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Archive for Friday, September 20, 2013

KU journalism professor Guth placed on leave as school reviews comment he made on Twitter on shootings

September 20, 2013, 10:55 a.m. Updated September 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

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KU journalism professor David Guth.

KU journalism professor David Guth.

Who is David Guth?

Read the story here.

— Kansas University on Friday placed journalism professor David Guth on administrative leave over comments critical of the NRA that he wrote on Twitter regarding the shooting this week at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Guth said his comments had been deliberately distorted and misunderstood, but top state legislators — Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson — called for Guth’s dismissal from KU.

“Any attempt to continue employing this individual as an educational leader is offensive to taxpayers,” Wagle said.

The incident also left some wondering if KU, whose relationship with conservative Republican legislators is already strained, would suffer further. Republican leaders cut $34.3 million in state funds to universities last session and will conduct information-gathering meetings on campuses next month to prepare for next year’s budget discussions.

State Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, who also teaches in high school, spelled it out: “As long as Professor Guth remains employed by the University of Kansas I will no longer recommend the university as an institution worthy of attendance by any of my students nor, as a state senator, will I support any budget proposals or recommendations for the University of Kansas.”

The dispute was over a message by Guth on the social media site Twitter, and it exploded across the Internet.

In the aftermath of the shootings in Washington on Monday in which 13 people were killed, Guth tweeted: “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”

KU officials strongly criticized the comment and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced that KU had put Guth on paid leave and would conduct a review of the situation.

“In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeffrey Vitter to place Associate Professor Guth on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the entire situation. Professor Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members,” Gray-Little said.

In an email to the Lawrence Journal-World on Friday, Guth said he had met earlier with university officials and agreed to take administrative leave “in light of the abusive email threats I and others have received.”

“It is in the best interests and peace of mind of our students that I remove myself from the situation and let cooler heads prevail,” Guth said. “It is unfortunate that my comments have been deliberately distorted. I know what I meant. Unfortunately, this is a topic that generates more heat than light.”

Guth, in an interview on Thursday, said, “I did not advocate violence against anybody.” He said he was, instead, trying to make gun advocates see shootings like the one at Navy Yard from the point of view of the victims and their families. “I was getting tired of hearing comments in the media and Twitter that, ‘Gee, this wouldn’t have happened if the office staff at the Navy Yard had been armed,’” he said.

As for the “May God damn you” comment, Guth said: “I think they are on the wrong side of the angels on this issue. I wasn’t cursing them. I was stating that I would like to see God put judgment on them.”

Senate Majority Leader Bruce said he was appalled by Guth’s tweet.

“Wishing death and damnation upon parents and their children is reprehensible and is not befitting of an employee of such a distinguished university,” he said. He said Gray-Little needed to remove Guth from KU’s faculty “immediately.” Bruce added, “Had he tweeted against a liberal advocacy group, a protected class, there is no question in my mind, that he would be removed.”

The Kansas State Rifle Association President Patricia Stoneking said the state arm of the NRA “will do everything possible to see to the removal of this man. He should be fired immediately.”

Stoneking said that while the KSRA believes in First Amendment rights of free speech, Guth was inciting violence.

“Is this who you want teaching your children? I certainly do not want him teaching mine,” she said.

The Kansas Board of Regents held a hastily called closed session on the comments made by Guth.

After the meeting, Andy Tompkins, president and chief executive officer of the regents, said, “The Board of Regents expresses its disgust and offense at the statement made by David Guth.”

The board said KU was keeping it informed on the situation and expressed its appreciation to Gray-Little for responding to the controversy.

According to KU’s Code of Faculty Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct, “Freedom of inquiry, expression, and assembly are guaranteed to all faculty members.”

KU spokesman Tim Caboni, however, said people who engage in public discourse “have a responsibility to be civil in the way we comport ourselves.”

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said KU acted appropriately by placing Guth on leave while officials investigate the situation further.

Francisco said Guth’s tweet probably would hurt KU in its relationship with some legislators. “Unfortunately, I think when people are already critical they take new information in through that filter,” she said.

