By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
A feminist professor of communications at the University of Michigan has become a laughingstock for a poorly-sourced column in a socialist newspaper about the academic basis for hating Republicans. In the article, Susan J. Douglas began with the statement, “I hate Republicans” and declares that “marrying a Republican is unimaginable to me…”
A specialist on “Gender and the Media,” she is reportedly married with a daughter.
I’ve got something that beats that. Curtis J. MacDougall, the author of a journalism textbook that I used in college, was a Marxist with a 319-page FBI file, who wrote favorably about Fidel Castro and feared Joe McCarthy. MacDougall was an activist in the communist-dominated Progressive Party.
As a young journalism student, I studied from MacDougall’s textbook, Interpretative Reporting, which encouraged a form of advocacy journalism, and “learned” that Walter Duranty of The New York Times was one of the great figures in the media. I later discovered that Duranty was a stooge of Stalin and one of the greatest liars in the history of journalism. In fact, he helped Stalin cover up the deaths of 7- to 10-million Ukrainians in a forced famine.
A modern-day MacDougall, Professor Douglas tries to sound like an intellectual and apparently wants to be taken seriously. She insists in the article that a “series of studies has found that political conservatives tend toward certain psychological characteristics,” such as “Dogmatism, rigidity and intolerance of ambiguity; a need to avoid uncertainty; support for authoritarianism; a heightened sense of threat from others; and a personal need for structure.”
She cites unnamed “researchers” as proving that “the two core dimensions of conservative thought are resistance to change and support for inequality.”
Douglas, who graduated from Elmira College in New York and received a master’s degree and a doctorate from Brown University, is not only a professor but the head of the University of Michigan communications studies department.
Since MacDougall’s textbook, Interpretative Reporting, was instrumental in training a generation of journalists, perhaps he influenced Douglas.
Now, she is trying to influence her students. But her self-declared “hate” for Republicans has backfired. She has exposed the real purpose of her “educational” pursuits.
The Detroit News reports that Andrea Fischer Newman, a member of the UM Board of Regents, said she found Douglas’s column “extremely troubling and offensive,” and that it condoned “hatred toward an entire segment of individuals in our society based solely on their political views…”
Grant Strobl, head of Young Americans for Freedom at the school, called the Douglas piece “ugly and full of hatred.”
While the article has to be taken seriously, its dependence on clearly dubious “studies” and “research” make it practically ridiculous.
Douglas ought to be laughed out of academia.
In an earlier piece for In These Times, she also gave us a precious insight into her own ideology. She hailed Stuart Hall, the founding editor of New Left Review, as a “towering Marxist public intellectual” who had “influenced multiple generations of professors and their students…” It’s apparent she is one of them.
Indeed, she appears to thank Hall for helping establish “communication studies” as “one of the most popular majors in the United States…” She wrote, “We owe him a monumental debt.”
She notes that Hall was a follower of Antonio Gramsci, but doesn’t point out that Gramsci was an Italian communist whose writings were introduced to the United States in the mid-1950s by Carl Marzani, a publisher and Soviet KGB agent whose publishing house was subsidized by the KGB. (Interestingly, Curtis A. MacDougall’s history of the Progressive Party, Gideon’s Army, was published by Marzani as well.)
Gramsci popularized the idea of destroying Western society through infiltration rather than armed revolution. It helps explain why Weather Underground terrorists such as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn became college professors after giving up on a communist armed revolution inside the United States.
Robert Chandler, in his book Shadow World, noted that Gramsci’s Marxist theory of cultural revolution “stressed that dominance over the existing order in the West, including religion, was rooted in education, the media, law, and a mass culture of beliefs, values, and traditions.” In order to overturn the existing order and “Marxize the inner man,” Gramsci taught that “one must create a subversive program of ‘counter-hegemony’ against its supporting culture,” in order to “negate the established modes of thought and ways of doing things.”
That appears to be Susan Douglas’s mission in academia and journalism.
Douglas’ Curriculum Vitae identifies her participation in a “Rethinking Marxism” conference in 1992, delivering a talk on “Pop Culture, Kitsch and Social Change in the 1960s: Hegemony, Subjectivity and the Rise of Feminism.”
The editors of the journal, Rethinking Marxism, also sponsor “Marxism and the World Stage” conferences, described as “celebrations of the Marxian tradition.”
Douglas’s “academic credentials” include numerous articles for such publications as The Nation, The Progressive, and In These Times.
Her hate for Republicans is making news, but don’t think students in her classes haven’t been aware of the agenda she’s been pushing. Some of the comments from students who have taken her classes include:
- She openly states that she hates certain members of the student body based on their political opinions. Avoid this closed minded intolerant person….
- Boring and disorganized. Talks to students like they are children. I think she rates herself to get good scores.
- Condones hatred and intolerance towards differing viewpoints.
- Socialist feminist nut.
This controversy will serve a purpose if it renews a focus on the corruption in journalism education and why left-wing and even pro-Marxist bias in the media is getting worse.
Her book on decoding “enlightened sexism” was the subject of a talk she gave that was video recorded. An elitist who knows better than everyone else, she claims to be an expert on uncovering “subtle” forms of sexism in the media.
Her courses include:
- Media, Culture, and Society
- Media Theory and Criticism—introductory and advanced levels
- Qualitative Methods in Media Studies
- Gender and the Media
- History of Broadcasting
- Origins of Mass Culture: 1870-1930
- Images of Women in Popular Culture: 1945-present
- Analysis of Television News
- Motherhood and the Mass Media
- The Social History of Radio in America
- History of Communications Technologies
- Introduction to Mass Communications
In a University of Michigan profile of Douglas, she was asked, “What inspires you?,” and she replied, “My students inspire me. I love teaching undergraduates: their energy, their optimism, their openness to new ideas.”
But this “love” seems to have undergone a transformation into a closed mind of hate toward opposing views. She has made explicit what we know and understand to be their usually hidden biases.
Thank you Ms. Douglas for telling us openly what we always suspected to be the case. Thank you for alerting us to the Marxist revolutionaries in positions of power in journalism and academia.
Now, please tell us why you deserve to be in a position of trust and authority over students who desire a good education and want to make something of their lives.