Eight professors have joined together to issue a statement in support of University of Rhode Island assistant professor Erik Loomis, who last week tweeted that he wanted NRA executive vice president “Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.”

The authors of the statement, posted on the blog Crooked Timber, defend Loomis’ tweet as an example of metaphor and say their defense was “pulled together on an emergency basis” — perhaps explaining why distinguished academics would cite the Urban Dictionary as their source in explaining what “head on a stick” means, as well as their omission of his retweets of other violent metaphors wishing for those who support arming teachers to be “beaten to death” and Dick Morris to be hunted down and skinned for breakfast.

Nevertheless, Loomis has found defenders in academia, who worry that “his lack of tenure makes him vulnerable,” a state of affairs the rest of us who don’t enjoy the defense of “academic freedom” — that is, “scholars’ freedom independently to express views (even intemperate ones) on topics of public importance” — face every day while arguing our beliefs in the public sphere. The fact that Loomis’ tweets seemingly had nothing to do with his teaching or his field of study further stretches the idea that academics should enjoy special protection from criticism. Meanwhile, the authors of Loomis’ defense call on university administrators to “affirm … the protections of the First Amendment” while overlooking a call for the head of a proponent of the Second Amendment.

We at Twitchy wish harm on no one, but Loomis’ public tweets and retweets were enough to elicit a statement from the University of Rhode Island distancing the school from them. Supporters who made no mention of the ugliness of Loomis’ Twitter activity were quick to call the criticism of Loomis an “ugly, vindictive witch hunt.”

Try to get fired? Is that a metaphor for reposting someone’s own words?

No, but you see, there’s an important distinction. Violent rhetoric — um, metaphor — wasn’t acceptable when Sarah Palin now-famously used an image of crosshairs on an election map. But as a defense of Loomis on the blog Lawyers, Guns & Money informs us, “Rhetoric is only ‘violent’ when its intent is encourage violent acts to a receptive audience.”

So while Palin’s map stands as an example of violent rhetoric, the statement that declares Loomis to be in the “the crosshairs of the state and his employer” is not. As long as we’re having fun with metaphor now, let’s all call for heads on sticks.

Is that what Loomis’ defenders meant when they called for supporters to “Be polite, be civil, be firm”? We’d prefer to call for cooler heads to prevail, and we’ll assume our “metaphor illiterate” readers know we don’t mean that literally.

Again, we see no attempt to silence; in fact, the “right-wing witch hunt” arose from little more than (metaphorically) holding up a megaphone to Loomis’ existing speech. Was Loomis “forced” to delete his Twitter account, as another blog asserts, or to remove his university affiliation from his profile? Twitchy and other bloggers have no such power, and we wouldn’t use it if we could. In the meantime, a vigorous debate over guns continues.

But if we as a nation are truly going to have a “conversation” about guns in the wake of the unspeakable Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, let’s say what we mean, and stand by it.

Related:

Liberal journo Mike Elk sad about death threats to death threat connoisseur Erik Loomis

Flashback: Erik Loomis criticized Sarah Palin for ‘violent rhetoric’

Sick retweet by disgraced Rhode Island prof Erik Loomis: ‘Hunt down Dick Morris like a pig’

Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis deletes his Twitter account; Update: What is he hiding?

University of Rhode Island professor’s retweet: Murder anyone who thinks teachers should be armed; Update: Police met with prof; Update: University issues statement

  • Bob Cordon

    His lack of tenure makes him vulnerable? How about his lack of a mind?

    • Jim Denney

      Nope, that makes him eligible for promotion.

    • TomJB

      Maybe they should be asking why he doesn’t have tenure. Could be an enlightening conversation.

  • Steve_J

    So they believe Loomis should be able to spew his bile and be exempt from criticism? I guess when you live in a closed enviroment and 98% of your coworkers all think the same, that makes sense.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IQIGXRVWW5XRETNV25R4FATCOM ssenecal5000

      You can’t say those things in school or you will be suspended…..even the teacher.
      Loomis must go!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IQIGXRVWW5XRETNV25R4FATCOM ssenecal5000

      You can’t say those things in school or you will be suspended…..even the teacher.
      Loomis must go!

  • Jerry Erb

    they talk this trash right up until it is them getting threatened. then watch them change there tune. just a group of mental fur balls. dumb as a bag of hammers

    • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

      I think the word you are looking for is “bully.”

