It has been nearly three years since The Morning Watch, Michigan State’s conservative student publication, dropped its debut trio of articles. Per their ‘about us’ page, they stand in opposition to the “leftist takeover of academia” and “their” intention to “undermine America’s sovereignty.” Unsurprisingly, nearly 120 articles later they have been unable to prove, or even find evidence for the organized leftist cabal of MSU brainwashers they were founded to expose. Of course, this task is a fool’s errand. They dress up simple university measures to try and combat racism or sexual assault on campus as ‘leftist bias’. They rarely articulate a criticism or opinion, and they present facts selectively as self-evidently moral. Of this, we are all surely aware.
One of their latest articles sums up how little they have achieved since 2018. The article is billed as an investigation of the MSU RVSM training videos, but I’d like to begin by taking a look at the two other Morning Watch articles they embed between the paragraphs as related.
The first article, reposted from a Campus Reform reporter, boils down to juxtaposing two facts. The first is that only 76 of nearly 1,200 racial incident reports at MSU between 2015 and 2020 were found to constitute an issue with conduct. The second is that over the past year, various MSU officials have made statements emphasizing the importance of fighting racism. We are supposed to infer from the former nugget that racism is not an issue, and thus that nothing ought to be done to address it. However, not only does their first claim not refute the prevalence of racism, it is still a dishonestly reported, cherry-picked statistic. The ways that minorities can be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome are often much too subtle and normal to be formalized into MSU policy. Even verbal interactions that do breach MSU policy are likely near impossible to prove. Any earnest effort to understand racism on college campuses might start with this study of 36 Black men from seven top colleges, including Michigan State. It is quite a text, but the TL;DR is that Black men regularly feel out of place on college campuses due to hyper-surveillance and racial stereotyping.
The second article is a certified Morning Watch classic as far as I’m concerned. This article is purely based on a video of Sergei Kelley and some friends heckling a Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence (SARV) seminar, stating that the claim “one in five women will be sexually assaulted during their time on campus” is a lie. This article has already been debunked by the YouTuber Chad Nauseam here, but I’ll hit the highlights. While the authors of the original ‘1 in 5’ study have cautioned against applying it to all colleges since the data was only collected from two, there is no reason to believe this data was an anomaly with regard to our campus. In fact, a Michigan State survey in the 2018-19 school year found that the number was even higher – 27% of all undergraduate women had experienced a sexual assault since enrolling at MSU.
Mind you, these are not articles I dug up to try to embarrass them, these are articles they just last month brought back to our attention. They are PROUD of these takes. The April 6th article these articles were embedded in is somehow even more underwhelming. The whole idea is that they brought in FIRE, a campus free speech watchdog group described as protecting student’s rights, to find an issue with MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) policy. FIRE responded to their request with a resounding “I mean, some of this could be interpreted to infringe on someone’s first amendment rights, maybe, I guess?”. That’s a dub for the Morning Watch, right? Well, no. Later, in their own article, they include a quote from MSU’s Prevention, Outreach, and Education (POE) director Kelly Schweda that states that offensive speech alone does not breach their policy, and that none of their policy ought to be interpreted in a way infringing on anyone’s constitutional rights.
It certainly seems that anyone who takes even a moment to investigate their narrative can poke a thousand holes in it. Hell, you can regularly find contradictions between the beginnings and the ends of their articles!
We take this for granted. Those of us willing to log onto the Morning Watch as a joke can see right through to the empty core. But as silly as it all seems, I believe that The Evening Look is the opposition that The Morning Watch necessitates. PragerU, a video series of constant conservative nonsense, often hosted by white supremacists, still needs the Gravel Institute’s opposition. Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder similarly need their racism, transphobia, and red-scare tactics countered in the YouTube sphere. These outlets do not deserve our attention, but their reach and popularity require it.
Each Morning Watch article deserves to be twisted-tea’d into next week because they combine a veneer of credibility, a dishonest narrative, and reactionary ideals. They’ve lost any claim to journalistic integrity, and ought to be actively sidelined in any honest discussion about bettering our campus.
The Morning Watch had three years to make their case, and they’ve come up with nothing.