She added, “I would hope we all remind ourselves that we are working together to make this a great community and a great state and can try to look at each situation on its own and wait to get as much information as we can before we take action.”

Senate Majority Leader Bruce said the dispute with Guth should not impact higher education budget decisions.

“I want this (Guth) to be treated as its own situation, not an extension of any sort of public funding issue that took place last session,” he said.

But Smith said if KU doesn’t dismiss Guth then it is saying it supports Guth’s position.

“The University of Kansas receives tax money from the state of Kansas. I do not condone using tax money to urge others to take violent action,” he said.

Comments

fmrl 6 months, 4 weeks ago

He reveals himself as a twittering twit; childish, hostile, egomaniacal. Should the State of Kansas retain him? It depends on the best interests of the students.

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jayhawklawrence 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I am licensed to carry a gun. I am very glad about that but I don't need to carry my gun except in specific situations. In those situations I don't want to go to prison because some crazy left wing politician passes what I consider a stupid law.

That being said, I believe this country is only as great as the principals that we live by. Those principals, in my opinion, say that Mr. Guth is only guilty of being angry because people were senselessly murdered. The NRA seems to be in the pocket of people who care nothing about average Americans. They have understood that too many of us are very naivete and can be eadily manipulated. They are hiding behind the veneer of patriotism and freedom.

By their actions they are showing that they are about money and political power. They are not concerned about preventing gun violence. That is how I read it.

Guth is just a man who cares. Like his methods or not. I like a man who has a heart.

These politicians in Topeka do what they are told. They think they are Americans but when I look at them that is not what I ser.

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Brian Conrad 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Guth is a bully and only wants attention... this is not his first rodeo... he has very checker past and admits he knew Tweet would get him attention.. just one of his violent past behaviors... David Guth Associate Professor of Journalism, engaged in unprofessional, *threatening, and abusive behavior towards another faculty member in an October 8, 2010 incident. His conduct violated acceptable standards for professional ethics, University policies and Article V.2 and Article V.5 of the Faculty Code of Conduct. The University of Kansas censured him for these actions. Professor Guth’s continued pattern of abusive behavior, as evidenced by not only his Twitter post but his enthusiastic support of the post, which urges people to use guns to perpetrate violence on other people and their children, is not excusable. It also shows that Professor Guth is not against violence but sees it as a means to an end as long as it supports his view.

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swampyankee 7 months ago

I thought journalism and free speech were like peanut and jelly ?

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jayhawklawrence 7 months ago

These people in Kansas who brag about being defenders of the constitution are showing us a glimpse of the future when our lives will be monitored by "thought patrol" police and our children will be subject not only to a curriculum of Math and Science but indoctrination by the dominant political party.

Freedom will be redefined to mean whatever serves their purpose. Freedom is only what you think it is. You can lose it and not even know it.

If Guth would have criticized abortion instead of the NRA, he would be a hero. His mistake was poking the bullies in Topeka.

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IreneAdler84 7 months ago

Sorry, the Supremes have carved out very, very narrow exceptions. The Phelps are covered by the First Amendment. If the WBC filth is not an example of "fighting words", Guth does not even merit a second look.

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guacamole 7 months ago

For all the "but the First Amendment!" psuedo-intellectuals posting here, this is a fuzzy area of law. A case could be made that his comments are "fighting words" and therefore not protected by the First Amendment.

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avarom 7 months ago

And what disciplinary action happen to Virgil Peck for his outspoken comments.... That's Right, NOTHING! Definite abuse of power, disparity, and unfair treatment which creates a very hostile environment. Well I don't agree with Guth's comments, they're very insensitive, we all should be treated the same. Guth's 1st Ammendent Rights are being violated. We have a constitution for a for Reason. Bunch of Hog Wash! And, I'm sure Guth's regrets them.

