Coulter on the intricacies of Cornell’s schools

After the situation has been covered by nearly every Cornell media outlet (IvyGate, CornellWatch, MetaEzra), I will complete the circle by being the fourth to denounce Coulter for her ridiculous comments this past week:

Olbermann relentlessly attacked low-level Bush administration employee Monica Goodling for not going to a name-dropping college, saying — approximately 1 million times — that she got her law degree “by sending 100 box tops to Religious Lunatic University.”

I would venture to say that the students at Goodling’s law school at Regent University are far more impressive than those at the Cornell agriculture school — the land-grant, non-Ivy League school Keith attended.

I wouldn’t mention it, except that Olbermann savages anyone who didn’t go to an impressive college. As it happens, he didn’t go to an impressive college, either.

If you’ve ever watched any three nights of his show, you know that Olbermann went to Cornell. But he always forgets to mention that he went to the school that offers classes in milking and bovine management.

Indeed, Keith is constantly lying about his nonexistent “Ivy League” education, boasting to Playboy magazine, for example: “My Ivy League education taught me how to cut corners, skim books and take an idea and write 15 pages on it, and also how to work all day at the Cornell radio station and never actually go to class.”

Except Keith didn’t go to the Ivy League Cornell; he went to the Old MacDonald Cornell.

While acknowledging Cornell alum Coulter for her great work and efforts in representing minority ideologies by her

Arts and Sciences alum Ann Coulter

Arts and Sciences alum Ann Coulter

contributions to the only prominent Republican newspaper on campus, it is disappointing to see her continuing close-mindedness and abrasive techniques. Although some of her ad-hominen attacks are equally matched by her opponents, her recent foot-in-mouth statement about CALS not being part of the ivy league is completely inexcusable. Not only is it degrading towards those in the Ag school, but the fact that she and Olbermann (of equally childish tendencies and tactics) are wasting time quibbling over this instead of numerous national problems is absolutely ridiculous.

Just as disturbing is the fact that she has the entire crew of late-night show “Red Eye “on FoxNews convinced that she is somehow right. What is unbelievable is the absurdity of the fact that she has actually managed to convince herself that her statement is the truth. She seems to have employed Seinfeld‘s George Costanza’s motto that “it’s not a lie, if you believe it’s true.” Coulter seems so delusional that she has not realized the level of her own ignorance which she has exposed – she hasn’t the faintest clue how her own school operates!

Even if she believed her statement to be true, one would believe that she would correct her outlandish statement just for the sake of self-preservation; the discredit she is bringing to her own name, Alma Mater, alleged political party, and *reputation* is incredible. It seems she has gone rogue from rational thought, and for this reason the Insider will go rogue from Coulter temporarily.

35 Comments on Coulter on the intricacies of Cornell’s schools

  1. bravo, latecomers 🙂

  2. We can agree to disagree ollie.

    http://tinyurl.com/d9khf8

  3. I’ll politely second that motion. I don’t think your post speaks for all members of the Cornell Insider, so watch the “We-ing.” Coulter was making fun of Olbermann who was being a jerk to Monica Goodling, who went to a small private college. In trying to shove his “ivy leagueness” in her face (which should be a no-no for us all) and undermine someone who had a legitimate job in the Bush administration, he’s the bigger moron — so why isn’t anyone attacking him? Your citation of her column on this matter is so incredibly slanted it may as well be on MSN. So for the benefit of readers who might want to chew on this more I have taken the following straight from the source at http://www.anncoulter.com —>

    “…Olbermann relentlessly attacked low-level Bush administration employee Monica Goodling for not going to a name-dropping college, saying — approximately 1 million times — that she got her law degree “by sending 100 box tops to Religious Lunatic University.”

    “…I would venture to say that the students at Goodling’s law school at Regent University are far more impressive than those at the Cornell agriculture school — the land-grant, non-Ivy League school Keith attended.”

    “…If you actually want to pursue a career related to agriculture, there is no better school than the Cornell ag school. I have nothing but admiration for the farmers and aspiring veterinarians at the ag school. They didn’t go there just to have “Cornell” on their resumes. In addition to the farmers, there are some smart kids who go to the ag school — as there are at all state universities. But most people who majored in “communications” at an ag school don’t act like Marshall Scholars or go around mocking graduates of Regent University Law School.”

