David Horowitz and the art of the cheap shot

Oddly enough, just after posting two consecutive days on David Horowitz’s cheap shots against academics, yesterday I received the latest (May 6, 2005) issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education which featured a long cover story on him. (For someone who is constantly whining about not getting enough attention from academia, Horowitz seems to be extraordinarily successful in getting publications such as this to cover him and his ideas. See Michael Berube’s blog for a response.)

Anyway, the Chronicle article has a lot of information about him and it also provides some interesting background information on his funding. So I thought that today I would use that information to try my hand at manufacturing a cheap shot, an art I can learn from the master, David Horowitz himself.

Recall that in my previous postings (see here and here), I showed how he distorts and misrepresents academic life, saying things like: “Shiftless, lazy good-for-nothings? Try the richly paid leftist professors securely ensconced in their irrelevant ivory towers” and again “You teach on average two courses and spend six hours a week in class. You work eight months out of the year and have four months paid vacation. And every seven years you get ten months paid vacation.”

Well, the Chronicle uncovered the fact that “Mr. Horowitz received an annual salary of $310,167 in 2003. He declines to give his current income, but in addition to his salary, Mr. Horowitz receives about $5,000 for each of the 30 to 40 campus speeches he gives each year.” Horowitz says that college Republicans always invite him. Other student groups never do. “My kids have to scrounge up the money off campus.” He drives a 2004 model Lincoln Town Car.

Despite earning the kind of money that most people (including academics) can only dream about, Horowitz still whines. The Chronicle article says

If he were liberal, [Horowitz] contends, he could be an editor at the [New York] Times or a department chairman at Harvard University. And his life story would have already been told on the big screen. Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey, his autobiography, has been out for eight years. “Someone would have made a film out of it if I was a leftist,” he says bitterly.

“He claims he would make more money as a liberal, too, “at least three times,” what he earns now.”

That’s right, he claims he would have been earning about a million dollars per year if he were liberal. This is a man who is seriously delusional and needs professional help fast.

And there’s more. His Center for the Study of Popular Culture receives millions of dollars from various right wing foundations. The Chronicle article says that: “The center itself is located on the fourth floor of an office building in downtown Los Angeles, but Mr. Horowitz prefers to work from home.” Horowitz is quoted as saying: “I love my work space,” and “I sit at my desk with my laptop. I listen to music. I take the dogs for a walk. Like most writers, I live in my head.”

So here’s my attempt at a cheap shot, to show how bits of accurate information can be rearranged for effect. Drum roll, please.

“Shiftless, lazy good-for-nothings? Try the richly paid right wing David Horowitz. He plays these gullible right wing foundations for suckers, taking millions from them in order to pay himself a fat salary just to stay at home, listen to music, and take his dogs for walks, when he is not out driving his fancy expensive cars. The only thing that gets him out of his house is if he is given the opportunity to pocket $5,000 for one hour’s work delivering the same old tired speeches, extracting this money from impoverished campus student organizations, who have to struggle desperately to pay the high fees he charges them to support his luxurious lifestyle.”

Ok, I’ll admit that my cheap shot is not that great and needs considerable refining. But in my defense, I haven’t had the years of experience doing this kind of thing that Horowitz has. And I don’t aim to either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *