The Chronicle Has Some ‘Splaining to Do

I haven’t had time to do more than goggle at the horror of the blogging trainwreck that is Naomi Schaefer Riley. A pro-tip: when you want to write a post entitled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations,” it is a good idea, at the very minimum to, you know, actually ‘just read’ the fucking dissertations yourself. Whiney follow-up posts explaining that “it is not my job to read entire dissertations before I write a 500-word piece about them” and that “there are not enough hours in the day or money in the world to get me to read a dissertation on historical black midwifery,” might lead the enquiring reader to suspect that you’re a lazy, incompetent hack. Actually reading the posts in question might lead the aforementioned reader to suspect a variety of other things too. I suspect that Ms. Riley has a bright future awaiting her, involving victimization claims, think tank fellowships and other wingnut welfare goodies. But I wonder what the Chronicle (which isn’t what it was, but is still something) thinks it can possibly get from association with her brandname, and why the hell some editor (they do have editors, right?) didn’t spot this quite repulsive piece and spike it before publication.

[Cross-posted at Crooked Timber]

Henry Farrell

Henry Farrell is an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.