I guess, if you have enough political power or money, you can work your way out of anything. Ask OJ! Where's Judge Judy when you need her!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_Stateshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States

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OlDan 7 months ago

When I asked a conservative professor friend of mine how he survives in a decidedly left university environment, he answered that he has tenure. But I often wonder (since he was demoted from an administrative position) if he was being punished for his decidedly conservative views. Tenure may have assured his professorship, but may work against him in our very liberal university environments. I believe that Professor Guth's tweet was indeed inflammatory and unprofessional, but typical of the ultra liberal ideology that is being spewed daily in the college classrooms in our college campuses all across the country. Exclusive political ideology devoted to either liberal or conservative ideologies has no place in our college class rooms. While students need exposure to diverse political ideas, it is not, or should not be the norm to advocate for one idea or ideology while excluding the other. This is not education, it's brainwashing pure and simple.

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Bob Forer 7 months ago

Not surprised that the first glimpse of American Fascism came courtesy of Kansas.

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a34123h9038419 7 months ago

I had Prof. Guth for my capstone class in the J-School 10-odd years ago. I remember him to be very thorough, no-nonsense, and incredibly outspoken (obviously). These attributes make for a very good journalist, but the University might not always appreciate those same qualities in a professor. I was struggling pretty badly my senior year, and put a lot of effort in to help keep me above water and get through it. You tend to remember Profs like that.

I can see both sides of the arguement. Prof. Guth is walking the walk. His job is to teach students to exercise their 1st amendment rights; why would he feel the need to censor what he wants to say?

On the other hand, the University, being a State entity, is a political minefield right now. A professor of Strategic Communications should have known better. Politicians are always looking for fodder... ALWAYS. A platform such as Twitter is not the appropriate place to fight that fight.

Beat them with facts and reporting. Not with Tweets.

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danmoore 7 months ago

Why do our legislators have to take every opportunity to embarrass us? I hope the national media doesn't run with this story.

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nwtransplant 7 months ago

Lets see what he said in his tweet. “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.” First of all, he is blaming the NRA for what happened. Then he goes on to say that next time this happens let it be YOUR sons and daughters. He is implying that he hopes it would be the NRA's sons and daughters who are murdered next time something like this happens. Then he is implying that God may damn the NRA members for what has happened. Doesn't damn somebody usually mean to send someones soul to hell? I know the man is frustrated but come on man! His explanation sounds to me like he is trying to keep his job. I would do the same if I had said something like that but I don't have any thoughts like that. I wish no harm on anybody even on my worst enemy. I do not believe that he should not be allowed to say what he did. I just feel that he should not be allowed to say that AND teach our children as well.

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IreneAdler84 7 months ago

State censorship and punishment for political speech, isn't that what the Communists did? Thankfully, I cannot imagine that our governor is planning to unleash a KS version of the "Red Terror". But, the citizens of KS should push back against any acts of state sponsored censorship of political speech, no matter how small the act of censorship, and no matter how ugly the speech.

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jayhawklawrence 7 months ago

Tolerance of different points of view as well as exposure to those views should be part of an elite education.

I am sure I would not agree with Guth on a lot of things but I am not afraid of him teaching my children. I wish I could take his class.

I am afraid of those who want to censure free speech because it goes against their political beliefs while preaching how they are defenders of freedom. There is nothing uglier than sinners pretending righteousness.

If Guth handles this right, he will win in the end. I just hope the people of Kansas see the real character of our Kansas government for what it is.

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Armstrong 7 months ago

If anyone had even the slightest question about liberalism running rampant in the education system Guth is the shining example. Why would anyone pay tuition for "higher education" to have their children brainwashed into this kind of warped mentality.

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Bob_Keeshan 7 months ago

The Director of Re-entry Services at the Kansas Department of Corrections is Margie Phelps http://www.doc.ks.gov/reentry/reentry-staff

Yes, it is that Margie Phelps.

Among the many other vile things Margie Phelps has said, she has advocated for the death penalty for gay men and women. She has wished physical harm on other people.

When will our brave state legislators refuse to fund the Kansas Department of Corrections?

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Richard Heckler 7 months ago

What is the NRA? The National RightWing Association.

Why did politicians need to get involved? It's none of their business and for the most part they are not the moral giants of our time.

