A sad pattern that goes severely underreported is the impact that low-level thuggishness has on debilitating intellectual life in America, and how this thuggishness is excused, encouraged, and exploited by elites to silence dissent.
For example, you may wonder why journalist Malcolm Gladwell is paid vast amounts of money to burble in public about the untested ideas of minor social scientists who have sent him their press releases, while a major social scientist, Charles Murray, is not.
Well, stuff like this doesn`t happen to Gladwell often. From the student newspaper of Earlham College:
March 24, 2011
Raised security measures failed to prevent the abrupt interruption of Wednesday`s lecture by Charles Murray.
Twenty minutes into Murray`s talk, “Taking Happiness Seriously,” the Carpenter Hall fire alarm forced the audience out of the building. Intially, the speaker stood at the podium by event sponsor President Doug Bennett and attempted to continue, despite the loud alarm. However, everyone in the building was soon escorted out. …
The fire alarm in LBC went off towards the end of the reception, interrupting Murray a second time.
Knight said she does not believe the incident would affect Earlham`s image in any way.
The next day, the president of Earlham College, Doug Bennett, wrote on his blog:
Yesterday and today we`ve been having a thick discussion on the Faculty listserv around the interruption of Charles Murray`s lecture at Earlham on Wednesday night. A good deal of the discussion has focused on the question of whether he should have been invited at all.
Sure, Malcolm Gladwell costs vastly more than Charles Murray and is kind of an idiot, but no thugs try to disrupt Gladwell`s orations, and since the Great and Good are on the thugs` side, Malcolm`s worth it.