tumblr_nbqpk7ihHk1ti7d62o1_1280Remember the recent controversy involving the hateful tweets of potential UIUC Professor Steven Salaita? We do, too.  Salaita is a former Virginia Tech professor who was offered a tenure-track position at UICU. The appointment was withdrawn after Salaita’s tweets blaming Israel for anti-semitism and conflating Israel with Nazism came to light. For more information about Salaita’s bigoted rhetoric, check out this post by CAMERA branch, CiFWatch.Twitter-_-stevesalaita_-Lets-cut-to-the-chase_-If-defending-Israel-horrible-person

UIUC CAMERA Fellow Elana Zelden had already written a letter to the UIUC paper, supporting the decision made by the chancellor and demanding accurate coverage of Salaita’s misconduct.  But, after watching a biased local news broadcast of a school meeting in which Chancellor Wise spoke about the decision, Elana decided more action was necessary.

Elana reported, ”

I saw a news cast online for a meeting I went to where the Chancellor spoke about Salaita before they made the decision, and [the newscast] completely misrepresented who was at the meeting and only showed speakers from Students for Justice and Palestine rather than also showing pro-Israel groups on campus. The ISSI president and I both wrote them letters about how [the broadcast] did not represent what actually went on at the meeting, and the next day, the news station took down the written article for the video, and replaced the link with a report about how many faculty members do not support Salaita. It was really cool to see how they actually were responding to our letters!
We are so proud of Elana for taking the initiative and helping to secure more balanced coverage of her campus.  Her letter to the station is reproduced in full below.
Dear Editor,
I am writing to you after watching your news coverage of the Student Senate meeting with Chancellor Wise at University of Illinois.
I was at the meeting (and saw myself in your newscast) in support of Chancellor Wise’s decision. I saw many more people there coming to support Chancellor Wise’s decision than the small group of people who were coming to show their disagreement with the decision. Aside from this,the newscast failed to feature any speakers who were in favor of the Chancellor’s decision– unacceptable if you are trying to accurately depict what happened at this meeting.
I would encourage you to accurately depict each side at such a meeting in the future if you would like to identify as a respected and accurate news outlet.
Thank you.
For more information about Steven Salaita, check out this piece.
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