What is the NRA? A political action committee for the Right Wing Party that most likely is making more work for law enforcement. Too damn many politicians see nothing wrong with making military style assault weapons readily available to anyone who can afford to buy them.

So this university professor is not allowed to demonstrate his opinion which in no way advocated violence against anyone. Becoming more like Russia,China and Saudi Arabia.

I would say the issue has been distorted beyond reality. Censorship is the rule it appears.

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Joseph Jarvis 7 months ago

In 2011, I wrote to KU Engineering about Prof. Carl Burkhead's bigoted editorials attacking gays. KU OGC brushed it off citing the applicability of the First Amendment to KU as a government actor (probably correct legal analysis). OGC letter at following link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/169795532/2011-03-09-KU-Gen-Counsel-Burkhead

Now instead of offending libs, a professor says something that offends conservatives. And the KU administration suddenly feels like suspending a professor. Hypocrisy much? Apparently academic freedom at KU means do what you want so long as you don't tick off Kansas's Tea Party.

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Clearly4Kansas 7 months ago

Guth's twit was hate speech. He needs sensitivity counseling, but he sounds too arrogant to benefit from it. The biggest winner here is KSU. They are out-recruiting KU for instate undergrad kids already and this reinforces the stereotypes and concerns many parents have about KU. Parents do want the very best in a college experience for their kids and Guth is having a negative impact on recruitment.

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Beate Williams 7 months ago

I'm astonished that the Koch/Brownback political faction of the state has become so ruthless and they do it right out in the open and from what I can interprete from what i see, a majority of Kansans seem to go along with their program. I'm a Kansan and now live in Texas and until Brownback became such a distraction, such a powerful right winger, doing all that he could to make Kansas look like Texas, I was always proud to tell folks I was from Kansas and thankfully we did not have the nut bucket politicians of Texas running Kansas. I can no longer say that. As conservative and in many ways backwards Texan politicians are (Ted Cruz) Kansas is rushing to try and surpass them in idiocy. So many things have occurred in Kansas over the pass ten years to truly make me feel ashamed and I never felt that way before regardless of my travels nationally or internationally, but now... I feel for Gray and the administrators at KU. They have to weigh what these right wing tea baggers say because they have already proven what they can do and will do to the university's budget if the university does not fall in line. It isn't as simple as they can simply ignore them and go on operating as a top notch institution when they may be looking at a 20, 30, 40 percent cut in the budget and I don't believe I'm exaggerating that in the least. Then what happens to the university, not only will there be mass firings, but also mass departures to other institutions. The staff who are terminated will find it hard to find other positions in Lawrence or anywhere else in the state and based on what Brownback is attempting to do to those who are unemployed, well I think you get the picture. But I guess he would say it is their fault for going to work at the university in the first place. Those who love KU sports, can forget about attracting the top athletes regardless of what sport you might think is king. It is incredible that the people of the state have no more insight in what it means to be a top level university and that everyone in the university is not suppose to think alike. The professors are there to teach the students to think and if the particular professor thinks one way, if they are good at their job, they provide the other point of view and the student makes up his/her mind. You don't teach one idea and mandate that everyone must think that way, I think we had that a few decades ago in Nazi Germany and we all know how that turned out; or do I have to save death camps.

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voevoda 7 months ago

All those people calling for Prof. Guth to be fired, asserting that he must be incompetent and prejudiced in his actions with students, need to read this vigorous defense of him by a former student, who identifies himself as "a gun-owning, pro-gun, pro-NRA conservative":

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2013/09/19/ku-journalism-prof-defends-death-wish-tweets-directed-nra-members-ki-0

"[The] statement that Prof. Guth's students may feel intimidated by his Second Amendment views is neither accurate nor informed... Prof. Guth maintained an even-handed, fair and friendly demeanor toward all students... Despite our political differences, I found Prof. Guth to be very open to discussion of various political topics and willing to consider differing opinions. ...[H]e is a knowledgeable, informed and capable scholar who doesn't act in an overbearing or negative manner at all... I ran into anti-conservative sentiment very rarely among the professors at KU. ... The simple truth is that Prof. Guth often sees the world differently than...I do, but he does care about his students and his community deeply.... I never saw him treat any student poorly, ever. I have the utmost respect for him. I am grateful for his fair and even-handed treatment of me and for his friendship."