    If you still aren’t convinced, than I reiterate that Ann is pundit — it’s her job to make Olbermann/Colmes and the rest of the liberal media-nuts squirm while one has the option to laugh as the humor goes beyond them in most cases. Sure, not all of it is palatable for everyone (she isn’t always my cup of tea either), but if you don’t like it, you can always get your kicks from Oprah instead or just not listen! Either way, I’m disappointed that the Review (or at least one person on it) has stooped to the level of calling her “close-minded.” As Jordan points out, we are making a big deal of a “petty jest” (and that’s totally benign compared to the other stuff she’s pulled over the years in several books + a weekly column). I’m secondly disappointed that in pushing this selective anti-Coulter agenda (which again doesn’t include *all* of us) that my video post last night containing an interview between Coulter and Hannity (on media red-herrings distracting us from the stimulus bill and the “enemies list” of the Clinton years) was suddenly pulled. I later received notification from you, Ollie, that this was explicitly due to the fact that you wanted to run a “denouncing” of Ann Coulter post. Well, mission accomplished – the Cornell Insider has now pandered to people who by and large probably do not support what the Review does anyway. I guess that whole liberal attack on intellectual pluralism has really rubbed off on some people and that apparently only some of us are allowed free speech here.

  4. Sarah, I understand that Coulter is a pundit, but did you hear the things she said in the Foxnews video?

    Here is a little sampling:

    “…The point is he didn’t go to the Ivy League Cornell…It’s like somebody claiming to have lettered in Varsity football, here’s my letter, well, you were the equipment manager… You didn’t play football, you were the equipment manager.”

    I think it’s pretty clear that she believes the university students in CALS are the equipment managers of the Varsity Arts and Sciences Squad. Equipment managers? Really? If it’s her job to “make Olbermann/Colmes and the rest of the liberal media nuts squirm,” I would prefer that she wouldn’t do it at the expense of a large percentage of her alma mater’s undergraduate population. How could we not disapprove of her statements?

  5. Yes, I heard it. And I took it as seriously as I take Keith Olbermann 🙂

    Is this the most tasteful, efficient way she could have made her point (e.g. Olbermann is a buffoon who rubs his credentials in everyone’s face and was wrong to whip out his elitist card on Goodling and others)? No, certainly not, because now she’s gotten most people all shook up about Cornell and not sold on her opponent’s hypocrisy. But again, it’s petty jest directed at Olbermann. If you read her column, it doesn’t seem that she’s looking down on people who go to Cornell’s ag school. Again, I quote:

    “If you actually want to pursue a career related to agriculture, there is no better school than the Cornell ag school. I have nothing but admiration for the farmers and aspiring veterinarians at the ag school. They didn’t go there just to have “Cornell” on their resumes.”

    Granted, my undergrad alma mater was a state school, but you know since coming here, at the risk of offending everyone who was so quick to jump on the defensive bandwagon, I have heard MANY arts and sciences students making fun of aggies and hotel students. And even within arts and sciences, the engineers make fun of the English majors — it’s petty high school-esque bull that some clearly never grow out of. I don’t think everyone who says things in jest is an elitist prick, but coming from my state school context, the difference in attitudes was noted.

    Semi-related: The last time one of Ann’s ad hominem attacks made National news, I remember it was John Edwards. She was misquoted on every media outlet as calling him a certain gay slur that begins with an F. If you saw the complete sentence though, she was actually making fun of Isiah Washington going to “rehab” for using said gay-slur against his gay coworker. How can one go to rehab for using a word, Ann asked, at the time, pointing out how Stalin sent people to “re-education” camps.
    …But that aside, we all know how John Edwards turned out, don’t we? And it’ll surely be interesting to check back on this new scandal months from now.

  6. Cb29-
    Just to make sure this doesn’t get overly lengthy, I’ll respond to your statements starting from the top.

    While I have a laundry list of issues with Keith Olbermann, his equally moronic actions of trying to shove “his ‘ivy leagueness’ in her face” is not the issue at hand. Brushing off Coulter’s remarks in favor of creating an Olbermann-bashing post would be the same as taking Coulter’s Cornell ‘jests’ and deducing that because Olbermann instigated her remarks with anti-Bush comments, he is a bigger moron. That would be a reply that has no relevance to Coulter’s Cornell comments, and thus a non-sequitir, which doesn’t get anybody anywhere. Olbermann’s flaws can be equally addressed in any other article at any other time.

    Now, as far as my excerpt from her blog being ‘slanted,’ I would have to ask you what your quote brings to the table. You criticize my choice in quoting her, but then you go on to quote the exact same lines I did, while adding Coulter’s disclaimer which includes that “there are some smart kids who go to the ag school.” I’m not sure how this gives Coulter any new legitimacy; I think it actually detracts further from her credibility, as she is inferring that most kids apparently aren’t smart, especially those majoring in communications. I also pulled my quote directly from the same source you did, so I’m not sure how you linking again to Coulter’s website was profound, either.

