A student at Rutgers University is alleging that his firing from the student newspaper was a result not of his conduct, but of his conservative political views.
Alex Khavich writes at The Tab that Dan Corey, Editor-in-Chief at The Daily Targum, fired him via email (tacky!) for “disparaging the Targum.”
The trouble started when Khavich submitted an article that repeatedly used the term “illegal immigrant.” Targum editors changed each instance to “undocumented immigrant.” When Khavich asked why, an editor told him that this change was made to comply with AP Style.
There’s just one problem: AP Style does not allow the use of “undocumented immigrant,” either. “A person may have plenty of documents, just not the ones required for legal residence,” according to the Stylebook.
When Khavich called out the editors on this misreading of the AP Stylebook, Corey backtracked and said he changed it to reflect the term used by most media outlets. Because if there is anything the media ought to be doing, it is mimicking itself and never changing the status quo.
Corey eventually fired Khavich over a comment he made on Facebook regarding a Targum article about sexual assault statistics. The comment read: “It’s disingenuous for the title to claim an increase when there has been a decrease in the last year. Implies a continuous trend. Scare tactics are unhelpful.”
It’s a brusque criticism, sure, but an accurate one – so the Targum editors took his advice and reworded the article for clari- HAHAHA NO. They fired him for “disparaging the Targum.” The Targum, like Scientology, will excommunicate any member that criticizes it for any reason.
The comment was not disparaging as it was simply asking the paper to tell the truth. Telling the truth is the campus newspaper’s job. Otherwise, it’d be called the campus literary magazine.
Kavich has reason to believe that he had a target on his back long before these incidents. He was the student who invited Milo Yiannopoulos to campus; several Targum staff members protested the event. Also, his first piece as a Targum staff member was submitted with five references to illegal activity by Black Lives Matter activists – editors took them all out before publishing.
Corey has also noted that Khavich was difficult to work with and that he was annoying another editor. Is that grounds for termination, or just an entry in Corey’s Burn Book? To be determined. The paper still has two conservative columnists on staff.
This instance of one student on one campus might seem small, but word-policing is a favorite tactic of the Left to stop the conservative message. The Rutgers incident is only one drop in the tidal wave of college liberals actively working to stifle free speech.