27 Oct 2015

Cornell University kicks Fox News off campus after questions about 'liberal bias'

A Central New York college is under fire for kicking Fox News Channel off campus after questions about the school's alleged "liberal bias."
Bill O'Reilly spoke Monday night about a recent Cornell Sun newspaper reportthat claimed 96 percent of the more than $600,000 in political donations from Cornell University faculty went to Democratic candidates. Only 15 of 323 donors gave money to "conservative" politicians, the Fox News host said.
O'Reilly complained that it didn't seem diverse enough, so he sent "O'Reilly Factor" producer and reporter Jesse Watters to ask professors and students if they thought there was a liberal "indoctrination" on campus.
"What's the vibe on campus?" Watters asked during the "Watters World" segment.
"A very diverse campus – a bunch of different people from a bunch of different backgrounds," one male student said.
"It's not that diverse, because according to this report, 96 percent of the donations from faculty here went to Democrats," Watters shot back.
"What's wrong with that?" the student replied as Watters chortled.
Eventually, the network came head-to-head with Cornell's media relations department. Deputy director of media relations Melissa Osgood asked Watters not to interview students on the Ithaca campus.
"Cornell doesn't have a problem with Fox News, does it?" Watters asked.
"Absolutely not," Osgood said.
John Carberry, the Ivy League school's senior director of media relations, also asked Fox News to leave campus but declined to give a reason on camera.
"Are you choosing not to articulate the reason, or you don't have a reason?" Watters asked.
Watters later said he received a statement that didn't give a explanation for turning Fox News away: "It just says Cornell does not consider a person's political stance in its hiring practices."
Cornell first aroused curiosity at Fox News when the Sun found the vast majority of faculty political donations over the past four years went to Democrats. When asked about a lack of political diversity, government professor Andrew Little suggested to the student publication that hiring Republicans would compromise the quality of education.
"Placing more emphasis on diversity of political beliefs when hiring [would] almost certainly require sacrificing on general quality or other dimensions of diversity," Little said.
Still, before being ejected, Watters managed to ask students if they had been "indoctrinated" by throwing out questions about Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, the national debt and whether building a wall on the Mexico border is a good idea.

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