“Clinton Donor Bans Free Beacon From University of Arkansas Archives”
Is the U of Arkansas a public institution? Does it receive government funding? If so, is this banning — which, I suppose, beats a more ostentatious burning, now a hipster photo-0p for self-righteous lefties — a violation of the First Amendment (should the WFB, for instance, remove the audio and simply replace it with a transcription)? I ask because I’m not a Constitutional attorney, though I’m fairly certain I’d be a better teacher of the Constitution that Obama, who dabbled in such at the University of Chicago.
A Hillary Clinton donor who serves as dean of the University of Arkansas libraries has banned the Washington Free Beacon from the school’s special collections archives, after the news outlet published revealing stories about Hillary Clinton based on documents available at the university library.
The ban came days after the Free Beacon ran a story about Clinton’s 1975 defense of a child rapist that drew from audio recordings available at the University of Arkansas library’s special collections archives.
However, the ban was not mentioned in a June 16 email to this reporter from Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations at the university.
“Congratulations on another fine mining expedition into the University of Arkansas Libraries archives,” Voorhies wrote.
“I appreciate you raising the profile of the University of Arkansas Libraries special collections,” Voorhies concluded his email, while asking for advanced notice prior to future stories.
“I expect there is more you will find in coming months,” he said.
Library dean Carolyn Henderson Allen informed editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti in a June 17 letter that the library had “officially suspended” the Free Beacon‘s research privileges.
The Free Beacon published the Hillary Papers, drawn from the archive of the late Clinton confidante Diane Blair, in February. Those papers are also housed in the special collections at the University of Arkansas.
“I am writing you to direct you and the Washington Beacon Press to cease and desist your ongoing violation of the intellectual property rights of the University of Arkansas with regard to your unauthorized publication of audio recordings obtained from the Roy Reed Collection,” wrote Allen.
According to Allen, who contributed $500 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007, the Free Beacon violated library rules by failing to submit a form requesting permission to publish the materials.
Allen called on the news outlet to “immediately remove the audio recordings of the Roy Reed Collection from your website” and “immediately return all audio recordings obtained from the Roy Reed Collection previously provided to you.”
The Clinton donor also expressed deep disappointment with the Free Beacon.
“I am very disappointed in your willful failure to comply with the policies of Special Collections,” she wrote.
“The University of Arkansas takes great pride in making materials, such as the Roy Reed Collection, available to researchers from around the world. The University, however, does not tolerate the blatant and willful disregard of its intellectual property rights and policies.”
Allen said the university would consider lifting the suspension if the Free Beacon complied with all its demands to remove the materials from its website.
Allen’s letter was also copied to University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart, a former student of both Bill and Hillary Clinton at the law school.
According to the 1993 book Hillary Rodham Clinton: A First Lady for Our Time by Donnie Radcliffe, Gearhart recalled that as a professor, Hillary Clinton “expected a lot from us and gave a lot in return.”
“The Clinton machine and its army of librarians won’t be able to keep us out of that archive,” Continetti said in a statement. “Who knows? We may be in there right now.”
You’ll note that I never commented — either here or on Twitter — about Clinton’s “defense of a child rapist,” because frankly I don’t see anything wrong with it [cue: “Jeff Goldstein supports Child Rape Defenses,” archived in a certain websites vast collection of screen grabs]: lawyers in training have to be able to argue as Devil’s advocates, and when I taught persuasion, I in fact made it part of my class design to have students defend positions they opposed in order that they may sharpen the skills I was supposed to be teaching. It’s easy, I reason, to take the side you believe emotionally and defend it, but the defense is often sloppy because it is based on such a predetermined belief. Having to defend its obverse means having to learn the tools of persuasion and the craftsmanship of forming a compelling argument without relying upon emotional attachments to the subject matter.
So the story, while perhaps provocative and damning to some, left me somewhat meh; in fact, I reacted to it in very much the same way I did to the Letterman Palin “joke,” which I saw as a lazy comedic attempt to get a cheap laugh from a liberal audience, and not some “support of child rape,” as one colossal right-wing idiot put it at the time in one of his year-long attempts to see me marginalized [incidentally, note the number of comments on that post and posts in the years surrounding it; yes, it’s true! I at one point WAS a major voice on the right. Until the network decided to oust me]
This story, on the other hand, rankles. Yes, the University is claiming a misuse of its material; but I suspect that had the material been used to bolster Clinton’s profile in a positive way, there’d be no “banning” of the offending journalists, nor the fig leaf outrage over intellectual property being used without express written permission.
The truth is, there are countless skeletons is Ms Clinton’s innumerable closets — and it looks like at least some conservative outlets are going to refuse to let Hillary escape the kind of scrutiny Obama was (to the media’s everlasting shame) never made to endure.
Good on them. And, yet again, a university proves that it is the bailiwick of the progressive hive mind and as such, one of the most anti-intellectual spaces on the planet. Which I can write here, but were I to say it there, I’d have to get a permit, then stand inside a free speech zone to do so, no doubt.