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New Challenge to Boston Phoenix: Demand Elizabeth Warren and Harvard put up, or shut up about “right-wing smear machine”

New Challenge to Boston Phoenix: Demand Elizabeth Warren and Harvard put up, or shut up about “right-wing smear machine”

This is too funny.  David Bernstein, a writer at The Boston Phoenix, previously warned that the “right-wing smear machine” was coming to get Elizabeth Warren.  I offered a Challenge to Boston Phoenix: Defend Elizabeth Warren on Cherokee issue, or drop “right-wing smear machine” accusation.

Bernstein never met the challenge, and instead now has issued his own challenge issued last week, Hey, What Happened To The E-Dubs Fraud Story?

It’s now been a month since I wrote about irresponsible national right-wing smear reporting on Elizabeth Warren. As you might recall, the article centered primarily on charges of academic fraud, and also told of attacks on a Warren staffer. Several of the smearers I mentioned fired back, preposterously claiming that my article was really about the Cherokee heritage controversy; I responded, telling them essentially to put up or shut up about the actual smears in the article.

As I say, it’s been a month. I’d have to conclude that the answer has been “shut up.”

I’m not aware of any subsequent reporting, commentary, or reiteration of either of those two smears since my article appeared — certainly not at, the Washington Free Beacon, or Legal Insurrection, which were the ones peddling them most prominently before.

Most notable is the Breitbart site’s silence, where we still await parts 3 and 4 of the promised 4-part series by Michael Patrick Leahy about the big Warren scientific fraud scandal. Part 1 ran on June 11; Part 2 on June 25.

Bernstein has impeccable timing, because Leahy has just published another devastating article on problems with Warren’s academic background, Harvard Knew Elizabeth Warren Was a Poor Scholar When They Hired Her:

When Harvard Law School offered Elizabeth Warren a tenured faculty position in February 1993, administrators at the school knew that her scholarship had been criticized harshly. Between 1989 and 1991, three leading academic experts on bankruptcy wrote devastating critiques of the 1989 book she co-authored with Teresa Sullivan and Jay Westbrook, As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America. The reviews, published in highly respected academic journals, belied claims made at the time of her hiring by Harvard Law School Dean Robert C. Clark that her work reflected “excellent scholarship” and by Appointments Committee member Professor Charles Fried that she was “at the very top of her profession as a scholar.” ….

Any concerns that Ms. Warren and her supporters had that Shuchman’s allegations and the other highly critical academic reviews of her work would hurt her chances of being hired by Harvard Law School soon washed away. Indeed, there is no evidence that Dean Clark, Professor Charles Fried, or any member of the Appointments Committee made any reference to the three critical academic publications when they made their presentation on Ms. Warren’s qualifications to the full faculty….

Read the Leahy article, is it full of details about the serious criticisms of Warren’s academic record at the time of her Harvard appointment and the strong evidence that the full record was not presented to the full faculty. Of course, if Harvard would release its full file on Warren, we could resolve who said what to whom, or who didn’t say what to whom, conclusively.

The Boston Phoenix should be challenging Elizabeth Warren and Harvard to put up, not demanding that the “right-wing smear machine” do it for her. So there’s my new challenge to Bernstein and The Boston Phoenix:

If you really want the truth about Elizabeth Warren’s hiring by Harvard and the contemporaneous allegations regarding her scholarship, how about you demand a release of all Harvard’s files?


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Why would Harvard hire somebody from a law school ranked #82 nationally …. except to receive diversity benefits from hiring a “woman of color”?

I guess Harvard is too embarrassed to admit the color of their hire turned out to be white.

I hope Leahy sends a big box of Forest Gump chocolates to Bernstein, thanking him for that EXCELLENT free promo of the Breitbart piece.

And, Prof., way to go!

