The selection is under fire from students, alumni (including Sen. Debbie Stabenow) and women's rights advocates due to Will's antediluvian views expressed in a Washington Post column in which he comments on "the supposed campus epidemic of rape."
The Curmudgeon has no problem with MSU having a speaker who spouts nonsense – that's a healthy part of the diversity of ideas the University should champion.
But The Curmudgeon is among those who don't think the University should pay Will the equivalent of two-year's tuition for the privilege of spouting his nonsense, even if he does so with big words, flowery prose and a professorial bow tie. Will's minimum speaking fee, according to his agency, the Washington Speakers Bureau, is at least $40,001. (But that's a bargain: the fee includes travel expenses.)
|Not George Will|
Which is why the progressive media watchdog Media Matters filed a FOIA for the contract. MSU, which had five days to respond, responded on the sixth day that it needed more time to comply. That extension, if fully utilized, means the University will not divulge Will's speaking fee until after he has safely left East Lansing this Saturday.
Standing up for a diversity of ideas is one thing. Stonewalling the public is another. It is a sorry day for the Green and White.