Above: Conveniently, also my expression when I read this article
Michelle Jones committed a horrible crime as a teenager (killing the child that she gave birth to, the result of a rape, at age 14). In prison, she became a scholar so accomplished that she was heavily recruited by elite history Ph.D programs after earning early release. One of those programs was Harvard. Only a couple faculty members decided to act to get the acceptance withdrawn, and were successful. In one case that was based on a fear of what Fox News would say. Seem like an unfair inference? He says it explicitly:
“We didn’t have some preconceived idea about crucifying Michelle,” said John Stauffer, one of the two American studies professors. [Ed. Note: this is a tell on the level with “I don’t mean to be offensive but…”] “But frankly, we knew that anyone could just punch her crime into Google, and Fox News would probably say that P.C. liberal Harvard gave 200 grand of funding to a child murderer, who also happened to be a minority. I mean, c’mon.”
Achieving tenure at Harvard so that you can delegate your admissions decisions to Fox & Friends and David Horowitz — another proud moment for America’s elites. But being an elite means that you have to keep the wrong kind of person out of the country club:
“One of our considerations,” Professor Stauffer said in an interview, “was if this candidate is admitted to Harvard, where everyone is an elite among elites, that adjustment could be too much.”
How touching! Although, to be clear, #notallelitesamingelites:
Alison Frank Johnson, director of graduate studies for the history department, dismissed that argument as paternalistic.
“Michelle was sentenced in a courtroom to serve X years, but we decided — unilaterally — that it should be X years plus no Harvard,” she said. “Is it that she did not show the appropriate degree of horror in herself, by applying?
“We’re not her priests,” Professor Johnson added, using an expletive.
I hope someone follows up with an investigation of Drew Faust’s role in this.