Saturday, May 01, 2010

---‘Classical Liberal’ Alex Knepper Fights the Power!

A little old but still relevant.

American University, Washington D.C. –An opinion piece on Campus censorship in the campus rag The Eagle has turned into a full blown media circus. The Washington City Paper was first to pick up the firestorm, with FOX, NBC, and now CBS’s The Early Show climbing onboard.What’s the entire hubbub about? What’s the big deal about some college kid writing an article for the University’s paper you ask? By now, you have undoubtedly heard of Alex Knepper. If not, read further.

In his initial piece titled Dealing with AU’s Anti-sex Brigade, Alex commented on how “Jeremiah Headen likely lost the vice presidency of the Student Government over a hyperbolic Facebook note.” The comment? An all-caps final sentence “call to raid booty and women from neighboring villages”.

Alex couldn’t see what the issue was. In his opinion, it was most assuredly a “silly” comment, but it really had nothing to do with the content of the total writing.

In his own words, Alex states:

“The comments on The Eagle’s Web site, mostly by Gay Party activists and feminists, condemned Headen for being an “anti-queer misogynist” and for undermining American University’s commitment to being “safe space” for the “gay community.” He was also rebuked for using the term “hermaphrodite” instead of “intersex.”

What a sniveling bunch of emotional cripples! I have never encountered a more insular, solipsistic view of human sexuality than at this college. The rigidity of Pat Robertson has nothing on feminism.”

Knepper further opines on the feminist dogma of “social construct” and the religious like fanaticism with such gems as “Sex isn’t about contract-signing. It’s about spontaneity, raw energy and control (or its counterpart, surrender). Feminism envisions a bedroom scene in which two amorphous, gender-neutral blobs ask each other “Is this OK with you?” before daring to move their lips any lower on the other’s body.”.

As with anyone that challenges feminism or gays, Alex states that “For my pro-sex views, I am variously called a misogynist, a rape apologist and — my personal favorite — a “pro-date rape protofascist.””

Knepper’s words hit a feverous pitch with his opinion on the feminist Holy Grail, rape. In an attempt to put his prose into prospective, he states;

“Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.

“Date rape” is an incoherent concept. There’s rape and there’s not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It’s not clear enough to merely speak of consent, because the lines of consent in sex — especially anonymous sex — can become very blurry. If that bothers you, then stick with Pat Robertson and his brigade of anti-sex cavemen! Don’t jump into the sexual arena if you can’t handle the volatility of its practice!”

One would expect that with his creative words to define feminists and feminist ideology with lines like “Put down the Andrea Dworkin and embrace the fires of sexuality!” he would garner a few dissenting tongue lashings in the comment section, but you would be wrong.

At last view, over seven hundred comments to date is a telling indicator of the can of worms Knepper has opened. At one point, the comments section was closed (somewhere around six hundred) due to issues with “personal attacks” and “threats”. Considering that Knepper was attacked and labeled a ‘rape apologist”, conservative, and in need of psychiatric help, all in the second comment alone, it is no wonder that Alex responded in the third and fourth comment stating;

“Believe it or not, this column went through about five edits to remove remarks deemed too inflammatory.” And “Also, I am not a “conservative” and do not want my viewpoints associated with it.”

Reading further, Knepper is additionally labeled with such shaming words as misogynist, woman hater, metapod, a-hole, insensitive, and the coup de gras, he has ugly cats.

On April 1st 2010, Alex responded to his critics via opt-ed in the Newsbusters titled “Sex, Lies, and Media Bias: A Chronicle of Censorship in Campus”. No, he did not offer up an apology. Nor did he retract his statements. He merely, as with any good journalist, fledgling or not, offered up an explanation, within a chronology of sorts.

The first indication that Knepper had opened the preverbal can of worms was a call on Monday afternoon by Amanda Hess of Washington City Paper. Hess was calling to inquire as to Knepper’s feelings on the fact that hard copies of The Eagle had been gathered up, replaced with signs stating "NO ROOM FOR RAPE APOLOGISTS" and thrown back at the main office of The Eagle.

Upon further investigation, Knepper discovered that members of the cultural-Marxist campus "social justice" organization called Community Action and Social Justice (CASJ) and Women's Initiative were responsible.

Knepper finds this both confusing and humorous. For removing information from public consumption that one doesn’t like is exactly what he was initially speaking of – censorship.

Described as a “classical liberal”, Alex states that the article was “designed to elicit strong responses and spur a spirited debate. But the reaction from the campus left, and feminist groups in particular, has been simply beyond the pale of reasoned debate and does a supreme disservice to the notion of a liberal education. It is an attempt at de facto censorship.”

That evening the CASJ held a special meeting to discuss the “Alex Knepper Question”. Knepper felt that it would be prudent for him to attend along with the thirty or so people – to hear what they had to say and even to answer questions.

Immediately upon arrival, an organizer approached Knepper and asked him to leave for “safety reasons” Alex responded, “Do you think I'm going to hurt someone?” To which she responded: "I think you've hurt enough people already." An attendee, Knepper claims is a feminist, identified herself as a rape victim and asked him to look her in the eyes and tell her that she deserved to be raped. Knepper writes, “Almost in disbelief I told her calmly that this of course was not the case.”

As the meeting progressed, Knepper discovered just how adamant the feminist and CASJ members were about this being a political “talking point” and that someone had to pay, specifically Alex Knepper. Ideological political pressure was abounding.The meeting was filled with questions as to how the editors (women) could allow such a ‘pro-rape’ column to be published, what they had to say to all rape victims, and whether or not Knepper was to be fired.

Within the next 24-hours, the attendees had constructed a list of demands which consisted of firing Alex, print the Sexual Harassment code in the next publication, apologize for the column, removal of the column from the archives, and the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief. Additionally what Knepper found to be odd was that many of the students that under normal circumstances could care less about the paper were also rallying to “take it back”. Admittedly, Knepper doesn’t expound on what “take it back” actually refers to.

In true fashion, Knepper was asked to resign his position. He responded; “I'd sooner be fired than send the message that CASJ has a free-reigning veto over the rest of the campus' behavior.”

In the end – of this chapter anyhow, Knepper has agreed to finish out the semester with The Eagle and to not apply for the columnist position next semester. An agreement he willingly accepted since he was told that new editorial policies would be put in place to “weed out provocative columns”. Again, censorship, the point of Alex Knepper’s articles all along. And something that Alex could not sanction. At the time of this article, The Eagle has suspended all opinion pieces and issued an apology which can be read here.

Knepper cannot decide if the main stream media is indeed bias or stupid but it would appear that the coverage of his statements is out of context. His interviews with NBC, CBS, and ABC have all been shot and he has seemingly seen the to-be-aired version and he claims that they edited the interviews in such a manor that alters the context of what he actually stated.

IF anything comes from this Alex admits that “the fight against campus Stalinism will proceed -- and as more and more media pick up on this, the more we can expose what's happening on college campuses all over America.”


Alex’s Original Article:

Follow-up Article:

The "Apology" from the Eagle: