The Bulldog Newspaper On-Line
  Newsline Section
Cyberbia Section
Moneyline Section
Issues Section
Opinion Section
Sports Section
Nightlife Section
Classified Section
Archive Search
About The Bulldog
Reader E-mail

Tuesday June 16, 1999

Purdue Reads The Bulldog
But, they dont want the Truth!
By Amy Williams, Assoc. Editor

      FRESNO CAMPUS - To my knowledge, my review of a critique of the "autobiography" I, Rigoberta Menchu appeared only once on the Front Page of Bulldog Newspaper, Friday January 15, 1999.
     Reader reaction was quite favorable, with 211 positive comments from readers. However, in one critical BulldogNews e-mail received on Friday, Purdue University excoriated me on a pretext that I lacked direct personal experience of Guatemala's political and economic environment in the 1950's. Really!
     Keep in mind Purdue University English Dept. took me to task, not for anything pertinent to the text of my review, mind you -- not for my positions on misrepresentation and fraud apparently contained in Menchu's essay, nor for my criticism of "multicultural education".
      So, I took it in the knees for my column which is just a review of a critique by a Stanford antrholpologist analysis of the Menchu claims in an 1987 publication. Prof. Robert Stoll of Middlebury College had unearthed and revealed that the modern Liberal Studies icon of the Multicultural college curriculum, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchu is a fraud.
     My Bulldog News column emphasized that much of Ms. Menchu's supposed autobiography of her life in Guatemala in the late 1950's she portrayed in her 1987 book I, Rigoberta Menchu apparently contained materially false representations and outright fabrications.
     At the time of publication of my column in January, Ms. Menchu's defenders were already claiming that her transparent dishonesty is of no consequence, because her words are "metaphorically true". However, in the interest of fairness and justice, Ms. Menchu should be required to surrender the Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to her under false pretences.
     The focus of the column is on serious criminal fraud allegations that the celebrated and widely taught testimonial of Rigoberta Menchu, the Nobel Prize-winner and advocate of indigenous people's rights in Guatemala, lied about specific events that she could not have witnessed directly.
     More generally, Menchu miscast the actual conflict between the Guatemalan military and peasantry in order to project her political agenda into a long standing conflict over many centuries.
     The Purdue writer seems to have adopted Menchu's strategy in his e-mail,

     "Perhaps we should send some anthropologists into Israel to gather proof that the Bible is a fraud. I'd rather not, since for the most part I recognize the difference between fraud and representation. As an important book about both factual and fictitious events, the Bible is possibly the best thing ever written -- Rigoberta Menchu's piece doesn't even come close. As an autobiography, though, the Bible's got to be a big hoax, right? I mean, isn't God supposed to remain a mystery? Don't worry, I don't count Rigoberta's work as comparable to the bible. That would just give your paper all it needed to write me off as an atheistic liberal, wouldn't it? You might say that I could compare it to, say, a newspaper -- which is also chock full of fiction and hyperbole (in the editorials, for instance)....I think that maybe your "conservative voice on campus" should first concern itself with proper comma placement...then issue its editorials about fraud...You are unprofessional, Ms. Williams, and a poor excuse for an editor. ...I realize we have a "difference of opinion." I am fully aware that your editor approved your piece. I am not surprised that you received positive responses to it (though I doubt "hundreds"); many so-called conservatives are ill-informed, selective readers who shore up their ignorance about Latin America as a way of chasing down anyone they perceive as "liberal." My recommendation would be for you to drop out of college for a while, stop getting your politics from disc jockeys, and possibly join the Peace Corps or some other organization that might teach you where the people live who you are so bent on chasing down. Were you attending a journalism class under my tutelage, you would receive an F."

     In contrast, The Bulldog News is a private enterprise Free Press. Our editors promote standards that will foster good news writing. Objectivity purists often insist that reporters must go beyond the facts which obtrude into the news. U.S. news writers seem to have settled upon what is called an objective interpretative treatment of news and opinion columns. It is interpretative to the extent that good reporters do seek related facts and opinion beyond those which merely obtrude into the news momentarily. They are objective to the extent that opinions are attributed to sources, not stated as facts.
     Since American press freedoms rest ultimately upon public opinion, the Bulldog News is concerned with pressures on that opinion and how pressures are brought to bear on news and opinion writers. Pressure tactics seeks to stifle freedom of expression, shift, shape, and modify the factual content and the writer's interests and opinions, first in the student publication, and then in newspapers of general circulation.
     For these reasons, The Bulldog Newspaper Foundation has sponsored the Bulldog News since 1958, and reports it has achieved a better level of tolerance toward press freedom. There are promising signs of greater success at the millennium, however, with growing acceptance of legitimate on-line news publication through world-wide distrubtion on Web Portal's Hitch Hiker's Guide to Cyberspace!

     [Editor's Note: The Bulldog Newspaper is a member student news organization of U-Wire. Amy Wiliams' daily column has a weekly average readership of slightly more than 97,000 with a value added content distribution of nearly 300,000 through the U-WIRE news service.]


© 1958-1999 HTML Graphics by Bulldog Newspaper Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
This site created and maintained by WebPortal, Inc. Palo Alto, California.