1

nwtransplant 7 months ago

Fire him! Anybody who is teaching our children and can even have these kinds of thoughts running through his mind does not deserve to have such a position. We do have free speech in this country but there are some limits like yelling fire in a large crowd when there is no fire and this kind of crap.

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getreal 7 months ago

A poor choice of words, but I'm much more outraged about what this legislature and Governor are doing to K-12 and our universities than I am about somebody's tweet! I doubt very many people even saw the tweet until the Pres. of the Kansas NRA made a big deal about it. K,U. and the regents should be standing up for their students and professors to the legislature and their slash and burn attitudes and spend less time on a 44 character tweet.

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Fossick 7 months ago

Sure, it was a classless thing to say, but what does it have to do with his job?

If someone doesn't know by this time that KU employs a whole cadre of classless moonbats, he's simply not paying attention.

In parallel if not exactly related news, the Communications director of the Sacramento Democratic Party took to Twitter today to wish "may all your children die of debilitating, painful, and incurable diseases" to political opponents.

For the children, of course.

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chicago95 7 months ago

This certainly is not the first time that the Kansas Legislatiure has extorted administrative action from KU. I am reminded of Senator Wagle's 2003 campaign against KU Prof. Dennis Dailey. Read this May 14, 2003 tract from Mike Hoeflich, Kansas University School of Law (http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2003/may... ) in which he wrote: "If Wagle can wage such a crusade against Dailey, what is to stop her or any similar-minded colleagues from attacking any citizen of the state for any reason?"

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oldexbeat 7 months ago

The university rolled over. I expect better. They should at least tell the politicos to stay out of it, while KU decides what to do. And the Regents clearly are bound to the Brownbackistanians. But we knew that when one lied to get on the board. They should have backed the University process and left it at that -- the honorable Regents of the past would have done that.

1

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 months ago

The NRA's "well-regulated militia" has struck again!!

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patkindle 7 months ago

for a professional gentleman to vent his feelings on a social media site is a bit immature regardless if it is his right or not. regardless of freedoms he has a responsibility to his employer not to embarrass them by putting him self in the spotlight with kiddie postings

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Okrent 7 months ago

Isn't it strange how the gun-obsessed crowd doesn't really seem to mind that much when a classroom full of first graders are slaughtered, but a simple tweet like the one at issue here and the lynch mobs come out.

And the legislators who are now gunning for Guth;s head on a platter ... what have they done to stop gun violence and the 30,000 gun deaths a year. Nothing. But if someone expresses an apt point after the latest slaughter of innocents, they are now up in arms - at the behest of their masters, the NRA - with feigned outrage.

The NRA does not care how many children are slaughtered, how many wives, girlfriends, neighbors, etc. The more dead people there are, the more money they are making, and the more campaign contributions they can make to ensure the slaughter continues.

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yourworstnightmare 7 months ago

Right wing political correctness, pure and simple.

1

danmoore 7 months ago

One has to go out of their way to misinterpret his statement. Now the gun nuts are pretending to be offended.

1

Sparko 7 months ago

When are we going to have a real discussion about the NRA? They seem to pull the strings in the Kansas Legislature.

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gl0ck0wn3r 7 months ago

Perhaps Mr. Guth should have taken his own J840 course - Crisis Communications.

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danmoore 7 months ago

What's the big deal. The NRA does have blood on its hands. As long as its not their sons and daughters they view mass shootings as an acceptable price to pay for the right to bear arms.

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Bob Reinsch 7 months ago

His punishment should mirror the punishment handed down to State Rep. Virgil Peck when he advocated shooting illegal aliens from helicopters, in the same fashion as feral pigs, and the punishment handed out to then Speaker Mike O'Neal when he used two passages from the Book of Pslams to pray for the death of the President and leave his wife widowed and his children without a father.

