The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, December 04, 2003  

College Students Reeling in Amazement, Speaker Says of Own Words

Andrew Sullivan today writes, in a post headed “Reagan and AIDS,” a brief note that on the subject of AIDS and, well, everything else, is remarkably tendentious, misleading, and anti-historical, even for him:

Tuesday night, at Colgate University, the one point I made that truly shocked the audience was a defense of the drug companies.

Shocked as in, “They were surprised.”? Or shocked as in, “They were shocked. Shocked!”?

I hope it’s the latter, otherwise I’ll be forced to conclude that Colgate, which was considered a pretty good school back in my day, has experienced a precipitous decline in the intellectual capacity and general awareness of its student body.

I would have thought at least a handful of Colgate students would be vaguely familiar with Sullivan’s long history of parroting the pharmaceutical industry’s party line and his rich association with its financial largesse.

The same might be said as well for Colgate’s faculty, though being academicians and therefore inevitably inveterate left-wing America-haters they probably stayed away in droves. (Except maybe that weird guy from the physics department or somewhere -- you know, the guy with the thing about the holocaust or African-Americans’ genes or whatever, it’s almost always something outside his field of expertise -- because every campus has at least one of those guys, and they show up for everything. And then they hog the speaker’s time afterward and then sometimes the speaker invites them to submit an article or something. And, incredibly, sometimes the speaker actually publishes the stuff.)

Then again, Sullivan’s public profile isn’t what it was (and in more ways than one from what I understand).

Thus I’m inclined to think the Big Tuesday Night Shocker in Hamilton, such as it might have been, occurred because Colgate students are spending more time reading the New York Times than the “Daily Dish,” that long-since gone-over-the-edge collection of predictable Sullivanisms that so many bored web surfers turn to when they’re all ticked off that “Dilbert” just “isn’t as funny as it used to be.”

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