One Confirmed Case of Stupidity

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned East Lansing into a ghost town. The Grand River strip is dotted with restaurants that no longer have bustling dining areas. People have retreated indoors to self-quarantine, shutting down most club activities. Even MSU’s museum has closed, depriving students of hours of fun on mandatory class field trips. What is left in a college town with no college?

Unfortunately, much like the coronavirus, our friends at The Morning Watch have proven highly resilient. They have chosen to continue to chase new lows for horrific campus takes. Their latest, “A Symptom of Coronavirus: Less Leftist Bias,” may be the worst one yet.

Penned by the big boss himself, Sergei Kelley, the article finds him in a unique situation. One of The Morning Watch’s goals is to “expose leftist bias” on campus, a questionable endeavor already but near-impossible when the RA boards are unused and campus events are shut down. Now that there is no leftist bias to expose on campus, where do they go from here? It’s not easy to sneak into the Zoom lectures for a sociology class in the hopes that you might record a prof suggesting that privilege is a real phenomenon.

The answer — the coronavirus is actually good.

Kelley hedges this claim at the start of this article by saying, “This is not to trivialize our situation, but a blunt description of a consequence.” I have no idea why he would do this if he wants to work in conservative media, where the default response to claims of offensiveness is to claim victory on the basis of hurting your opponent’s feelings. But make no mistake — Kelley has deep respect for the coronavirus. It has done what he and his publication never could: stop left-wing events on campus. 

One of the only things that hasn’t been straight up cancelled is a BLEXIT event with Candace Owens sponsored by MSU’s Turning Point USA chapter. This was merely postponed from April 7 to April 30, which seems inadequate as projections of the pandemic’s course suggest that normal life may not resume until June or July. However, given that Turning Point can’t get 50 people to an event, the event will definitely be CDC-compliant, so maybe they felt they could risk it. (Update: shortly after publication, MSU Turning Point canceled the event.)

There is no way to read this and not think it is trivializing the issue. This article absolutely salivates over the possibility that a deadly pandemic will stop Michigan State from putting up posters about not wearing blackface for Halloween. Your loved ones dying of severe, painful flu will be worth it if we don’t have to take a bias workshop so the university can pretend it tried to stop racist incidents on campus!

This could be excusable as an awful joke if this was simply placed in The Morning Watch’s satire section. But after our B. Bunny ethered their satire section back in January, their satire writer has disappeared. Perhaps they are too scared to place this trash opinion in the “just a joke” section and instead are forced to acknowledge that their honest-to-God opinion is that the coronavirus is good.

If you want a more serious response to coronavirus from the Watch, you have to go all the way to their Twitter page. In an attempt to look like an actual news site, they put out a press release on Twitter stating that they will be cancelling in-person meetings and telling readers to wash their hands and practice social distancing. The release also said they would be “focusing on exposing other avenues of leftist bias.” I suspect that will mean watching MSNBC on repeat and getting mad all the time instead of being cool and watching classic college basketball reruns on ESPN2.

Actually though, what other avenues are there to expose? The Morning Watch is a campus site. It’s not built to talk about national issues. At The Evening Look we pride ourselves on being able to talk about that sort of thing when campus events are slow, but they rarely talk about anything more consequential than ASMSU votes. 

There is one avenue left for leftist bias left in the Watch’s purview: us. If the RA boards, bias workshops, and non-threatening liberal speakers are all taken away, the only thing this virus can’t kill on campus is our website. We will be stepping up our game in these last couple months of spring semester to fill the void of leftist bias left behind by the pandemic. Expect ASMSU endorsements, analysis of this ghost town, and more responses to whatever trash comes out of The Morning Watch’s keyboards.

We look forward to being your source for MSU’s leftist bias in these dark days.

