College students banned from citing The Onion and Fox News
In a sad day for clueless and/or facetious students, but perhaps a win for common sense, an American professor has put a ban on the use of Fox News and The Onion as serious academic references.
Stephanie Wolfe, a visiting assistant professor at the at West Liberty University in West Virginia, issued her political science class with a syllabus decreeing which organisations she deemed invalid as academic sources.
Fox News itself (they must be deeply offended) quoted part of the syllabus:
“DO NOT use:
1) The Onion – this is not news this is literally a parody
2) Fox News – the tagline “Fox News” makes me cringe. Please do not subject me to this biased news station. I would almost rather you print off an article from The Onion.”
Most of us would like to think that any students doing this would simply be taking the piss.
But of course, The Onion has an inexplicable reputation for being believed by way too many people, which kind of makes us fear for the fate of humanity, and the absurd bias of Fox News makes many, including Professor Wolfe, feel the same way.
This is, after all, the news channel who mistakenly used an image of a lesbian couple marrying in an article supporting only traditional marriage.
But naturally, not everyone agreed with Wolfe’s policy. Parents of students in her class have mounted a campaign against her via local news channels, complaining that the syllabus itself is a form of political bias.
The President at West Liberty University, Robin Capehart, took their side.
“One of our values at West Liberty is to encourage students to go out and inquire and gather information and look at as many different sources as possible on any side, before you reach your opinion,” he told WTOV.
“Any attempt to limit the breadth of a student’s ability to investigate is obviously something at which we have a concern.”
Officials say Wolfe, who is covering for another professor on leave, has lifted the contentious ban. It is not yet known if any formal action will be taken against her.
Here’s hoping she gets a promotion.