Interviews with Daniel Pipes
Debating Campus Watch
Fox News: Hannity & Colmes
COLMES: A new battle is brewing on our nation's campuses, concern about what they feel is a growing anti-Israeli bias in the college classroom.
The Middle East Forum has launched a Web site to monitor the situation. The site, campus-watch.org, specifically lists professors and universities for their alleged controversial views. Is this a public service or a smear campaign?
Joining us now from Washington is the man behind the site, director of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, and coming to us from Mountain View, California, one of the professors mentioned by the site, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, Stephen Zunes.
Good to have you both with us.
Let me go to you, Daniel, and talk about-you've heard the attacks. People think that this is McCarthyite, having lists, spying, using people to report back in. What do you say to those charges about your site?
DANIEL PIPES, MIDDLE EAST FORUM: Well, let me start by correcting your presentation. This is not about Israel. This is about Middle East studies.
There are some of us who are Middle East specialists who believe that our colleagues at the universities are doing a bad job. They're making profound mistakes. They're extremists. They're abusing their power in the classroom. They're intolerant of other views.
And we have set up this Web site to watch what they're doing, to monitor what they're saying, to critique what they're saying, and to improve what they're going to be doing and saying, and we're looking not just …
COLMES: Well, you...
PIPES: ... let me just finish … not just at Israel, but also militant Islam, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, a host of issues. It's not about anti-Semitism. I don't know where you got that idea.
COLMES: Well, it's not only about Israel, but Israel is part of it and some of the people you target on your site are people who have spoken out in favor of human rights for Palestinians. One of the people on the site is Stephen Zunes, and I want to get Stephen's reaction to what you just said and his name being on that site.
STEPHEN ZUNES, UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO: You know, it's-I've always seen the university as the classic case of the marketplace of ideas, so it's rather ironic that people on the right are trying to regulate that marketplace. I-I think it was simply a matter of saying I'm too liberal, I'm too dovish or saying that Mr. Pipes is too conservative or too hawkish. That's healthy. That's a good debate.
But when you start labeling people, anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, that's not to encourage debate. That just stifles debate, and...
PIPES: Who-who-wait a minute. Wait a minute. Who has labeled whom? I put your quote on the site and said it's wrong. I didn't label you anything, did I? I've got it right here in front of me.
PIPES: "Stephen Zunes of the University of San Francisco sees only the United States to blame for the atrocities of September 11." I didn't label you.
ZUNES: I never said that.
PIPES: You can tell me I'm wrong or right.
ZUNES: I never-I never said-I never said that. Indeed, the paragraph right after says about this anti-Zionist perspectives. I'm not anti-Zionist. I identify much more with...
PIPES: Mr. Zunes, I didn't say you are. I didn't say you are. I say that you're wrong in what you're writing. You believe in the free marketplace of ideas, and so do I. So I've got the right to critique you, no?
ZUNES: Not if you make up things I never said. Not if you make up things I never said.
ZUNES: I never said the United States was solely to blame.
COLMES: All right. Let's move forward.
PIPES: That was my characterization of you. I didn't say you said that.
COLMES: Gentlemen-Mr. Pipes...
COLMES: Mr. Pipes, let me ask you a question. You say on your Web site-and I quote from your Web site-you say, "Academics seem generally to dislike their own country and think less of American-even less of American allies abroad." Is that not a sweeping labeling generalization about everybody in the academic world?
PIPES: Well, I am not talking about every single person, but I am saying that, as a generality, it is very much the case that my colleagues at the university hold their nose when it comes to American interests.
You just had a debate preceding this one about the Balkans. There's a distinct bias against the pursuit of American interests. There is a distinct friendliness towards the enemies of the United States, apologetics for them, and harsh attitudes towards the allies of the United States. That's a generalization, not true of everyone, but a generalization of...
HANNITY: Mr. Zunes, you mentioned the marketplace of ideas. You know that conservative speakers are often shut down on college campuses all across the country by people-led by professors in some cases-and it happens with regularity.
ZUNES: It hasn't happened on ours.
HANNITY: Now, Mr. Pipes, I want to go to you if I can. I want to know specifically-you characterized the statements of Mr. Zunes as he blamed America for the attacks of September 11. Why do you say that?
PIPES: Well, because I've got a quote of him that he says it's no accident the United States got hit because of the things we did. I don't hear anything from him about bin Laden.
HANNITY: You said that, Mr. Zunes? You said that, Mr. Zunes?
ZUNES: That particular quote in the-in that same article, I talked about how bin Laden and al Qaeda is...
HANNITY: Mr. Zunes, answer the question.
ZUNES: ... a totalitarian, fascist...
HANNITY: Did you say that?
ZUNES: I did not-that exact quote-I-I basically said...
HANNITY: Did you say it?
ZUNES: ... that U.S. policies-U.S. policies...
HANNITY: You said it.
ZUNES: ... have been such that have led to a reaction.
HANNITY: You said it.
ZUNES: That's very different than saying it's our fault. I never said it was our fault.
HANNITY: You know what, Mr. Pipes? You're doing...
ZUNES: If it was-if our policies-if our policies were geared more towards supporting human rights...
HANNITY: Oh, here comes the...
ZUNES: ... international law, and sustainable development...
HANNITY: ... real left-winger. Come on.
ZUNES: ... and less towards...
HANNITY: Come on. Here we go.
ZUNES: ... supporting dictatorships, autocratic regimes...
HANNITY: Here we go.
ZUNES: ... occupation armies...
HANNITY: Mr. Pipes...
ZUNES: ... and that sort of thing, we'd be more consistent with our values and we'd be a lot safer. That's not saying it's our fault.
HANNITY: Mr. Pipes, you're doing-you're doing...
ZUNES: It's simply saying that,...
HANNITY: Hang on, Mr. Zunes.
Mr. Pipes, you're doing, I think, American parents a favor because if you accurately-and I think it's got to be accurate-if you're accurately quoting the extreme left-wing agenda like Mr. Zunes who blame America for the attacks and say, "Look at us," the blame-America-first crowd, I think parents can go to your Web site, and that can become a resource for them so that, when they're making decisions about whether or not to send their kids to Mr. Zunes's college like the University of San Francisco, they'll have at least some knowledge of where these people that will be educating their children are coming from.
ZUNES: Well, wait a minute, Sean.
PIPES: It's part of our purpose. Really, the heart of our purpose is to improve things. Mr. Zunes and his colleagues have been going along for years now without any criticism. We're coming along, a little think tank, and saying, "Hey, we're going to criticize you."
And like the monopoly they are, intolerant-by the way, you mentioned intolerant-I-usually when I go to a campus, I have to have security surrounding me when I give a talk because of the kind of intolerance.
PIPES: We're saying that's over. We're now going to criticize. That's all. Nothing more.
HANNITY: Mr. Zunes, I don't have enough time to get into this with you but what you said is shameful. It's sad that you have a captive audience of young people sitting before you that you don't give balance to. I find that-I find that's what's wrong with college campuses today, left-wing indoctrination by people like yourself.
ZUNES: But there's a very big difference about what people do in the classroom, what people do in their research, and what people do in advocacy forums.
ZUNES: It's a very, very different scene.
HANNITY: You have a captive audience of...
ZUNES: Talk to my students. Talk to my students.
COLMES: Mr. Zunes did not blame America first. That's not what he did.
HANNITY: Yes, he did.
COLMES: He talked about it in the greater context and that's not what he said.
HANNITY: He admitted it.
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