    Ann Coulter is obviously a pundit. However, I think that to attenuate her remarks as a jest would be irresponsible. I too, thought it was kind of funny and probably served the sole purpose of getting under Olbermann’s skin. But once one watches her interview on Red Eye (linked in my article), it is very clear that this is not merely an innocent jab – she actually honestly believes what she is saying, specifically in her analogy which says Ag School kids are the nonathletic team managers to the Arts and Sciences varsity athletic team.

    Finally, your idea that the Insider has stooped to address this issue purely to pander to liberals. There is no pandering here – if there’s one thing that Cornell conservatives and liberals can agree on it’s that we should acknowledge when a Cornell alum has made degrading statements towards students at her own school. I could be wrong, but I say, the more often our views overlap, the more progress we’re making.

    Any other claims in your comment regarding consensus of staff or post technicalities I won’t address here, in an effort to not lower ourselves to the same pointless quibbling which I condemn Coulter and Olbermann for.

  7. I agree with Oliver in that I really believe Ann said this just to irritate Olbermann. If that is the case, go ahead. As a CALS student, however, she also succeeded in irritating me. I happen to think the school is excellent, and am surprised that Ann would say such a thing as she herself loves the school so much. So, I must agree that the quote must be denounced.

  8. This was an attack directed 100% at Olbermann, not at CALS. She uses hyperbole, she’s not as knowledgeable of CALS as she should be, but the point was not to trash aggies; the point was to trash Olbermann. I think she did that quite well.

  9. So CORNELL is where she learned to “write”? Are we talking about the same pundit whose columns are as lucid as Revelations, except without the revelations? The one who brings as much glory to her alma mater as OJ Simpson has brought to USC? The one who claims to be an expert on the American political process, but when she gets busted for voting in the wrong precinct, she claims IGNORANCE? Is that who we are talking about? What took you so long to be embarrassed?

  10. Disappointed // March 9, 2009 at 10:37 pm //

    I was expecting a highly articulate, targeted, and rational analysis of the petty (I think we can all agree on this point) debate at hand. Instead we get a wishy-washy, Op-ed. style generic retort more aligned with a State school standard than an Ivy one. The link:
    http://patterico.com/jury/2009/03/05/too-good-to-be-true-but-it-is-keith-olbermanns-resume-fraud/#comments

    -provides far more actual rational analysis of the arguments than any others I’ve seen. Including, SAT stat differentials between the various colleges, percentage of SUNY funding provided to the Ag school verses the ‘ivy’ league school originally est. as one of the ‘ancient eight,’ (which by definition makes the Ag school non-private), acceptance numbers, timeline of degree programs offered (Communications only became offered at the Ag school several years before Olby’s tenure), and true argument as to the motive of Ms. Coulter and Mr. Olbermann.

    Those who dismiss Coulter’s claims as her merely convincing others that she is somehow right, then adding simile involving a 90’s sit-com as if that is somehow MORE persuasive, should go back to debate class 101 and try not to sleep through it. What are the facts? Why is she doing this in the first place, really? Why should we not assume that Olbermann’s insecurity about his oh so important ‘Ivy’ league education is not paramount to the discussion (considering it is he who brings it up CONSTANTLY)? Who here is supportive and complementary of graduates of the Ag school who genuinely attended for the quality of its Farming and Veterenarian programs in the first place and not as a way to get the credentials for bragging rights only?

    Reading between the lines is important. For those who conclude that Ms. Coulter’s motive is to disgrace the Ag school of ‘Cornell’ (although in my opinion, is SUNY run by Cornell) as a way to disgrace Mr. Olbermann, I urge you to actually think. It is clearly her mission to disgrace only Olby, for USING a great Ag School to circumvent admission standards at the Ivy league college, only to get the ‘Cornell’ on his diploma for those oh so important to him, bragging rights. It is clearly his ticket to undermine others with whom he may disagree. Any transcript of his show will reveal this. However, if it was Ann’s mission to deface the Ag school, then why would she go ahead and praise its graduates of Ag type programs as this nation’s finest? She is clearly aware that it is Mr. Olbermann who has the issue with being grouped with these farmers and vets (class is important to people like him) and she is exploiting this nerve masterfully. His defense of saving $$$ is on the surface a good one, however I’m sure if we gave him the choice, he’d rather have the money to blow on the true ‘Ivy’ education for status points than have to take more than 50% of his courses at the Ag school, just to get the ‘Cornell’ diploma on the cheap. Again, this would elevate his ‘status’ in his own mind. The fact that there was no degree at Cornell Ag in Communications (a debatably crap degree) until just before he applied, leads me to think that the program, could not have been highly regarded in comparison to other Ivy’s with similar programs at that time. That is another debate as well. But all of these questions pertain directly to this debate and should be addressed if we are to take Cornell Review’s position seriously. Otherwise it just sounds like a ‘can’t all us Cornellians just get along’ type commentary, rather than a true analytical discussion of the debate. By the way, I think all Cornellians should just get along, but that doesn’t mean that I think all Cornellians are educationally equal. And Mr. Olbermann, Ms. Coulter and this sorry excuse for a Cornell Review’s perspective on the current debate prove this undoubtedly.

