Bias? The Stanford Daily’s Talking Points

by Gary Fouse

The Stanford University campus newspaper, Stanford Daily, has been under the spotlight in academic circles recently over their part in the leftist campaign to drive the conservative think tank, the Hoover Institution, from the Stanford campus. I have been following the controversy in recent weeks and have noted the strong anti-Hoover slant the paper takes.

It is true that after Victor Davis Hanson, a well-known fellow at the Hoover Institution, was attacked by a writer in the Stanford Daily, the newspaper printed his response. That aside, the Hoover Institution has been attacked many times on the pages of the Stanford Daily. One of the professors most involved in trying to get Hoover off campus is left-wing activist Professor David Palumbo-Liu, who is also noted as an anti-Israel activist. Just since last October, Palumbo-Liu has written three op-ed pieces against the Hoover Institution in the Stanford Daily. In addition, he recently led a group of professors in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Faculty Senate to re-evaluate the university’s relationship with the Hoover Institution, which is described in the above link.

Aside from the Hoover controversy, the Stanford Daily recently published an op-ed to the effect that the Stanford College Republicans did not deserve to be on campus. The College Republicans wrote a response letter to the Daily, but the editors refused to publish it because “it did not meet their editorial standards.”

So in the face of all the criticism, on March 2, the Daily’s editors posted their own defensive talking points. While acknowledging a liberal slant (to reflect the liberal slant of their campus readers), they insist that they do publish alternative opinions as evidenced by the Victor Davis Hanson response. But that does not make them fair and balanced, to borrow a phrase. 

Take, for example, a line from their article in their own defense:

 “.……and last volume’s opinions editors controversially allowed the publication of an anti-BLM article that recycled far-right talking points against the movement.”

Just the wording in that line reveals the Daily’s obvious bias against conservative thought. 

To be fair, the Stanford Daily is no different from most university campus newspapers around the country. They all kow-tow to virtually every leftist idea and group imaginable. It is also fair to point out that these are student journalists, young men and women who will possibly feel much different about the world ten years from now. But that does not mean they should be exempt from criticism and having errors pointed out to them-let us call it “constructive criticism”.

Nonetheless, it is a scary thought that many of these aspiring young writers will go on to become the Chuck Todds and Jim Acostas of the future.


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