sources, on "Campus Watch" and its reputation as smear merchants who incite harassment, so none of this is even remotely controversial, but the goal of smear merchants is always to distract attention with sanctimonious posturing. The letter itself, written by one Winfield Myers, is comedy gold, looked at the right way. We begin, as required by every known law of psychoanalysis, with projection:
Brian Leiter, in “Academic Ethics: Defending Faculty Speech” (The Chronicle, March 22), smears Campus Watch and mischaracterizes its mission.
Of course, it is Campus Watch that smears faculty who depart from its far right line on permissible views about Israel and the Middle East, but the first rule of being a smear merchant is to pose as a victim.
Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, critiques Middle East studies by holding professors accountable for their work.
The "Middle East Forum" is the vehicle of Daniel Pipes, who has been aptly described as a "misinformation expert." So "Campus Watch" is really just the creation of Daniel Pipes, but the first rule of being a front organization for a political polemicist is to pretend to be an organization (a "forum," no less, suggesting reasoned dialogue and debate) rather than a front for an individual's ideological jihad.
It does not “police faculty speech”; how could it when it lacks any and all police power?
You know you've fallen down the rabbit hole of slimy dishonesty when simple metaphors, familiar to any competent speaker of the language, are dismissed with the help of literalism ill-befitting a middle school English student. The response might have been relevant had I written that Campus Watch "exercises its powers as deputized officers to regulate faculty speech," but I didn't write that of course. Every competent speaker of the language knows that "to police" is a synonym for, e.g., to "watch over," to "protect," to "patrol," to "control" and so on, depending on context of usage. So Mr. Myers's flat-footed rhetorical flourish about lacking "any and all police power" is obviously irrelevant and non-responsive.
It does not “inflame public opinion and incite harassment” of academics but engages in careful, multiple fact-checked analyses.