-K. Sins

Consider That The Morning Watch Might Accidentally Be Furthering Campus Liberalism

I don’t understand your strategy. You consistently write about various instances of collegiate “leftism” on campus yet, as a self-titled conservative outlet, refuse to comment or criticize anything. It seems almost contradictory that your tagline reads “objectivity, not subjectivity”, yet you blatantly label yourself as the only conservative publication on campus. 

Which one is it?

It reads like a classic case of trying to have your cake and eat it too, except you seem to be attempting to eat a vegan cupcake which you don’t quite possess in the first place. 

Do you want your readers to be the ones making the value judgements while you sit and shrug? If so, it would seem consistent to try reporting on all campus news and not preselect for the most underwhelming liberal activities on campus. Reading through your posts in the last few months, you would think conservatives never do activities on campus. Don’t you want to talk about how awesome it is when your folks come here to DESTROY random students with FACTS* and LOGIC*?  It’s frustrating to read and makes it difficult to understand your angle.

The dedication to objectivity makes it impossible to tell your angle. You wrote an article about pronoun training for MSU service workers and decided to interview the vice president of MSU’s Turning Point USA chapter, but because you put on this objectivity charade you make him say “yeah it’s a little out there but I think it’s fine,” like some sort of liberal. A reader who doesn’t know about the topic might walk away thinking “Boy, no one seems to have any objection to this policy at all. It sounds like a fantastic idea.” 

You are a largely milquetoast outlet trying desperately to live up to the fetishized dream of a perfectly objective conservative news outlet. You want to say the Forbidden Words about pronoun training, but instead you look like a thirsty man begging a woman for a crumb of coochie in the DMs. I hate to break it to you, but anyone who stumbles upon your site and just reads the last few posts probably thinks you’re godless libs. Therefore I would like to present a solution to this chimeric logic nightmare: 

Become an independent liberal outlet on campus.

In order to balance your principles of conservatism and objectivity you very clearly self-select events to report on which demonstrate progressive actions and agendas (read: bias), yet after choosing which articles to write you simply report the events in language that would make Hemingway beg for more substance. This leaves your entire website a collection of articles describing, in boringly objective detail, the liberal activities around campus. The material is all there – straightforward, nearly positive reporting on the new campus multicultural center, using the singular “they” in emails, James Madison hosting a conference on “Race and Socialism”. The talent is there to make the material pop, as we’ve seen. All you have to do is get rid of the opinion section, the only section that makes it clear the site is conservative. Now you’re a liberal outlet, writing your pieces in the same way, but that’s exactly how a liberal site would want them to be written. You might even get others to participate in, shall we say…civil discourse. 

– B. Bunny

The Clash of Civilizations

Recently, I got back from a tedious session of discussion about left-wing philosophy at the library to find a flyer slipped under my door. In fact, the flyer was slipped under the doors of everyone on my floor. After picking it up, my eyes popped out of my head and onto the floor, as the event advertised that national college conservative group Turning Point USA’s “Campus Clash” tour comes to MSU today. You might remember TPUSA as a group that once dressed up as babies to protest “safe spaces”, or for producing the oft-mocked “gun girl” Kaitlin Bennett.  Founder Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens are the headliners, with intellectual heavyweights like Tuscon cop Brandon Tatum, YouTube commentator Dave Rubin, America’s greatest failson Donald Trump Jr., and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle relegated to special guest status. This promises to be the greatest act of lib-owning this campus has ever seen.

Fortunately, we can expect a more low-key event. There doesn’t appear to be any kind of organized protest against the CAMPUS CLASH. Perhaps anyone who might organize one looked at how seriously this was promoted and realized it wouldn’t draw a big crowd. The organizers dreamed big, booking a third floor lecture hall at the Natural Sciences Building for the event. That’s a whole 305 people. Faced with filling out such a massive space, it’s no surprise tickets for students and adults were offered for free. Even at that price, both were available as of late last night. Curiously, $50 VIP tickets were sold out, so at least their audience is committed.

