6 / CHRONICLESnClassicists snubbing Bennettnscreamed the headline in the WashingtonnPost (Deeember 27, 1985). ThenPost went on to reveal that “a specialncommittee of the American PhilologicalnAssociation” had “voted down” anspeaking invitation to Education SecretarynWilliam J. Bennett. Since thenAPA is the national organization ofnteachers of Greek and Latin, and Bennettnhas long proclaimed the virtues ofngetting the Greek and Latin classicsnback into the college curriculum, herenwas a good ease of man biting the handnthat feeds him. Eric Gruen, a Berkeleynhistorian on the committee, was quotednas saying that “Bennett holds controversialnviews on scholarship andneducation.” Most of the rest of thenarticle discussed the centrality of feministnscholarship in the field of classics.nAs NEH head, Bennett, it turned out,nhad “denied grant money” to feministnscholars.nThe wrath of the Washington Timesnwas aroused (December 30, 1985).nAmerica’s classicists were “maggots onnthe march,” “a mindless horde ofnshrill polemicists who have hijackednthe classics,” and Bennett “should declarenwar” on them.nSomething did not ring true, sonChronicles called up a few people whonknew what was going on. It seems thatnthe American Philosophical Associationn(APA, again) wanted to invitenBennett to speak at their Decembernmeetings in DC and asked the classicistnAPA to join in. It came up at thentail end of a long session of the regularnAPA Program Gommittee, nobody expectingnany problems. Gruen objected,nhowever, because of Bennett’sncracks about students on fellowshipnvacationing in exotic locations andnbuying fancy stereo sets. Rather thanngetting into a lengthy debate at the endnof a long day, the suggestion was votedndown. A member of the local committeenwhose name figured prominentlynin the article leaked the unimportantnincident to the Post, who blew it upninto a classical rejection of Bill Bennettnand Ronald Reagan.nCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnThe story should have ended there.nYoung women reporters at the Postnhave received Pulitzer Prizes for storiesnno more accurate. No sensible personnwould take their unverified word fornanything, particularly WashingtonnTimes editor Arnaud de Borchgrave,ncoauthor of T/ie Spike and an expert onnthe general unreliability of America’snnewspapers. But instead of checkingnout the Post story, Mr. de Borchgravendenounced the most conservative humanistsnin America. Gruen’s stonewallingnof Bennett had nothing to donwith feminism. Neither his departmentnnor any other top-rated departmentnhas hired or is likely to hire anfeminist. The charge that NEH deniednmoney to feminists is directiy out of annarticle in The Nation, with the sourcenunidentified. It’s a trivial matter, really,nand in no way detracts from thensuperbly professional job Mr. denBorchgrave is doing at the Times. And,nheaven knows, there are enough trendynclassicists around. Glassies hasnshared in the general decline of higherneducation, but as a group, classicalnscholars are less inclined to the currentnfads of Marxism and feminism. Theirnheroes, to judge by the number ofntimes they are referred to and thenbooks devoted to them, include A.E.nHousman, who was a dry-as-dust textncritic still defending his idol NapoleonnIII in the I920’s; B.L. Gildersleeve,nwho devoted his scholarly life to Greekngrammar, but rode with Stuart andndefended the “Creed of the OldnSouth” in The Atlantic deep into then1890’s; and Germany’s Ulrich vonnWilamowitz-Moellendorfif, a greatnscholar and to his dying day a verynstrong Prussian patriot. The most brilliantnclassicist now writing is Basel’snWalter Burkert, discussed in thesenpages in January. The list of excellentnscholars and teachers who are notnlackeys of the leftist establishmentnmight go on: Sir Denys Page, HughnLloyd Jones, Ernst Badian. What gotninto the Times? Answer: They believednthe Washington Post.nIt is an old story. Two examples: (1)nnnIn Rise of the Right, William Rushernrecounts his experiences on the originalnDraft Goldwater Gommittee. Hentells his friends at National Reviewnabout the Goldwater movement, andnthey do not care. It is only when thenstory appears in the New York Timesnthat they believe it; (2) J.R.R. Tolkiennwrote his son about G.S. Lewis thennight they met Roy Campbell, “Nothingnis a greater tribute to Red propagandanthan the fact that he [Lewis]n(who knows that they are in all othernsubjects liars and tradueers) believes allnthat is said against Franco, and nothingnthat is said for him.” This particularnPied Piper has been uncovered sonmany times. We shall never be freenuntil we stop dancing to his lying jig.nAccuraey in Academia is causing a stirnin the ranks of liberals and conservatives.nThe academic left naturally suspectsnthe motives of conservative studentsndetermined to spy on theirnuneonservative teachers, but evennMidge Deeter has recently issued anpolite but firm protest against tellingntales out of school.nIt is, admittedly, a difficult questionnin which the tradition of academicnfreedom has to be balanced against anjustifiable disgust with irresponsiblenfaculty. Frankly, we wish the questionnwere not posed as a matter of right andnleft. We remember all too well an artnteacher wasting class after class warningnagainst the red menace — henwouldn’t allow a pure red in any painting;nor the conservative historian whonworshiped aristocracy and regalednclasses with annotations on his familyntree.nOf course, most professors are left ofncenter, but it is not their politics per senthat are the problem. We would bendelighted to have our children studyingnAmerican history under EugenenGenovese, a Marxist, or philosophynunder John Rawls, an orthodox liberal.nA good mind in search of truthnalmost never poses a problem, but angood mind can be hard to find. Then