LOL: NYU 'Reporting on the far right' class CANCELED after only two students enroll

  • New York University canceled a left-wing writer's "Reporting on the Far Right" course after only two students enrolled.
  • The writer, previously a fact-checker for The New Yorker, had falsely reported a Nazi tattoo on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.
  • Two nonprofit presidents gave their take on the incident to Campus Reform.

New York University has canceled a course, titled "Reporting on the Far Right," after only two students enrolled.

The course was scheduled to be taught by Talia Lavin, a former fact-checker for The New Yorker who resigned after falsely reporting that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent and U.S. war veteran who lost his legs in combat had a Nazi tattoo, as Campus Reform previously reported.  Lavin confirmed on Twitter that her scheduled course was canceled. New York University spokeswoman Shonna Keogan also confirmed that the class was canceled because not enough students enrolled. 

"The students plainly have more sense than the administrators."   

"Seeing a symbol of Nazism in an ICE agent's tattoo is the kind of mistake that might come easily to a careless journalist who has snap judgment of a leftwing activist," Peter Wood, president of the conservative nonprofit National Association of Scholars, told Campus Reform. "But it is not the sort of error one expects from a New Yorker fact checker."

“Canceling the class had nothing to do with Talia’s writings, tweets, or anything else," NYU journalism director of undergraduate studies Adam Penenberg said, according to The Wrap. "We canceled it because too few students enrolled.”

[RELATED: NYU prof: 'When did the memory of 9/11 become 'sacred'?']

The fall 2019 course description, now removed from NYU's site, said students would be taught "how to track far-right harassment campaigns to their sources and uncover the identities of white supremacist propagandists on the web.”

“It would make no sense to try it again, given how few students expressed interest,” Penenberg continued. “We have no plans to offer Talia another course, simply because her main focus (and the focus of her upcoming book) is the far right.”

"She know[s] how to make stuff up that fits the left's narrative," Wood told Campus Reform. "So they hired her to teach 'Reporting on the Far Right,' a course that she was manifestly unqualified to teach if the criteria included knowing how to bracket your prejudices and not jump to conclusions, or knowing how to check your facts."

The National Association of Scholars president compared Lavin's misreporting of the ICE agent's tattoo to New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman's suggestion that the White House was playing a Nazi song in April.

"The eagerness of progressive journalists to smear conservatives leads more than a few of those journalists to license their imaginations to make up outrageous tales," Wood told Campus Reform. "NYU escaped some of its ignominies when only two students signed up for Lavin's course, giving the school a reason to cancel it.  The students plainly have more sense than the administrators."

[RELATED: NYU study advocates providing government benefits to illegal aliens]

Michael Poliakoff, president of the nonprofit American Council of Trustees and Alumni, gave his take on the news to Campus Reform.

"Low enrollment is also a sign of a 'course cafeteria' that substitutes for a thoughtful, foundational core requirement," Poliakoff said. "Before leaping into a niche course, especially one likely to be politicized, students need the vigorous diet of a liberal arts curriculum. An early twentieth-century Harvard dean observed that the only way to improve on a rich and varied instruction is through increased stress on offering what should be taught rather than what the teachers wish to teach.'”

But Lavin is not the only left-wing journalist that NYU has commissioned. The school also hired former Teen Vogue columnist Lauren Duca to teach a course, titled, "The Feminist Journalist," according to The College Fix.

The course does not seem aimed at teaching journalism students objective reporting, with Duca stating in the description that "truth is not a math equation" and that "media coverage of our current political climate has been plagued by the mental Napalm that I call 'both sides-ism.'"

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ShimshockAndAwe



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Rob Shimshock
Robert Shimshock | Correspondent Editor

Rob Shimshock is the Correpondent Editor for Campus Reform. Prior to joining the team, Rob was a reporter for the Daily Caller. He was also a Campus Correspondent and intern for Campus Reform, reporting on instances of liberal bias and abuse at the University of Virginia and campuses across the country.

20 Articles by Robert Shimshock