  11. Its not embarrassment on the whole, but regret at what she said. Obviously, this was only to annoy Olbermann, which I think was very successful. Unfortunately, what she said could easily be misconstrued as an assault on an entire school, and a good one at that. Admittedly, I was one of the people who initially thought this was a general attack. But, it is clear the attack was meant for Keith, who deserves every bit of it. And please, leave the anger at home.

  12. Maybe if “disappointed” could write in clear, coherent sentences, all of us could actually understand what he is saying.

  13. Disappointed // March 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm //

    Jhfabian-If by ‘coherent’ you mean ‘shorter,’ then no, I won’t. Perhaps the hyphen following the link was a bit, ungrammatical, however, I’d be happy to take any single sentence you may be having trouble comprehending and draw you up a grammar tree like we used to use in 7th grade English class.

    Jmb582-I agree that her words could be misconstrued as some time of general assault. But, what disappoints me is that I would expect the misconstruing from community college graduates, not Cornellians. And of course her language is colorful, antagonizing, and aggressive. She’s trying to lure an audience, like all journalists are. But once she has, we should all have the sense to look carefully at her overall argument and assess its validity in the context of all players in the debate.

    That’s why I was hoping that Cornell Review would come in here and set the record straight. Give us the facts about admissions and SAT standards (past and present), the funding of each college, the faculty, the courses/difficulty on each campus, comparisons between other Communications programs of the time, how long was the Ag school part of SUNY before it became a Cornell run college, when did it switch over? Show us that Ann Coulter’s argument is completely and utterly unfounded based on your close accessibility to this information. Opportunity lost is all I’m saying.

  14. Disappointed // March 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm //

    Oops, I meant to say ‘some type of general assault’ earlier. I know that Jhfabian is just itching to point out the typo. Sorry.

  15. Jordan, I could understand what Disappointed said just fine. Disappointed, I understand where you are coming from with your argument; however, you must also realize most of our readers are themselves Cornellians, and already know how competitive the school’s general admissions are and the large amount of funding all the schools receive. Also, most people outside of Cornell have at least a passing knowledge of the school’s excellent reputation, which I think was an assumption Coulter made before making the statement. A random error in thought process ( a “brain fart” if you will) caused me to think for a minute her attacks were against the school in general; this was nothing more than a pure mistake on my part. As for this being a “lost opportunity”, I think the opportunity took advantage of itself. Most people reading this already know the statement is unfounded based on what they’ve heard for years at the very least.

  16. By the way the “leave the anger at home” comment was directed to Earl Hammer, not Disappointed.

  17. The reason why you won’t find a lot of Cornellians going into the details of the argument is because Coulter’s allegations are patently absurd.

    All of Cornell is land-grant. All of Cornell is considered a private institution. All undergraduate students at Cornell are eligible to compete in the Ivy League. There is no serious distinction between students of different colleges on campus, nor of alums once they graduate. There is more variance in the academic aptitudes of students within any one college than across the colleges. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers a lot of different majors that cater to more than farmers and veterinarians.

    So, Keith may come across as a buffoon when he touts his undergraduate education, but nothing that he has said is incorrect. Moreover, he has never directly contrasted his own education with that of others. He may have gotten a carried away when he questioned the politicization of hiring standards at the Department of Justice, but his Cornell education was never a part of that charade and to call him out on the basis of these falsehoods constitutes a ridiculous ad hominem attack. (That said, you can probably see where I am coming from here. I’m not the biggest fan of Olbermann, but I’m certainly not a fan of Coulter.)

    But since ‘Disappointed ‘ asked…

    Give us the facts about admissions and SAT standards (past and present).

    It’s tough to dig up admissions standards from the late 70s, but all of the colleges at Cornell have been ‘competitive’ (in that there are more qualified students than the University can admit) since at least the 50s. This even includes the school of Human Ecology, which was a predominantly female school until the 70s. At the time Olbermann and Coulter were students, I suspect that the Arts college has an acceptance rate that was probably in the low-to-mid 30s and CALS was probably in the mid 40s. Neither were likely the least selective programs in the Ivy League, to boot.