  • Killer Social Media

    Why doesn’t someone ask these “innocent” lib professors why they try to witch hunt Christians by attacking their worldview, while these Christian students are a captive audience in his classes of indoctrination?

    • ShroudedSciuridae

      Simple, because their world view is wrong more often than not. The Earth isn’t 6,000 years old, evolution is real, and every animal didn’t board a single boat.

      • wwbdinct

        Maybe – maybe not. Are you absolutely 100% sure of that and where is your solid proof? You world view is more wrong often than not as well.

        • ShroudedSciuridae

          Genetics and the fossil record are quite clear on both evolution and the age of the Earth.

          • wwbdinct

            No one can say with 100% certainty. No one was there to witness how we came to be. You put your faith in scientists – other’s don’t.

          • ShroudedSciuridae

            Typing this out on a stone tablet then?

          • Michael Rice

            What does that have to do with evolution, age of the earth or Noah’s Ark?
            Get back to us when you find the missing link.

          • Michael Rice

            Uh, no.

        • Michael Rice

          Because he says it is true

      • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

        You are describing a very narrow sliver of Christians. It’s almost as unfair as one of us calling liberals “raving left-wing loony Reds.” 😉

        • ShroudedSciuridae

          While I concede that not all Christians are young earth creationists, sadly 46% of Americans are. http://tinyurl.com/bv4jll3 That’s hardly a very narrow sliver.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002109532283 Jillane Kent

            The fact that 1/3 of the respondents take a deistic view doesn’t faze you, does it?

      • Michael Rice

        SO what you are saying is since you believe yourself to be right on these three mentioned issues it gives you the right to attack anyone and indoctrinate anyone who does nto follow your thought process? Or are you claiming the entire world view of Christians is wrong so you can berate and belittle them?
        Meanwhile this guy talks or “metaphors” and all is good.
        Macro Evolution has never been proven. It is a theory. Actually, two of every animal baorded an ark.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.kipp.1 Greg Kipp

    A liberal attempts to incite threats and its a metaphor? Let anyone else do it and the panties get real tight fast and the screaming begins.

  • Jack Deth

    Since when does wishing harm on another individual come under “Academic Freedom”?

    Especially when the one wishing said harm is a member of the oh, so tolerant and inclusive liberal left!

  • mcdonnal

    Academic freedom my arse. He is a menace to society as are many of these so called intellectual, effete snobs who are warping the minds of our young people, many who have already been primed with the heavy childhood use of psychotropic drugs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-OConnor/100001404552226 Steven O’Connor

    And this is the kind of teachers we send our kids to learn. I guess my kids will not be going to any kind of school like that. Very sad that people are so lost that they feel what he did was OK. But if a Tea Party member never says anything racist, they will still get sent to the wolves and still called racist.

  • Gary Williams

    I say fire them all!!!

  • Ken

    The real hilarity is these far left progressive intellectuals believe they will ALL be invited into Obama’s promised land. Little do they know there is only room for the Dictator in Chief, everyone else will join the 99% of Serfs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.harvey.980 Jim Harvey

    BURN ALL UNIVERSITIES>HANG ALL COLLEGE PROFESSORS (Metaphorically Speaking Of Course).

    • ShroudedSciuridae

      That’s one way to ensure no one is smarter than you….

      • http://www.zazzle.com/angrymobwear WhatWouldJeffersonDo?

        There’s a difference between smart & educated.

      • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

        Well, being smarter than YOU is no challenge. ;- )

      • wwbdinct

        Yes, because everyone who goes to college is so much smarter than those who don’t. What an elitist view of life you have! It’s no wonder you’re a lefty.

  • http://twitter.com/lenn100 leonard matchett

    the fools ought to be a TI

  • Alan Larsen

    And we wonder why the quality of a college education is on the decline! Professors like this!

    • beebop1952

      And the costs are going up so that morons like them can receive life long pensions … you can’t make this stuff up.

  • http://twitter.com/HRHTif Grace

    As a Loomis, I am deeply disappointed that this moonbat shares my proud Patriot family surname. Can I strip him of his name? Erm, metaphorically, of course…

  • Tamoten

    If someone were to substitute Obama’s name for LaPierre’s I wonder if the Secret Service would dismiss it as a metaphor?

