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At Last: The Real Story Behind SMU's Opposition to Bush Library

A week later, reporter Ralph Blumenthal finally gets the story on the liberal academics fighting a George W. Bush library at Southern Methodist University.

On Sunday, Texas-based reporter Ralph Blumenthal follows up on his story last week on the controversy among faculty at Southern Methodist University over plans to build a George W. Bush library and museum on campus ("A Discordant Chorus Questions Visions for a Bush Library at Southern Methodist.")


"With growing faculty unease over plans to enshrine President Bush's official papers and a policy institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the process of creating the nation's 13th presidential library is off to a familiar start: discord.


"On Thursday, 68 theologians, professors and other faculty members present and past, citing complaints about President Bush's 'poor marks' on civil liberties, the environment, gay rights and the war in Iraq, sent the university president a letter questioning whether visions of the library were consistent with the school's religious and academic values."


Yet Blumenthal's new story, focusing on complaints from the school's liberal faculty (without actually using the term), rebuts the thrust of his initial article, which, as Times Watch pointed out, managed to miss the huge and seemingly obvious ideological component to the SMU faculty's opposition. Blumenthal focused instead on "academic freedom," which turned out to be a red herring hiding the expected opposition to Bush from liberal academics at SMU.