    Today, the ACT ranges for the two schools are about the same, but the SAT average differs a bit — 1420 versus 1370 — and it’s really nothing to write home about, as, again, aptitudes will vary far widely within each school than across each school. The CALS school is likely brought down by students studying agriculture, for which most educators agree that SAT scores are not nearly the most important academic consideration.

    the funding of each college

    CALS receives around 20 percent of its operating budget from the State of New York. This makes up for the discounted tuition that state residents enjoy, as well as to pay for the additional research and outreach that CALS conducts. (There are extension offices in every county of New York State.) Keep in mind that nearly every single college in the country receives “public” funding, whether it be Pell Grants for tuition or federal research dollars. Cornell is just a bit different as it has a unique relationship with the State of New York.

    the courses/difficulty on each campus

    I’m not certain what you mean by “each campus”, as there is only one Ithaca campus at Cornell. But both CALS and CAS are known to be home to some of the easier majors on campus — Development Sociology in CALS, Art History and many of the area/ethnicity Studies in CAS. At the same time, students in both colleges can major in biology, which is widely seen as one of the most difficult majors on campus.

    The Communication Department itself is noted for a couple of popular classes in rhetoric and media studies. It’s generally seen as one of the easier majors on campus, but by no means is a joke, and a lot of the coursework revolves around pretty heavy readings in psychology and sociology. One of my roommates went on to get a Masters at Harvard and now is a Presidential Management Fellow in Health Communications for the CDC.

    What’s more important, though, is that students at Cornell tend not to label others by their degree/major. An engineer may be a gifted poet. An English major may have a knack for computer programming. A student in the Communication department may be fiercely interested in sports and politics and spend all of his waking hours at the campus radio station…

    comparisons between other Communications programs of the time

    I would say it has always been characterized as a strong program, but it definitely has gotten stronger in recent years. That said, its students have always been strong. Other prominent alums of the Communication department include the Director of Content for Google, the Directors of Entertainment for both NBC and Fox (guess who Andy Bernard was modeled after?), the President of Nintendo, and an anchor for Good Morning America.

    The department originated out of a desire to study the most effective techniques to disseminate information to the public. (Strangely enough, a university that was founded on the principle of advancing pragmatic knowledge would want to figure out how to best distill its work…) Over time, it has evolved to encompass not only the dissemination of scientific knowledge, but also to study how people interact with old and new media, combined with changing information technologies.

    how long was the Ag school part of SUNY before it became a Cornell run college, when did it switch over?

    While appropriations for CALS have come through SUNY until recently, it has always been seen as a private, Cornell-run college. That’s why they are seen as contract colleges — unlike the SUNY system, the state has no direct control over its resource allocation. There have been decisions by the New York State Court of Appeals to this affect.

  18. Disappointed // March 10, 2009 at 1:15 am //

    MNagowski-Thank you. That is how the Review could have read to be effectively persuasive. So there is one Board of Regents running the entire private institution of Cornell and all of its colleges? Or is there a Board of Trustees?

  19. There is one Board of Trustees for Cornell. It has ultimate authority over all of its colleges and units. This is important — there is no shared oversight with the SUNY Board of Regents. (There is actually a separate Board of Overseers for the Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City, but that’s another story.)

    http://www.cornell.edu/trustees/index.cfm

    What’s funny is that Coulter was once a rather distinguished lawyer, so you would think that she would want to refer to the case law on this subject. The case I cited in the earlier post was Alderson vs. Cornell which…

    unequivocally concluded that Cornell is not a “state agency” and not subject to FOIL with respect to “matters over which Cornell exercises statutory autonomy in its private capacity.”

    Under the New York Education Law, those matters explicitly include “the establishment of courses of study, the creation of departments and positions, the determination of the number and salaries of members of the faculty and other employees thereof, the appointment and employment thereof, the maintenance of discipline and as to all other matters pertaining to its educational policies, activities and operations, including research work.”

    http://www.news.cornell.edu/chronicle/05/2.24.05/appeals.html

    And don’t give the editors of the Review too hard of a time. They do a pretty good job, even if I disagree with about everything they have to say.