  • Squander Two

    I agree with his defenders that we all ought to be able to use metaphor and hyperbole and figures of speech without having people take it literally and fly off the handle about it. So, if the Left could start extending that basic courtesy to the Right instead of going on about imaginary racist and sexist code words and having conniptions every time someone says “niggardly”, that’d be great.

    • Catchance

      Metaphors Be With You.

    • Catchance

      Metaphors Be With You.

  • Matt

    We do not need to have a conversation about guns, but rather how to keep mentally unstable people from getting access to guns.

    Sadly, in my career, I all too often encounter mentally unstable people who are suicidal and still have access to their firearms. Their family and friends are well aware of the mental instability, but for reasons that are beyond me, they refuse to remove the guns from the equation, It may be they are uncomfortable talking about it with the individual, it may be they fear it will give that person ideas, I don’t know. But what I do know, is often their failure to act leads to life shattering consequences that sometimes reach far beyond those immediately involved.

    My life dramatically changed a while back because family members of a mentally ill person refused to take his guns away from him. I do not blame them for what happened, but had they been proactive, the situation would not have happened.

  • George Washington Mclintock

    Pathetic childishness,blatant hypocrisy, and damn near psychotic petulance. I wonder what their most angry about: they can’t blatantly play the “cross hairs on a map” card because of this guy, or that the university gave him the slap on the wrist it did. Disturbing pattern of behavior common to libs: threaten,insult. and lie about anyone, or any idea that challenges their belief in their intellectual supremacy , Get caught being a hypocrite and violating common decency, and then starts the blame game. It was just artistic expression terrifying vaguely-defined repressive forces, which includes all conservatives everywhere. They say they are being persecuted for challenging the powerful, usually some group or institution that teaches Judeo-Christian values. And every professor in the field, who probably spent their careers knifing the accused in their papers, rallies to side of their now beloved colleague. Meanwhile, our college students don’t learn squat worth the debt. Dem politicians follow the same cycle. Race pimps do, as well as reporters. And dem voters do the same when questioned. Liberals in large numbers are really messed up. Well, on their own too. Glen Greenwald is definitely the American I’d vote as “Most Likely to Oversee a Death Camp set up by an invading Chinese Army.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/thebadger14 Badger Pundit

    As noted in the tweet just after the headline above, the 8 professors haven’t been especially eager to answer questions about their statement in support of Loomis — in particular, my question about what issue of “academic freedom” they see in Loomis’s private tweets (which are unconnected to any work in his field, or even the subject of his field).

    Glenn Reynolds has now linked to my analysis (on his Instapundit blog), thereby putting the professors on notice of this key question (they admit they read Instapundit, and even linked to it in their statement). Hopefully they’ll address it in the near future.

    More details on all this on R.S. McCain’s blog, here:
    http://theothermccain.com/2012/12/19/metaphor-academics-sign-their-own-death-warrants-by-defending-loomis/#comment-743231155.

    Meanwhile, apparently in response to my comment and tweet criticizing the professors for only accepting positive comments, they decided “it would be only fair” to have a open thread for all other comments.

    Well, not ALL other comments, mind you — “trolling” is not permitted. The initial commentators aren’t happy about that. One points out that “trolling” is always defined, in practice, as “sufficiently serious disagreement with the posters.”

    Another is more blunt: “[A]s long as someone else’s definition of what is or is not legitimate discourse holds sway, freedom of expression has no meaning. So it burns me right the f*ck out to see you follow a post calling for academic freedom with one saying ‘no trolling.’ There’s no difference between saying ‘no trolling’ and saying ‘no saying things I don’t like.’ None at all.”

    I think it’s fair to say that the threads on Twitchy.com are a heck of a lot more open than the threads on Crooked Timber, which is ironic because the professors are the ones supposedly standing tall for freedom of expression. Here’s the url for that so-called “open thread”:
    http://crookedtimber.org/2012/12/20/academic-and-workplace-freedom-open-thread.

    I’m not going to repost my question on that so-called “open thread,” because I refuse to participate on a thread which they’ve declared will be subject to their ad hoc censorship. Plus, I posted my comment on McCain’s blog well before they created that thread, and Instapundit has put the professors on notice of my McCain blog comment. So I expect them to answer my question in a reply on McCain’s blog, or in a post on their blog.

    If no reply is forthcoming by the end of tomorrow, perhaps Twitchy.com readers will consider encouraging the professors to answer the question, which is a rather basic question. But it seems reasonable to give them a full day to address the question in some fashion.