1. What did Harvard know?

2. And when did they know it?

3. And, if they didn’t know, why not?

4. What were they looking at, if not Warren’s credentials as a legal scholar?

    OldNuc in reply to Ragspierre. | August 6, 2012 at 9:18 am

    What Harvard was looking at is as obvious as the nose on your face.

      Ragspierre in reply to OldNuc. | August 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

      While I tend to agree, respectfully, that is an unsupported assumption in the absence of the record.

      Which is why the record is important.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to OldNuc. | August 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

      “Look, look! She’s female and Native American. We can check off two EEO boxes for the price of one!”

        And most importantly, she is a progressive. Let’s not forget the political angle. Academia likes to hire their own and the #1 criteria is sharing the same political values.

    persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | August 6, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Under the Dingy Harry standards of accusation, I’d say that Running Bare’s status as a double bagger for EEOC purposes (XX chromosome and “Native”[she was born in the US, after all]) is self evident and it requires her and Hahvad to refute the charges that are out there.

    Lizzie Running Bare is continuing to be the gift that keeps on giving.

      Ragspierre in reply to persecutor. | August 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Speaking of Dirty Filthy Harry Reid…

      God bless him! He has turned the who “Mitten’s taxes” BS into a dirty joke…a cartoon.

      And Nanny Pelosi has thrown her broomstick into the broth!

      Things are going well!

TrooperJohnSmith | August 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

Bernstein obviously asks the rhetorical question and then places his metaphorical fingers in his virtual ears, all the while going lalalalalala in his imaginary head space.

Or, something like that.

“how about you demand a release of all Harvard’s files?”

while you’re in the file room pull out baracky’s too

casualobserver | August 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

Is it me, or do the most progressive voices in MA seem stuck in the 90s when the Kennedy name was King in all aspects? The entire right-wing-smear-machine seems almost anachronistic any more. And the tone of the Phoenix author, at least as it strikes me, seems arrogantly confident of his power to manipulate or at least affect the opposing side, when the exact opposite is the truth these days. It has been years since non-progressives (i.e. the not Kennedy/Frank types) have had as much popularity and as much of a fighting chance. Perhaps ignoring the truth is a way to deal with the reality of slipping interest in progressive ideology in the state. It’s not completely unwanted, but it surely isn’t a lock-in for election lately.

If they want someone to “put up” why not read Legal Insurrection’s posts on Elizabeth Warren?

Like other commenters here, I presume Harvard sought to hire Warren because of her now discredited claim of Cherokee ancestry. Unlike others here, though, I regard Harvard as a victim in this charade. Now that she has been unmasked as the faux-Cherokee she seems to be, and now that her scholarship is being so publicly questioned, one wonders if Harvard isn’t hoping she wins her race just so they are relieved of the burden of employing her.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to MTF. | August 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

    If Harvard is a victim, they were victimized in part by their own incompetence, since they demanded no evidence. It seems more likely that the charade was played out by both parties, with winks and nods.

    Spiny Norman in reply to MTF. | August 7, 2012 at 4:04 am

    I think it’s cleat that Harvard was, in the most generous reading, a completely willing victim.

As someone not of the east who admittedly knows little about eastern elete schools ,would I be wrong in noting a disproportional amount of the stench of academic corruption seems to arise from Harvard?

So maybe this is an oversimplification and perhaps I’m not reading this right, but you have a bunch of people alleging misconduct and a bunch of organizations absolving those allegations.

Where do you go with that?

Possibly Harvard asked Lizzie if she could possibly, maybe, hopefully be one of those check boxes or they couldn’t hire her.

1. The accusations of defective scholarhip help explain why Warren placed her agency in the Fed, free of normal checks and balances.

2. Warren would have made a heckuva AGW climatologist, but I’m pretty sure that Rutgers law school is easier than their STEM programs, and law probably pays better.

3. MA Senator for Life Teddy Kennedy was expelled from Harvard for cheating. That made no difference to Harvard when they readmitted him, nor to MA voters. Neither did Chappaquidick. Nor did other rumored scandals that never fully saw the light of day.

