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SPECIAL EXCHANGE: Bucknell's ''Young Hipublicans'' and the New York Times.

5.29.03

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Bucknell's "Young Hipublicans" and the New York Times.

This is in regards to Paul Beston's very objectionable "Once More, With Sneering." The NYT finally did something good, and he can't seem to see that. The following are quotations from the article and my rejoinders. I was featured in the New York Times article about which Beston wrote.

"[Story author John] Colapinto has a grudging admiration for them."

Not true --John has a genuine, heartfelt admiration for us, which is evident if you meet him. Did you see the stuff he said about me on Fox?!

"Unfortunately though, Charles Mitchell isn't kidding, and so Colapinto is forced to descend from his Mount Olympus of faux detachment."

Give me a break -- John's "the temptation is to assume he's kidding" sentence was a joke. It's about my $@#$()*+&*(# room, and I'm amused!

"In the usual sidewinding, subtle manner of Times journalism, Colapinto consistently sounds warnings about these young conservatives the way one might expect if he were writing about, say, student members of the Aryan Nation."

Not even close ...

"Colapinto's main issue with campus conservatives is his contention that they are merely the mouthpieces, if not the pod people, of conservative think tanks and leadership groups."

This entire argument (much of the piece) is just patently untrue --John does not think that! Maybe he didn't make it clear enough in the article -- and he did, beings that he was TRYING TO GET THE NEW YORK TIMES TO PUBLISH A HIGHLY COMPLEMENTARY PORTRAIT OF SOME RIGHTIES, have to devote a lot of words to the theory -- but his thesis is precisely the opposite. It's unfortunate that this writer can't see that, and it makes our movement look like a bunch of crybabies.

"The young male conservatives are bad enough, but women conservatives bewilder Colapinto even more."

No, they don't -- the discussion of this matter was something John was ORDERED TO PUT IN BY A FEMALE, LIBERAL EDITOR AT THE MAGAZINE.

"He was complimentary and gracious; you would never get the idea that this is the writer who alleges that the young conservatives are nothing but parrots for a well-funded, well-oiled rightwing machine out to conquer the American university."

BECAUSE HE DOESN'T THINK THAT!

"It's unlikely Charles Mitchell and his colleagues have failed to see through Colapinto's hot and cold routine."

No, unfortunately, Paul Beston is looking a gift horse in the mouth, failing to even correctly discern the author's thesis, blinded by the author's left politics and certain details he was obliged to include to secure the approval of the Imperial NYT's Editors.

In my view, David Horowitz and Andrew Sullivan had it right -- this thing was a gift. Everyone is right that it was not perfect, but the allegation that it was a "hatchet job," or that it painted us as pawns of the Beltway VRWC, or Jonah Goldberg's statement that "to say that these kids actually read, research and think on their own, rather than get 'talking points' from Karl Rove would have undermined the author's thesis and make the piece far less attractive to the Times" is really not accurate. Well, I take that back -- the part about the Times is correct, but the part about John is not.

I know that it will be easy to write this off as some young kid who thinks he knows it all but got duped is strong, but I ask you not to. When we first heard that the NYT was interested in us, we thought the same sort of stuff -- it'll be a hatchet job, etc., but it will get our name out there. That didn't happen. John truly, genuinely, honestly likes and respects us. Maybe he wasn't clear enough in the article, but he does not see us as pawns of LI, CN, ISI, etc. Now, granted, he had to discuss such allegations, and did so at length. And granted, he is not a conservative, and that showed. But what did anyone expect? The important part is not that John is liberal or that they quoted David Brock. The important part is that John rejected the usual liberal crap and painted a very complimentary picture of us. In order to do so and have the NYT print it, he had to jump through the usual hoops -- quoting Brock, probing the Beltway groups, asking the girls (he was clearly embarrassed that he was ordered to do this) how they squared being female and conservative, etc. But if you could have seen the way he was acting when he was around us, you'd understand -- there's no way to fake the way he was acting and the way I really believe he feels about us. The man respects us. He probably went into it thinking we were weirdoes, but came out of it begging me to take him shooting, enjoying said shooting, and completely rejecting the criticisms of the Bucknell administration, the leftist race-baiters on campus, the decriers of LI/CN/ISI, etc. That, in my view, is notable, and for the Right to miss it while decrying his frequent use of "right-wing" and other terms is frankly looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Mr. Beston owes John an apology, and he owes the rest of us in the movement one, too, for making us look like a bunch of rich, whiny brats (which is just how the Left would like to paint us).
-- Charles Mitchell
President
Bucknell University Conservatives Club
Lewisburg, PA

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