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Friday, August 20, 2004

Wingnut propaganda machine assaults my fair city with "student" newspaper

This sucks. I will be sure to grab one and laugh heartily when they are handed to me come fall. I link often to the regular student paper here on campus, the centrist Daily Texan. Of course, as everyone knows, centrist is regarded as "liberal" by wingnuts, because centrist papers just don't get the wingnut view that the only proper reaction towards liberalism is censorship. It look like this new "student" paper is student in the same sense that conservative movements are "grassroots".

On Sept. 2, the ex-advertising director of The Daily Texan will launch a new weekly broadsheet newspaper called The Austin Student, which will go forth to do battle with the Texan and other area student publications. It will be distributed free on the campuses of UT, Austin Community College, Concordia University, St. Edward's University, and Huston-Tillotson College, according to publisher Evelyn Gardner, who spent 16 years pitching ads for the Texan.

Notice how the "student" paper is run by a non-student. This isn't a student newspaper, it's a propaganda rag aimed at students. Sadly, it will probably siphon off the college Republican organizing that is done through the Daily Texan's letters to the editor page. Nothing like the daily laugh riot of the college Republicans writing in to announce a "grassroots" demonstration that is often mysteriously well-funded.

The college Republicans have also used the letters to the editor page for a long time to goad the paper away from its role, which is to take student money (tuition, duh) and supply a free paper to students that has news tailored to student needs, and push it towards taking the tuition money that funds it and using it to propagandize students with right wing nonsense. I doubt that having the propaganda rag of their dreams will deter them from this goal, but there's always hope. The annoying thing is that by placing these papers right by the Daily Texan on campus, they are implying that the Texan is a liberal paper to their conservative one. Luckily, their red, white and blue color scheme will probably clue students in that this isn't really a student paper.

At the very least, Gardner vows the Student will do a better job of covering student government, the Greek scene, and on-campus issues than does the Texan. The Student also won't rely on news wire services, an oft-touted criticism of the Texan, she says.

Screw the AP wire! The facts hate America, everyone knows that.

College Republicans are a particularly odious breed. Generally, they think they will be in the ruling class in the future, so they aren't just fighting to retain privileges now, but the ones they expect to have in the future. To the whole stew, add in the fear and resentment of the female sex that many young, inexperienced men have, a general youthful uneasiness about sex that attaches nicely to homophobic rhetoric, confusion of young people drawn from white bread communities and dumped into the diversity of a college campus, and just overall wish for some black and white thinking in the muddle of ideas that come at you from every angle in college and you have a great recipe for creating some bug-eyed wingnuts.

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