In the fall of 2006, Herald-Times columnist Mike Leonard admitted that he fabricated a Congressional vote that never took place in order to take a partisan shot at incumbent Congressman Mike Sodrel. On February 28, Mike Leonard lied about funding for Ivy Tech, attempting to lead readers to believe that Ivy Tech’s operating budget is funded by property taxes. On March 7, Leonard hit another low.
In a column about a dispute between Union Board and Young Americans for Liberty at IU, Leonard asserted that YAL was denied funding for a speaker not because of bias, but because YAL did not follow the proper procedure and allow UB to help with planning the event.
Of course, Leonard contradicted himself by saying that UB “got the ‘cuckoo-cuckoo’ whistle” from faculty and rejected the request because the proposed speaker did not have “sufficient academic credibility.” So which is it, Mike? Was it bias against the speaker himself or was it because YAL did not follow procedure? You cannot have it both ways.
The issue of following proper procedure is a legitimate point, if we take a leap of faith and assume Leonard is being truthful. But Leonard just can’t leave well enough alone. He could not simply make the point about procedure. He felt the need to smear the group and defame the students involved in the group.
Leonard spewed that YAL represent “the same people who opposed civil rights in the 1960s.” Keep in mind that we are talking about college students who were born in the late 1980s, twenty years after the civil rights movement was at its peak. Unless YAL members have discovered the secret of time travel, it is simply not possible that they could have opposed something 20 years before they were born.
This is a typical smear tactic from Leftists like Leonard, who lack the emotional stability to engage a discussion on the merits of the issue and must instead hurl personal attacks at their political opponents. Instead of refuting the allegation of bias with an argument about procedure, Leonard was compelled to smear these young people and paint them as racist and homophobic.
Keep in mind that Leonard did not provide one single fact, one shred of evidence or the slightest hint of proof for his despicable mudslinging. Leonard did not even attempt to show where any member of YAL’s leadership has said or written anything against the civil rights movement, “programs for racial and ethnic minorities” or “fair treatment” of homosexuals. He simply applied the Left’s stereotype of “racist, sexist and homophobic” to discredit rather than engage.
In other words, he made it up. This is well below what should be expected of a newspaper in a university community, especially a university that boasts a well-respected school of journalism.
This is going to be a long year. Leonard is lashing out, and he is doing so without regard for facts and ethics. H-T editor Bob Zaltsberg should publish an apology for Leonard’s vile smear. I will not hold my breath for the H-T to show a shred of decency, however.