  20. Disappointed // March 10, 2009 at 1:59 am //

    Jmb582-I’m sure you’d agree that if your objective is to ‘preach to the choir,’ as your last post indicates, then what is the point of commenting at all? There are many non-Cornellians that see this story in all walks of the media and compare it to similar academic distinctions that are perhaps closer to themselves. I have a friend who is a phenomenal flutist and graduated from the Peabody Conservatory, but took almost half of her classes at Johns Hopkins as an undergraduate. She is no longer a professional flutist, and actually works in the medical field. She does not have medical credentials from J.H., but her Degree says John Hopkins and Peabody Institute. If she wanted to pretend to her medical friends that she is a Hopkins graduate (implying medical training), she could use Keith’s logic (FYI, she would never do that). But she was a musician then, and now her life is different. Yes Keith remained in his field so the analogy is not perfect, but it is difficult for me to believe that he was proud of an education that taught him “how to cut corners, skim books and take an idea and write 15 pages on it, and also how to work all day at the Cornell radio station and never actually go to class,” the way that my flutist friend has always remained proud of her musical roots. His motive is clearly to imply that he was so brilliant, that he could manage to breeze through such a ‘difficult’ ‘Ivy League’ education in the highly competitive and challenging Communications department, without really even trying. Oh, and he could have done it a year earlier if they would have allowed him to take 9 courses in one semester, which he would have still aced effortlessly, given the chance. Please. This is not the way to show how proud you are of your Cornell degree. It is a way to falsely gloat about your perceived intelligence using the ‘Ivy League’ qualifier to accentuate your point and dismiss disbelief by warranted skeptics.

    Again, if it is the goal of the Cornell Review to exist as a forum for all choir members to get around and pat each other on the back and reassure themselves that this whole thing is just ‘ridiculous’ because of the subject itself, then there is no purpose in commenting on the issue at all. Because, everybody knows that it is simply ridiculous right? I think that there is much more to be learned from the actual motives of these pundits than in the details involved in distinguishing between the two colleges. But you can’t just ignore those differences as ‘ridiculous’ or ‘everybody knows that all of Cornell is amazing right?’ We don’t all know that.

    What I’m really curious about is whether Cornell is afraid to ‘offend’ either party too much, seeing as they’re both quite successful and I’m sure are donating to the coffers. Anyone have that info?

  21. Thanks again for the info MNagowski. I’ll try to lay off the editors. Just wanted to read interesting posts rather than boring ‘I don’t like him’ or ‘I hate her’ commentary. It’s sooo boring, and common.

  22. Disappointed: The purpose of this blog is not to “preach to the choir”, we hope we get viewers from all schools, its just the reality that most of the viewers come from Cornell. We’re just trying to assert our opinion that the situation is a bit ridiculous, in a way that is not self-congratulatory. Any similarity to such is simply an accident of language. And your analogy to the situation is good, but the key point as you said is she is not trying to accentuate her position like Olbermann is. The point I have been trying to make this whole time is pretty much the same as yours; namely, that Coulter rightly called out Olbermann for falsely accentuating his credentials and using his Ivy League education as a bludgeon against those he feels are lower. All the Review is trying to say (or some of its members at least) is that this could maybe have been done differently, in a way that seemed a bit less disparaging. However, it is what it is, and we’ll see how well Coulter has done what she set out to do.

  23. And to MNagowski, kudos for making that information available.

  24. Well, I was in the middle of a response to Disappointed, but Nagowski’s opening sentence articulates the main issue here – “The reason why you won’t find a lot of Cornellians going into the details of the argument is because Coulter’s allegations are patently absurd.”

    This is absolutely true, which is why I was not going to dignify Disappointed’s claims with a response. So thanks for the clarification, Nagowski, on the facts and specifics about the controversy. However, I think there are a few more things going on here that need to be dealt with when addressing Disappointed’s, well, disappointment.

    The problem is that there are several fundamental flaws residing in nearly all of Disappointed’s arguments. The reason, Disappointed, that we thought it unnecessary to delve into the inner workings of Cornell’s monetary distribution, history, perceived difficulty, or validity of various concentrations of study is that doing so would bring a certain level of legitimacy to Coulter’s absurd statement. Because all of these aspects were accurately covered in the websites which we linked to at the very beginning of the article (CornellWatch, MetaEzra, IvyGate), why would we include redundant information that has already been adequately taken care of by sources listed in the post?

    So, with that realm of the argument covered, it is then our position to give our stance on the issue – that’s all. Which we did, and we clearly stated why: because we do not support Coulter’s incessant use of ad-hominem attacks, especially those which happen to group a large portion of Cornell students under a false image. Yes, that is an opinion, so maybe that’s why it sounds like an ‘Op-ed (opposite the editorial)’ piece, which are almost always opinions.

    Your fourth paragraph, Disappointed, focuses on the idea that our article says Coulter is targeting the Ag School in her attack. You say, “For those who conclude that Ms. Coulter’s motive is to disgrace the Ag school of ‘Cornell’ (although in my opinion, is SUNY run by Cornell) as a way to disgrace Mr. Olbermann, I urge you to actually think.” Mr. Disappointed, I urge you to actually read. This is not our conclusion whatsoever – in the article, we say “it is disappointing to see her continuing close-mindedness and abrasive techniques. Although some of her ad-hominem attacks are equally matched by her opponents, her recent foot-in-mouth statement about CALS not being part of the Ivy League is completely inexcusable.” We are obviously concluding that her blunder about CALS was a foot-in-mouth statement (thus actually giving her the benefit of the doubt (!) in that hopefully she didn’t realize the degree of embarrassment her fallacy would bring) that happened in a diatribe against Olbermann. We are clearly aware that her attacks are focused on Keith.