This is not the first stop for the CAMPUS CLASH crew. Recently, they’ve done this same show at LSU, Penn State, Georgia, Utah Valley, and other colleges around the country. The formula is pretty simple – go to college campuses, where most students are liberal-leaning, DESTROY The Left with FACTS and LOGIC (while pretending they come for a good-faith debate), and then try to attract counter-protest attention to claim victimhood in as many media outlets as they can.

The first sign that this isn’t a good faith, intellectual event should be the name CAMPUS CLASH. If I wanted to be nice and talk to people I disagreed with, I wouldn’t ever frame it as a CLASH, a word that calls to mind violence and bloodshed. It’s kind of a letdown then that the only violence that’s happened at these events is being done on the minds of anyone who sits through them, through some of the bizarre takes at the event, such as when Owens proclaims that Democrats are “programming” children to want gun control and a lower voting age, or when Rubin says that John F. Kennedy was “against wars”. But if these people are supposed to be CLASHING with their ideological enemies, that doesn’t fit with the idea that they’re going to have a nice conversation instead of intentionally provoking people into fits of rage.

I watched the LSU CAMPUS CLASH, and in it Kirk and Owens brought up their encounters with the unfeeling campus libs often. Kirk jokingly said he and Owens are “the first conservative duo to speak at Berkeley and Stanford and live”. Owens mentioned Black Lives Matter protestors at an event who tried to drown them out by blasting Beyonce while they were talking. Kirk, after explaining how conservatives refuse to play the victim, talked about a time where a Turning Point volunteer at UC-Berkeley was punched by an angry liberal, neither of whom were Berkeley students. Because he’s not a victim, he immediately turned around and lobbied Donald Trump to pass an executive order that would strip federal funding from schools that wouldn’t book him or similar speakers. In fact, midway through the talk at LSU, someone starts yelling at Kirk and Owens.

Kirk and Owens’ reaction to this is very telling. Owens immediately tells the person not to bother since  “The mic won’t pick this up…nobody’s gonna watch at home”. (I watched this on TPUSA’s own YouTube channel, where it was livestreamed.) This doesn’t stop the protester, who starts yelling things that you can almost hear on the mic that wasn’t going to pick it up. Owens then says “We’d like to have a conversation” about five times to the protester. When that fails, she and Kirk resort to repeatedly claiming they won’t misgender the protester as security throws them out. Kirk then leads the audience in a rapturous “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chant. They spent a few seconds trying to convince someone to talk to them, then immediately kicked them out and proclaimed cultural superiority.

Outside of that incident, the other time when the hosts made gestures of bipartisanship was when Rubin, who calls himself a “classical liberal”, came onstage. Rubin makes his name off of being a “reformed leftist” who’s willing to talk to anyone, though his partnership with a think tank connected to the conservative Koch brothers and a cursory look at his guest list will show you that he just can’t find a lot of left-leaning people to talk to. In that spirit, he spent some time talking about how we don’t talk to each other and need to talk to each other.

The hosts and Rubin then invited audience members to ask them questions, stressing that people who disagreed would come to the front and they wanted to hear disagreement. Though this sounds like a nice gesture, these are designed to appeal to the types of people who make YouTube compilations of times Turning Point owned the libs. A quick search turns up “Candace Owens GOES OFF on Liberal Snowflakes”, “Black Student CONFRONTS Smart Conservatives, Gets DESTROYED!”, “Charlie Kirk Smashes Socialism! Top 5 Takedowns of 2017”, and more. These Q&A sessions thus are turned into recruitment tools for TPUSA and conservative causes in general as they rack up hundreds of thousands of views.

The CAMPUS CLASH is an attempt by prominent conservatives to rile up campus liberals under the guise of a normal speaking event, just like when Richard Spencer came last year and Milo Yiannopoulous came in 2016. By all means, get riled up – Spencer cited the protest at MSU as a reason for retreating from the public spotlight. Just don’t expect a debate.

K. Sins