Thursday, July 10, 2008

To the barricades!

Bill Donohue, the antisemitic and homophobic talking head, has taken aim at PZ Myers and is attempting to get the University of Minnesota to punish P-Zed for something he published on bis blog. The blog, Pharyngula, is hosted by the magazine Seed and has no connection with the University. Besides harassing the University, Donohue's followers have been sending death threats to Myers.

This is the post that offended Donohue.

For more information about Donohue, search Media Matters archives and let Donohue's own words damn him.

I've sent a letter to the president of UM at Morris ( expressing my support for P-Zed; I encourage you to do the same.
Dear President Bruininks,

This is just a short note to express my support for Dr. Paul Z. Myers and his right to free speech. I have been a reader of his blog Pharyngula from the very beginning. I have found his writing to be entertaining, informative, and provocative--sometimes all three at the same time. He is always very clear that what he writes on his blog is his opinion alone and not that of the University of Minnesota or of Seed magazine, the host of his blog.

Now, I see that Dr. Myers is under fire by William Donohue, a minor cable news personality who claims, without authority, to speak for all American Catholics. Manufactured outrage, intimidation, and calls for boycott (usually unsuccessful) are Mr. Donohue's stock and trade. Mr. Donohue is attempting bully the University of Minnesota into punishing or pressuring Dr. Myers into censoring his speech. To do so would be a grotesque violation of Dr. Myers academic freedom, personal freedom of speech, and an improper intrusion by the University into his extracurricular life.

On a more general level, giving in to Mr. Donohue would legitimize and encourage his brand of strong arm tactics to the detriment of our common political culture. I have confidence that you will not do that.

Thank you for your time,

John J. McKay

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