    The fact that she hasn’t rescinded her statement, however, makes one believe she actually thinks that she is correct – thus, the Seinfeld reference to telling oneself that if you believe it’s the truth, it’s not a lie. I’m sorry that you find light-heartedness so repugnant.

    Since the facts highlighted above blatantly undermine the thesis in your fourth paragraph, it is pretty substantial to conclude that the vast majority of your support in the final paragraph is not pertinent to the debate.

    Unless you come up with something profound, I’m going to refrain from commenting on this subject any further. I’ll continue to leave it up to the readers.

  25. The funny thing is that while Keith’s boasting about his education is unfortunate and petty, the same description he invoked could be fairly used for a lot of outstanding students at Cornell. And that probably includes some of the editors of this very blog.

    Now, I don’t want to come off as Keith did, but I am very high on a Cornell education as well. I know that in my days on East Hill I spent an inordinate amount of time pursuing extracurricular activities and jobs, often at the expense of classes and coursework. I was quickly forced to learn how to balance competing interests and work in a high-octane, high-performance environment. I’m certain your friend at Hopkins did too, and such an education has contributed to her success in life.

    I would have been completely at ease with labeling Olbermann a prestige-monger or the like, but I think a lot of conservative commentators have crossed the line into fiction on this, calling him a fraud, a resume-padder, and the like. I have watched Countdown a lot in the past year, and while he has mentioned Cornell from time to time, I have never seen him use his education to attack any other person or position. (Of course, this is not to say that he doesn’t attack other persons or positions, which he does readily.)

    The Regents College issue is instructive — there were bona fide concerns about the politicization of Department of Justice hires, and there are remaining concerns about the quality of the legal education at Regents (the bar passage rate has increased substantially in recent years, but it is still in the doldrums). Keith picked up on this important story but also chose to label the school — in his characteristic over-the-top fashion — as ‘Religious Lunatic University’. But he never invoked his own educational background in that story, or others like it.

    Keith obviously is smart. And he obviously likes to sound smart draw attention to himself; he clearly has some complexes about him that the excellent New Yorker article from last year fully documented. But Coulter has taken it to a whole other level, drawing out an ungrounded attack based on lies and deception. Some might think it was all in fun and in jest, but a lot of Cornell alums felt differently. Luckily, we can shrug it off.

    What I’m really curious about is whether Cornell is afraid to ‘offend’ either party too much, seeing as they’re both quite successful and I’m sure are donating to the coffers. Anyone have that info?

    Ha. Well you can ask the editors of this blog how much support Coulter has provided to the Cornell Review. As for Olbermann, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has provided funds for undergraduate scholarships and the like, but he gave a pretty decent convocation address ten years back:

    http://www.news.cornell.edu/campus/olbermann_speech.html

  26. Disappointed // March 10, 2009 at 3:41 am //

    Gazoontite-Oosheezie-If you finish your own quote, “her recent foot-in-mouth statement about CALS not being part of the ivy league is completely inexcusable. Not only is it degrading towards those in the Ag school…” and then READ what Coulter actually wrote, you would find that this last portion of your commentary is highly inaccurate (there are quotations in earlier posts), and implies that Coulter is somehow trying to degrade those in the Ag school. Motive is important here. If Coulter was on a mission to degrade these students, they’d know it. She is specific, calculating, and targeted when she goes on offense. If they are offended, then they don’t read carefully and perhaps deserve their hurt ‘ivy’ egos.

    “Disappointed, that we thought it unnecessary to delve into the inner workings of Cornell’s monetary distribution, history, perceived difficulty, or validity of various concentrations of study is that doing so would bring a certain level of legitimacy to Coulter’s absurd statement.” You’re correct, and it does bring legitimacy to the statement. That’s why it is good to see someone actually post the stuff. Sorry, I missed all of your links. While some of the facts may obscure the lines a bit and attempt to cover distinctions, some factoids actually support what she is saying. There are differences in the entrance standards and test scores, though minimal, they are there. Does that matter to me, or most people? No. But it matters to Olbermann, which is where this entire assault is aimed. Look, I don’t care where a person receives a communications degree, it will never ever impress me. I don’t believe in this degree. It’s ‘patently absurd.’ And it is full of athletes, double majors and undecideds galore. This bothers Keith. Of course she won’t retract the statement. Why would she? She’s got him driving around with his diploma in his midlife crisis car all the time. She’s succeeding in driving him crazy with insecurity. And I don’t care what anybody says, that bit on Red-Eye with the Varsity Letter bit was hilarious. Of course I don’t find humor repugnant.

