Following our report on the student protest that called for Dave Brandon to be fired, an adjunct professor demanded we remove the accompanying picture of Brandon being beheaded by the mob. The College Fix reports on the criticism:
On Tuesday, a massive protest engulfed the campus quad, known in those parts as the Diag. News crews – even overhead helicopter news crews – captured the scene as hundreds of students protested. And what did they want? Well, in a manner of speaking, Brandon’s head.
…Michigan Review editor Derek Draplin, a student journalist who also contributes to The College Fix, told me that as he and others observed the protest, it seemed to have a “mob mentality” vibe, and he and his peers even casually likened it to the angry crowds during the French Revolution’s “Reign of Terror.”
…Enter the controversial image: Brandon’s head interposed with a picture from the French Revolution, during which the guillotine was the preferred weapon of choice. They ran the eye-catching and provocative image alongside coverage of the protest.
The professor responded, saying “I’m against censorship, but I’m also in favor of some common-sense.” Read the whole story here.
The Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE also gave their input:
We agree. The University of Michigan is a public institution legally and morally bound by the First Amendment, and an image like this—which cannot reasonably be interpreted as a threat—is no less protected just because violent incidents sometimes occur at schools, or because of recent tragedies in the news. Further, newspapers contain disturbing content all the time; that’s the nature of reporting on real news. And of course, it would be an utter waste of time and resources for campus police to look into every article or image in the newspaper that someone finds “disturbing” by some allegedly “common-sense” standard. More to the point, it’s a dangerous attack on newspapers’ First Amendment rights that can only chill their expression.
Read more of what FIRE has to say about the ‘issue’ here.