    • Bob Almighty

      It’s an incestuous love-in for self-righteous egg-heads who think they’re above the world.

  • ember

    What a bunch of liberals. They want the rest of us held to a high standard and themselves held to none. “Fair” means the same rule applies to each and every individual.

    • Barbara Wilde

      To them, FAIR means what they say it means.

      • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

        Means they get their way.

    • Barbara Wilde

      To them, FAIR means what they say it means.

  • Neil K. LeBeau

    liberals want NRA members heads on sticks but don’t want to be the ones to come do it. must be true Obama supporters wanting everything you want done for you. bitches

  • maplebob23

    In order to hunt for a witch, she must be obscured in some way. Loomis put it in the wide out open for Marx and everyone to see.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    I’m not understanding this, “Okay, let’s all agree that it’s fine and everyone gets to do it” nonsense.

    Where is the fortitude to label it as unacceptable? Sure, it’s legal, and not “actionable,” in terms of calling out the sheriff, but people who engage in that sort of violent incitement ought to be told it’s unacceptable, and their employers should know they are employing dangerous individuals who are likely to cause major problems for them.

  • Bob Almighty

    The peckers on the Left are finding out what it’s like to get Alinskied. They don’t seem to like it very much. They’re over there getting philosophical on academic freedom so Erik Loomis can continue to make an ass of himself and all academics on the internet.

  • Guest

    Go Alinsky on them – RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” — You KNOW that if any Conservative had said or written anything close to this would be hounded until they were out of office, or out of a job. Any “professor” that is this unhinged is dangerous to himself and the community. I weep for students that have to pay to take his class, or sit through his rants..

  • grais

    Too bad these ‘scholars’ didn’t explain Loomis’s ‘vulnerability’ to him before he tweeted all those ‘metaphors’.
    Not too bright, are they?

  • grais

    Too bad these ‘scholars’ didn’t explain Loomis’s ‘vulnerability’ to him before he tweeted all those ‘metaphors’.
    Not too bright, are they?

  • $7610427

    Haha…I love when liberal dribble comes back to bite them in the a ss…

  • $7610427

    Haha…I love when liberal dribble comes back to bite them in the a ss…

  • CR

    It was likely missed amid his more offensive tweets, but I’d just like to take a moment to point out that among Loomis postings was a tweet naming Eugene Volokh “Idiot of the Day.” Volokh is a fellow academic who actually teaches for a slightly better school than Loomis (aka UCLA- a top 15 law school). Volokh was decried as an idiot because he dared to raise the question of arming teachers: http://www.volokh.com/2012/12/14/a-thought-experiment-related-to-school-shootings/

    So, Loomis singled out a tweet of an academic opinion he found offense, posted it for others to see and called the academic a name… But apparently, that wasn’t really an issue because Volokh took a position he and Crooked Timber http://crookedtimber.org/2012/12/15/shorter-eugene-volokh/ didn’t like too much.

  • CR

    It was likely missed amid his more offensive tweets, but I’d just like to take a moment to point out that among Loomis postings was a tweet naming Eugene Volokh “Idiot of the Day.” Volokh is a fellow academic who actually teaches for a slightly better school than Loomis (aka UCLA- a top 15 law school). Volokh was decried as an idiot because he dared to raise the question of arming teachers: http://www.volokh.com/2012/12/14/a-thought-experiment-related-to-school-shootings/

    So, Loomis singled out a tweet of an academic opinion he found offense, posted it for others to see and called the academic a name… But apparently, that wasn’t really an issue because Volokh took a position he and Crooked Timber http://crookedtimber.org/2012/12/15/shorter-eugene-volokh/ didn’t like too much.

  • GaryTheBrave

    I got sent to twitter gulag for much less. Can someone please send Loomis to the gulag? I need the company.

  • GaryTheBrave

    I got sent to twitter gulag for much less. Can someone please send Loomis to the gulag? I need the company.

  • grais

    No one had to hunt for the witch; he jumped up and screamed, “Here I am!”
    Why is Loomis unable to accept responsibility for what he did? And why are the others unable to see that he must; it is required of adults.

    • wwbdinct

      Precisely. Instead of just accepting the fact the made a mistake, he spun and twisted himself into a pretzel to try and defend it. Hey Loomis – be a man, stand up and apologize for being an idiot and everyone will just move on. These freakin lefties can never, ever admit that they were wrong about anything!

