Cancel culture has come back to campus! Cockburn was dismayed to learn that 1619 Project curator Nikole Hannah-Jones had been denied tenure at the University of North Carolina.
Hannah-Jones had been announced as a Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism last month. Her New York Times magazine supplement the 1619 Project had earned Hannah-Jones a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, despite garnering criticism for playing fast and loose with the facts of America’s founding from Bret Stephens in the New York Times Opinion section and several history professors in the New York Times Letters page. Who doesn’t love a heterodox publication?
You’d have thought that with her scant attention to detail, short temper and proneness to error, NHJ would be perfectly well-suited to a career in academia. Fortunately UNC agrees — they’ve offered her a non-tenured teaching position instead.
But academics at the college have written an angry letter protesting that NHJ was denied tenure. ‘The national politicization of universities, journalism and the social sciences undermines the integrity of and academic freedom within the whole University of North Carolina system,’ they warn. Cockburn agrees: we must consider the integrity of the school that made up fake classes to boost the GPAs of its student-athletes! (Were there ever any meaningful consequences for that, by the way?)
So what might Hannah-Jones be like as a professor? Cockburn has some insight there too: last summer his intern wrote a story about NHJ plugging products in a Glamour interview, in what appeared to be a violation of the New York Times‘s ethics handbook. The intern, then a college student, emailed Ms Hannah-Jones to ask what was going on. Obviously she responded in a calm and proportionate manner:
‘LOL. Let me first start with that. Are you a real reporter?
‘Glamour asked me what products I use and I told them. I did not endorse. I did not promote. It was an interview. That note at the bottom is their standard disclaimer and had nothing to do with me or my interview, which an actual journalist would know.’
Our poor intern also asked about 1619 Enterprises, a company that appears on her husband Faraji’s résumé. Here’s how Hannah-Jones responded to our budding reporter:
‘1619 Enterprises does not relate to the 1619 Project, obviously. (A real reporter would just look up the business filing). The 1619 Project is a journalism project at the New York Times, as you are aware. No, my husband does not work for the NYT. Has never worked on the 1619 Project and was not paid by the 1619 Project nor the New York Times as his only relation to the project is to be married to me. Further, if he did it would not be any of your business. Print that.’
What a class act!
That’s not to mention the time another reporter, the Washington Free Beacon‘s Aaron Sibarium, emailed Hannah-Jones for comment on a story. Her response? To tweet out a screenshot of the email that included his phone number. Will doxxing be an elective at UNC next semester?