    Now where can I get one of these absurd patents? Sounds valuable, like it gives your statement legitimacy. Note to Salud!, I mean Oosheezie: Avoid blanket statements like ‘patently absurd’ (even if you are just copying it{isn’t that infringement on a patent?}from someone else. It’s a red flag that screams ‘this is totally my personal opinion but I’m going to use a legitimate sounding negative label to make others think that I’m totally reading this whole situation correctly and of course they should agree with me so that they don’t feel so patently absurd and out of touch.’ Not sure about the profundity, but anyhow…

  27. Disappointed // March 10, 2009 at 4:59 am //

    Totally serious. On the Dept. of Communications website, there is spotlight on Dr. Jeff Hancock who is meant to discuss ‘how people use tools like Facebook to their advantage.’ Wow, it’s a good thing that we have this ‘expert’ helping us work out the ins and outs of Facebook, which is really tough to use. And I couldn’t possibly figure out how it might be advantageous to my life unless I attended this lecture. I think I’ll bring my 88 year old grandmother along so she can ask loads of useful questions about this highly intriguing, and deeply complex topic.

    Grandma Charlotte: “Why are these people always writing on my wall? I don’t think they should be messing with my wall, making all kinds of graffiti. Good for nothing hooligans.” Dr. Hancock: “No Ma’am, it’s not an actual wall they are writing on, it’s just an electronic post, like a cork board in your kitchen…” Grandma Charlotte: “I don’t want anybody coming in and messing with my cork board either. I’ve got it all arranged just how I like it, with the grocery list in the upper right, electric bill below that, water bill….now wait a minute. Did I pay that water bill last week or did I forget to mail it when I went to Perkins for lunch with Thelma? I can’t remember…” Dr. Hancock: “No, Ma’am again not an actual cork…”

    Uses to online networking???….hmmmm….I’m just drawing a blank. Maybe I should get a Communications degree.

  28. Not-Osheezie // March 10, 2009 at 5:54 am //

    Osheezie … goddamn you’re full of yourself.

  29. I agree with Sara and Jordan. Opinion is fine, but don’t misrepresent the entire blog (and, by extension, the entire Review) by using “we.” This is not a matter of mere “pointless quibbling.”

  30. Totally serious. On the Dept. of Communications website, there is spotlight on Dr. Jeff Hancock who is meant to discuss ‘how people use tools like Facebook to their advantage.’

    Seeing as how I attended an alumni lecture by Hancock last year, you sure picked the wrong tree to bark at, buddy. Your criticism couldn’t be more off-base. Hancock specializes in understanding how the Internet medium differs in use from other social mediums, and how human experience is best translated onto the Internet.

    So you can chide all you want, but I don’t think you are helping your case or your reputation on this board. These types of things would seem important to understand for web site designers and content creators (which a lot of Communication students go on to do), especially considering that this medium is so new. Not only that, but his research on digital deception has been applied to such disparate problems as monitoring Internet message boards for terrorist activity and combing through corporate email for instances of fraud/deception.

    I suppose we wouldn’t want anybody studying things like that?

    And for the record, it is the Department of Communication, not the Department of Communications.

  31. Olbermann padded his intellectual resume while at the same time publicly trashing someone else for not going to as prestigious a school as Cornell.

    Olbermann deserves to be publicly spanked

  32. @ Budley-
    You’re definitely right about the second part of the first statement, and definitely right about the second second statement. To my own dismay, I would have to say that Coulter’s mistakes here outweigh Keith’s.
    But don’t fear! If you keep in touch with the Insider, I’m sure you’ll see plenty of KO-bashing in the future.

  33. Just wondering // September 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm //

    As a graduate of a “land-grant college” that also studied in Europe, I find Olbermann’s wearing of his degree on his chest, in much the same manner as Rachel Maddow crows about being a Stanford alum, far more offensive than Ann Coulter calling him on it. Living here in New Jersey, and seeing some of the “great minds” that have come out of places like Princeton, what their reactions must be when people like Olbermann, John Kerry, Al Gore or some of the other Ivy League graduates are featured.

    To use an Ag school-related analogy, I guess politics and the media is where the waste products that are skimmed off the milk vats of education end up.

  34. Correction if you please.
    KO – silly
    AC – sillier
    Nuff said; end of debate.

  35. I am really concerned after reading Ann’s comments… Is my engineering degree from Cornell a real or not real “Ivy League” degree? She only mentioned the Arts school. LOL! I love Ann Coulter, because she says such inflammatory things and people actually take her seriously enough to get mad. That is the joke she is playing on all of the people that get upset, she is pointing out how stupid they are.

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