There’s a symmetry there, no? Kennedy expelled for cheating; wannabe successor Warren allegedly hired via cheating.

4. I keep saying that what could turn the race is a pocketbook issue. Without that it’s a toss-up with, IMHO, an edge to Warren though I wouldn’t bet on it.

I’m not deprecating the efforts of LI and others. Without them, the race would be a cakewalk for Warren. Like Ted Kennedy, Warren may be getting an unsavory reputation that will keep her out of national office.

5. Another thing that might change the race is Brown mending fences with the Tea Party, without which he probably would not have been elected. Unfortunately, he seems to be too much in love with the awesomely awesome awesomeness of his awesome self to do so. No, Scott, the Mike Bloomberg endorsement is no substitute.

6. As I was finishing this comment, I got a fundraising call from the Brown campaign. I said I’m not in the Tea Party though I share many of their goals. I went on that Brown owes his position to activists who worked their hearts out on his behalf, and he deserves to lose for the way he has treated them.

Maybe such whacks with the clue bat will register on Senator Wonderful before it’s too late.

Note to self: make similar replies to Brown emails.

I just realized something after looking through the bookshelves on my wall:

My Bankruptcy Casebook was co-authored by Elizabeth Warren.

It’s “The Law of Debtors and Creditors: Text, Cases, and Problems” written by Elizabeth Warren and Jay Lawrence Westbrook (5th Ed.) 2006.

I now understand why I made some of the notes in the margins about how the authors were out of their minds regarding with regard to certain suggestions about how to reform the bankruptcy process and that claimed inequities between employers/corporations and workers/junior creditors were not the way that the authors represented them in business practice.

    Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | August 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Deemocrat strategerists wonder if having Princess Running Bare speak at the convention is wise.


    Also, since I do simple consumer bankruptcy as part of my practice, I know that the Warren claims about “medical bankruptcy” are BS. At least here in Texas.

      Americans are (still) optimists. Warren strikes me as negative, nagging and unlikable. She is a good fit for the “progressive” Left, but I don’t think she will play well in Peoria. IMO she will make an even bigger phony out of herself if she acts like an optimist.

      “I wish we could buy Elizabeth Warren some air time,” said Republican strategist Bruce Haynes of Purple Strategies. “You know, she may be a good fit for Massachusetts, but she’s a bad fit for the rest of the country.”

      He gets it.

      2. Cautionary note: At first blush I wouldn’t expect Warren to appeal to MA white ethnics, but her attacks on Wall Street might dog-whistle to the Boston area’s resentment of NYC.

      Hi Rags,

      You have to remember Elizabeth Warren’s definition of “Medical Bankruptcy.” According to her, ANY debt over $1,000 created by a medical procedure or illness was a “medical bankruptcy” of that family unit, regardless of if that family or individual went on to actually declare bankruptcy.

      We both know it’s horse manure, but it’s how she framed the debate, and no one called her on it until they were all arguing about the statistics she used, when they should have argued the underlying premise was wildly over-broad.

      You know what I would love to see would be the Republican National Committee purchase a national advertisement during the Convention between Elizabeth Warren and Bill Clinton speeches saying:

      “Elizabeth Warren believes that frauds and thieves shouldn’t get ahead. What she won’t tell you is she fraudulently claimed to be a Native American to get a job at Harvard, even though she didn’t have one shred of proof of Native American Ancestry. If she’s willing to lie to her employers to steal a job by lying about her Diversity status, what makes you think she won’t lie to you?

      Don’t reward her lies. Don’t vote for Elizabeth Warren.”

      Can you imagine the uproar? But it would be fantastic to watch.

Her full files are being redacted and destroyed as we speak.

[…] Cherokee Woman Supporter Steps In It Again Posted on August 6, 2012 3:30 pm by Bill Quick » New Challenge to Boston Phoenix: Demand Elizabeth Warren and Harvard put up, or shut up about “… […]