Let me add to the “Stanley Fish is just kind of pathetic” dogpile a bit here. In many ways, Fish’s latest column kind of reveals just how naked the emperor has become when it comes to hack complaints about the leftist intolerant academic-freedom abusing groupthink academy.
Fish writes about a physicist at the University of Ottawa who is clearly a goofball spewing out Bazooka-Joe bubblegum comic level radicalisms about how grades are the tool of the capitalist satan, blah blah blah. Fine, the guy sounds like an asshole to me. I guess he sounds like an asshole to the University of Ottawa, too, since they’re working to get him fired. How about that, act like an ass and refuse to do your job and you get fired. But Fish spends most of the column bemoaning the fact that you’d get fired if you had a normal job but not in academia. But here comes the real kicker: Fish says in academia, “You’d be celebrated as a brave nonconformist, a tilter against orthodoxies, a pedagogical visionary and an exemplar of academic freedom.”
Who is celebrating this case or this behavior? Where are the protest marches demanding that this professor be reinstated? Nobody and nowhere. So you have a column in which, if you read it carefully, the columnist is confessing that his assumptions are completely off-base.
I’d have said that the job you really can’t get fired from is being a columnist for the NY Times, only they finally did run Bill Kristol off the premises.