      • beebop1952

        He can’t do that because — did you not catch the irony — he isn’t tenured? They can only take responsibility if they believe “the man” cannot touch them.

  • grais

    No one had to hunt for the witch; he jumped up and screamed, “Here I am!”
    Why is Loomis unable to accept responsibility for what he did? And why are the others unable to see that he must; it is required of adults.

  • Maxwell

    The respect I had for college profs… is now in the negatives. Yeah, I know have -2 respect for college profs on a scale of 1 to 10.

  • Maxwell

    The respect I had for college profs… is now in the negatives. Yeah, I know have -2 respect for college profs on a scale of 1 to 10.

  • dwsmokin

    Amazing how everyone defends “freedom of speech” only when it’s their speech at stake. The halls of academia are filled with little tolerance for opposing views-until the proverbial crosshairs are targeted on their own. Funny how that works.

  • dwsmokin

    Amazing how everyone defends “freedom of speech” only when it’s their speech at stake. The halls of academia are filled with little tolerance for opposing views-until the proverbial crosshairs are targeted on their own. Funny how that works.

  • The_Kat

    How stupid…threaten the life of a guy with a bunch of guns. And then the stupidity continues as a bunch of fellow looney academics uphold his idiocy. Um…yeah…I want to enroll at that university!

  • The_Kat

    How stupid…threaten the life of a guy with a bunch of guns. And then the stupidity continues as a bunch of fellow looney academics uphold his idiocy. Um…yeah…I want to enroll at that university!

  • Tex Taylor

    I get the distinct impression from perusing the posts and the action/reaction, the cockroach Loomis’ rock was lifted that he’s been safely hiding under and it was high noon.

    If the rock is simply lowered back into place, the house will soon be overrun with more roaches. Time to bring out the ball peen hammer folks. This infestation has been allowed to fester for way too long.

  • orringtonmom (D)

    seems that people have forgotten that free speech goes both ways. students depending on a grade you’ll give them won’t disagree or speak up. the twitterverse doesn’t give a damn who you are… reveal your hypocrisy and get called out for it. that is the way it works… God bless america.

  • MoxieLouise

    Considering his “metaphors” and the fact that he looks like Charles Whitman, I think his arsenal should be limited to rubber bands and spit balls.

    • mdtljt

      …THAT’S who he reminds me of!!!! I’ve been trying to figure it out since his ugly mug was posted…thanks Moxie!!!

      • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

        I was thinking he had that same lunatic grin that Jim Messina had — was that his name? With the lovey – dovey to my president written on his hands? That was a popular pic on here for a couple weeks, with frequent remarks that he looked about a step away from driving the “Free Candy!” van outside the elementary school.

      • MoxieLouise

        You’re welcome…it was a LONG time ago, but I remember it well.

  • RichRight

    It’s always the same from this crowd. That’s why I pulled my kid from government education. No, it’s not a typo.

  • David

    Free speech is free speech, period. Disgraceful speech such as this leftist wacko should be castigated, but allowed.

  • Citizen0000

    Own your words buddy. Stop trying to explain them away, coward. Liberal double standards need to be called out. How many of these apologists supported Sarah Palin’s use of cross hairs on a congressional map?

  • lainer51

    typical college professor – dumb as a brick, overpaid, underworked, vacationer-in-chief supporter and really fugly too.

  • http://erickbrockway.com/ Erick Brockway

    What? Not tenured? Head on a stick!!

  • JonInVa

    “Academic Freedom”??? If he wants to give a new take on Jefferson/Hemings, or throw out a theory that Lincoln was a transvestite, sure you can do that. But you can’t advocate violence against people and engage in disgusting rants about other law-abiding citizens and call that “academic”.

  • Well Done

    Wow… evidence that the academic world is littered with utterly wrong-headed azz wholes! Who knew?

  • $30423294

    I have a theory. This is a case of anticipatory cognitive dissonance.

    You see, the professors who are circling the wagons around Erik share his fringe radical ideology, and if their own inner darkness were to come to light, they too would be publicly shamed.

    There are only two possibilities, so they can either (A) admit their inner darkness really is a cause for concern in a civilized society, or (B) assert that they are epic heroes who are being unfairly persecuted by those who don’t understand them.

    Put yourself in their shoes. Which belief would you come to adopt?

