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College Newspaper Apologetic For Using Photo Of Invited Speaker


On March 2 of last year, a debate at Middlebury College with Charles Murray, of the American Enterprise Institute was shut down by screaming protestors who couldn’t handle a discussion with the co-author of the “The Bell Curve.” Now, they can’t handle his picture.

The editor of the Middlebury Campus, Ethan Brady, felt the need to explain the use of a photo of Murray in a piece reflecting upon the events of a scheduled debate between Murray and professor Allison Stanger last year that ended in violent protests.

Here’s some of what Brady had to say in the recent publication:

I wish to explain the photograph on page A1 to the readers. I recognize that it may be especially jarring, particularly for students of color who feel that Charles Murray’s rhetoric poses a threat to their very humanity. I also recognize that Murray’s visit to campus last March is an open wound for a campus trying desperately to move forward from it.

During a heated debate in the newsroom on Tuesday night, most of the section editors, and the managing editor, said that running this photograph would be inappropriate. Though I deeply respect the input of my editors, I decided to run the photograph anyway. I take full responsibility for this decision. It was mine alone, and any criticism should be directed at me alone.

This photograph is not meant to troll, or to cause pain, but to ask how that protest still lives with us today, one year later. For many, this image is burned in our collective memory. As much as we try to distance ourselves from that moment, we are made from it.

Yes, it seems even using photos of people that some students disagree with need to be accompanied with apologetic notes at some institutions.

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