  • fivebyfive

    The whole goose and gander thingy. Funny how GROWN assed men in academia and liberals in media want to hold everyone else to a standard they could never live up to.

  • Jeff Jefferson

    Loomis should be fired simply because it can be demonstrated that he lacks the intellectual honesty that would be necessary to teach a true version of historical events. If we are going to make headway in the culture war, we are going to have to work to get people like this fired. The left works tirelessly to squelch our speech while we always act honorably and respect their right to free speech. This causes conservatives to be reluctant to voice their opinions in public. All the general population hear is the leftist perspective. We need to start making them feel reluctant to speak; it has worked quite well for their side.

  • V the K

    Let me guess, the people defending Loomis’s “Academic Freedom” are the same people who wanted Larry Summers head on a stick for saying “Maybe women just aren’t good at math.”

  • Streetiebird

    Professor calls for a theoretical beating: OMG LET’S PERSECUTE HIM ON THE TWEETER!!!
    Ted Nugent directly says he would shoot a politician: Give this man a show on Discovery!!!

    • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

      The police took a rather dim view of Loomis’ remarks, if that escaped you. Were they being reactionary fascist thugs, or were they part of the government that loves us and in which we trust?

      😉

      • Streetiebird

        The secret service took a rather dim view of Ted Nugent’s remarks, if that escaped you Rob.

        • Jaynie59

          Ted Nugent never threatened to shoot anybody. His statement was in the context of the government coming after HIM if Obama got re-elected.
          Think that’s far fetched? Google Ruby Ridge you low information moron.

          • Streetiebird

            LOL!!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002109532283 Jillane Kent

          Is that why they conducted a very short interview and said he posed no threat?

    • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

      Say, that “theoretical beating” thingy… that wouldn’t happen to fall under the definition of persecution would it? (And if you’re going to quote someone, have the guts to document it.)

      • Streetiebird

        okaaaaaay, what’s your point?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002109532283 Jillane Kent

      Please link the direct threat, in Nugent’s own words and then explain why the Secret Service says that he was not threat and no further investigation was necessary. Please also note that Nugent’s show was cancelled by the Discovery Channel.

  • TheAmishDude

    What are these, some kind of First Amendment Fetishists?

  • TheAmishDude

    There is a price to academic freedom. It is irrelevance. You don’t get to hide behind “academic freedom” when you express yourself publicly. You have to deal with the consequences of your actions, just like a regular person.

  • Matt

    Maybe those who don’t have tenure should watch their mouths in public forums. It always amazes me that these left wing idiots say outrageous, offensive things on Twitter and think that the 1st Amendment somehow protects them from repercussions from private citizens and their employers. See Biggs, Jason.

  • Purple State

    No, Twitchy doesn’t have the power to silence Loomis. No, Twitchy didn’t tell Loomis to delete his tweets or university affiliation. They didn’t have to! One of the primary functions of this site is that Twitchy carefully cherry-picks politically-related tweets they disagree with and they present them here, with name and link to profile, to their readers. I wonder what happens next? Twitchy enthusiasts then encourage each other to tweet at the “lib.” I bet every one of those tweets is civil, right? On the original Loomis story, commenters were actually encouraging each other to contact Loomis’s University and ask for him to be reprimanded/fired. There’s your witchhunt.

    • http://twitter.com/Gator_Country Stephen K

      But of course, when liberal sites post names and Twitter profiles of conservatives, along with their cell phone numbers, physical addresses, Google map links showing images of their homes, names and contact information for their employers, pictures and names of their children and the schools they attend, etc. that’s not a “witch hunt” at all. That’s “responsible use of social media,” and every “real” American should consider to be his/her patriotic duty to flood that person with death threats and worse.

      Have I got that just about right?

    • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

      So disingenuous. It’s almost sweet if it wasn’t so sickening. 😉

    • Jaynie59

      Trent Lott was run out of town on a rail because he wished a 100 year old man a happy birthday.
      Low life scumbags like Loomis have no business teaching kids. He needs to be fired.

      • TBP100

        If that actually happened, you might have grounds for complaint, but alas, 1) He wasn’t run out of town on a rail, but continued to have a great deal of influence until his retirement and 2) he didn’t just wish a 100 year old man a happy birthday, he said that “the United States would have avoided ‘all these problems’ if then-segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president” in 1948. Since Thurmond’s entire presidential run was based on opposition to equal rights for blacks, it’s impossible to interpret Mr. Lott’s comments as anything other than endorsing Mr. Thurmond’s segregationist views. He was, indeed, roundly criticized for that, as he should have been, but he was absolutely not “run out of town on a rail.”

    • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

      Yeah, because obviously this is the only place, on the entire internet, where someone could find this information. You demonizers need to bone up on technology.

  • Hello Jerry (D)

    Idiots sticking up for an idiot.

  • http://davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com/ David Hoffman

    So Loomis should not be held to account for wishing someone dead and then imprisoned for their opinion, Free speech for us but not for you.

  • http://davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com/ David Hoffman

    I noticed at their group blog they are celebrating the death of Robert Bork.

    • TBP100

      To the extent that this is true, it is unfortunate. Let us not pretend, however, that this kind of thing is exclusive to the left. My first introduction to it was the glee with which many on the religious right celebrated the early deaths of Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould, with much joyous speculation about their sufferings in Hell.

  • TBP100

    Let’s say that you work for a company that has a bad quarter. The boss sends a memo around that says, “If things don’t pick up by the end of next quarter, heads are gonna roll.”

    Do you:

    1) Interpret this literally and inform the police
    or
    2) Assume that he means that some people will lose their jobs if there isn’t an improvement?

    Any sane person would do 2). It may or may not be a good way to motivate employees, but it isn’t a credible threat to anyone’s life. Likewise, any sane person knows that Prof. Loomis wasn’t actually calling for Mr. LaPierre’s murder. This is being used as yet another way to intimidate anyone who strays from conservative orthodoxy and is public about it.

    Further, the right wing faux outrage here is incredibly hypocritical, given that the right uses this kind of rhetoric all the time.

    And here is how this is categorically different from the crosshairs incidents it is being compared to: in the entire history of the USA, no politician or other public figure has been beheaded and subsequently had his head publicly displayed on a pike, whereas quite a few politicians and other public figures have, in fact, been shot, sometimes fatally so. Therefore putting someone’s picture in the crosshairs can reasonably be interpreted as an actual incitement to violence, especially if accompanied by personal information, such as their address. Even if meant innocently, it goes beyond mere rhetorical hyperbole.

    • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

      Way to pretend that the only violence-inciting statement was about a head on a pike. How about the “beaten to death” statement? No medieval instruments required, there.

      And it isn’t simply outrage. Are you so bereft of decency that you fall in line behind some ghoulish, blood-soaked rhetoric just because the proponent is on your putative side of the debate? No, it’s not outrage, it’s disgust. Anyone wishing to engage in such disgusting behavior needs to be prepared to pay the price, which is having it put on display like the freak show that it is.

      • TBP100

        Does the blogger name “Rude Pundit” perhaps suggest that he is going to use a LOT of hyperbole? That said, I agree that he shouldn’t have used that particular language, and Prof. Loomis shouldn’t have retweeted it. Nonetheless, the level of faux outrage exhibited is entirely out of proportion to the actual offense, and is clearly an intimidation tool.

        • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

          The level of “faux outrage” is exactly zero. You are manufacturing it as a phony excuse to abet violent rhetoric.

          • TBP100

            There has been a flood of emails and other communications to his employers demanding that he be fired. There are innumerable blog posts and articles, like this one, which misrepresent, deliberately or otherwise, what he said as an actual call for violence. Again, no rational person could read what he wrote as a legitimate threat, any more than the employee in my hypothetical could interpret the boss saying that “heads will roll” as a legitimate murder threat.. So yes, I would say that there’s a lot of faux outrage. If you want to criticize the language as unnecessarily harsh, or “uncivil”, have at it, but don’t pretend it was something it clearly wasn’t.

          • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

            Sure. We’ll leave the pretending to you. We know what it was.

  • Jaynie59

    This incident is a perfect example of why conservatives will never win. None of you have any balls.

    Eric Loomis is a non-tenured member of the URI faculty and is an obvious far left-wing loon. This loon is just ONE example of the hateful loons that have spent the last 60 years infiltrating every aspect of American culture in the “slow march through the institutions” that succeeded, just 6 weeks ago, in re-electing and obvious Marxist-socialist as President of The United States. He needs to be fired. Now. Today.
    But what are all the conservatives doing? Defending the a-hole because of some nasty tweets by low-life scumbags like Amanda Marcotte.
    You people are absolutely useless. Grow a set of balls and fight back or give up and accept that you are helping to turn this country into exactly what they want it to be.

  • http://www.twitter.com/thebadger14 Badger Pundit

    Following up on my comment of last night, there’s still no indication from the Crooked Timber professors that they plan to explain what “academic freedom” interest they’re actually defending. Here are some recent tweets about that:

    @adamsbaldwin @twitchyteam — Response of supposed “witch hunt” ringleader @instapundit has been ignored by the 8 profs bit.ly/UIBMpz— Badger Pundit (@thebadger14) December 20, 2012

    @michellemalkin @instapundit @rsmccain — Professor asks, on @erikloomis: “Is this what academic freedom is for?” bit.ly/12rHeCP.— Badger Pundit (@thebadger14) December 20, 2012

    @michellemalkin — @crookedtimber note on @erikloomis:”It’s not the politics, it’s the imprudence of the expression.” bit.ly/ZUojRm— Badger Pundit (@thebadger14) December 20, 2012

    @twitchyteam — @crookedtimber comment on @erikloomis:”I don’t see his speech as having anything to do with his job.” bit.ly/12Cmis5— Badger Pundit (@thebadger14) December 20, 2012

    @twitchyteam @rsmccain — Rich Puchalsky to @crookedtimber defender of erikloomis: “you just look like a hypocrite.”bit.ly/YpCopy— Badger Pundit (@thebadger14) December 20, 2012

    @instapundit — “By giving this opening to the enemy, Loomis has let his side down.” bit.ly/RGvURi . He agrees: bit.ly/UfrvnA— Badger Pundit (@thebadger14) December 20, 2012

  • Dracoprimus

    liberals never mean the words they actually say, but, conservatives always mean far more than the words they actually say.
    about sums it up.

  • G.

    So the non-contributory section of society (i.e. ivory tower academia) pleads for academic freedom when one of their own call for barbarism on fellow human beings. Sorry, prof…once you cross the line of civility, you have no cave in which to hide. As bad as, if not worse than the Lanza kid, IMHO.

  • Ponsonby_Britt

    Strangely enough (or not) it becomes a metaphor after the fact. Lame.

  • Mapache

    He is free to say what he wants and others are free to respond how they want. Ain’t freedom grand?!

  • http://www.vatican.va/ Rulz

    “The fact that the first urge Michelle Malkin had upon hearing about 20 dead kids was to find someone to try to get fired says it all.”

    Not quite true: http://www.michellemakin.com

    But you can pretty much say that in terms of Micheal Moore and Piers Morgan.

  • Ken

    This is the nonsense of the left. They will go to the hilt to defend their right to be complete idiots and make a mockery of civility. They are circling the wagons…what utter wastes of time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.dean.564 Lisa Dean

    If his lack of tenure made him vulnerable then he should have considered this before he opened his “internet mouth” and tweeted his comments.

  • Jack Deth

    The oh, so typical last resort of the busted, inflated ego, bed wetting liberal.

    Cry “Witch Hunt!” and hope others of the same non existent moral character and intestinal fortitude circle the wagons.

    Pathetic and pitiful, actually.

  • BeeKaaay

    This is not academic freedom, it is bloodthirst.

    Leftwingwackos are bloodthirsty.

  • Jeanette Victoria

    Well now we have a nice list of idiot “academics” to make sure our children are never exposed too.

  • MaryUKtheScot

    WOW this is the first F*^”*N time i am aware some left wing nutjob has actually GOTTEN a metaphor!!! they usually jump all over any republicans and take things LITERALLY!!!!

  • Dane Gunderson

    Everyone of these profs defending Loomis would piss themselves if any Conservative aimed such speech at them

  • Dane Gunderson

    Palin’s surveyor marks were death threats but Loomis death threats were ‘Academic Freedom’

  • perlhaqr

    Well, I suppose a head on a stick would cool down pretty quick. :-/

  • Mrs. Tiggiwinkel

    Try to exercise your 1st Amendment rights on any campus by making any statement (or even inference) that isn’t rigidly PC and see how well the “academic freedom” argument holds up.

    And by the way sumthin, the urban dictionary definitions of “head on a stick” hardly seem to be anything BUT a call to violence:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=head%20on%20a%20stick

  • doktorzoom

    At Wonkette, we just want Mr. LaPierre’s head on a pike.