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smileydog 7 months ago

A. The shooter voted for Obama. B. He didn't belong to the NRA

What a great example for future reporters.

4

Centerville 7 months ago

No one has gotten around to how breath-takingly stupid his comment is. The shooter at the Navy Yard didn't have anything to do with the NRA. Nor did that awful kid in Mass.
Why Guth wants a specific set of innocent children murdered because of something two unrelated sick dregs of society did is beyond me. Maybe it's part of that 'strategic communications' thing.

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Mike Gerhardt 7 months ago

When sarah Palin used a common expression "We have got them in our sites," the left wing news media went insane, but when a professor says he hopes the next victims of gun violence are the children of those that have an opposing view, it is ok?

1

yourworstnightmare 7 months ago

I am forced to remember how a Kansas state representative, Virgil Peck, spoke about shooting hispanics from helicopters. He was kicked out of the legislature, right? Oh wait. No he wasn't.

More evidence that the right has fully embraced the victimhood culture that they so criticize when it comes to racial minorities and economically disadvantaged.

Guth violated the political correctness of the right, the centerpiece of which is gun ownership.

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ridikkulus 7 months ago

So, let me get this straight... If I say, "I'm disgusted and outraged at the ineptitude of the purchased politicians, and their inability to rein in one of the Koch-snorters BIG cash cows, because people died. I wish these people in power would learn some empathy, even if it's the hard way. God will judge them, harshly, I hope.", then the Royalty of KU will start shouting, "Off with their head!"

I wonder whose hands are in the pockets of whom. Not even Lawrence is safe, anymore.

3

Mike Gerhardt 7 months ago

Mi father-in-law and mother-in-law have already revoked their alumni pledge.

2

Mike Gerhardt 7 months ago

I urge all alumni to call KU and let them know that you are not giving them a single dime in the future as a result of this alleged professor's implied threats against the children of NRA members. I would also urge the NRA, in behalf of its members, to think about a class action suit against this professor for urging violence against their members.

1

ThePilgrim 7 months ago

With the Internet is there any legitimacy to a Journalism major, program, or professor at all?

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Mixolydian 7 months ago

I can't believe they put this professor on leave. This is outrageous. Who hasn't wished that death and horror befall the children of those who have a difference of opinion about a particular part of the constitution?

3

Garth Atchison 7 months ago

This is how censorship works. The Koch machine gets Brownback and Company to cut funding to the Universities. The Universities are more worried about their future and more willing to stifle speech. Anyone uttering less than Koch or ALEC approved party line is targeted for removal. Welcome to Brownbackistan. Hope you don't get rounded up and sent to a private prison somewhere. The thought police are ready for your dissent.

8

heygary 7 months ago

I'll keep my guns, thank you!

In the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough) used an analogy to describe "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

From my vantage point, Mr. Tyler’s observation has been unsettlingly predictive of the path of our own experiment in Democracy.

In my youth I studied, with gratitude and reverence, the “bondage to liberty” sequence associated with the birth of our country. I believe I have lived through the “abundance to apathy” sequence. Now, as I watch the current Administration attempt to spend its way out of a recession, push forward massive bail out and entitlement programs, and socio-engineer Government intrusion/involvement in to most aspects of our lives, I cannot help but feel that the road to “dependence” has been charted.

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rlsd 7 months ago

Free speech is one thing, being prepared for consquences should be a consideration of an adult.

5

fmrl 7 months ago

"If the university is serious about maintaining its membership in the AAU, they also need to be prepared to respond to the American Association of University Professors. KU will be in hot water based on this action."

Why should the State of Kansas be concerned about this association of educationists? It is about educating our students for their, and this state's benefit. I say bring 'em on. When you have a university professor of journalism behaving in a puerile way it is revelatory of how far things have devolved. Why should our state care about maintaining a membership in the AAU? This association is for the benefit of the educationist administrators, bureaucrats and other parasites which have driven costs up so high.

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Jim Tebow 7 months ago

He is a tenured professor, and did nothing illegal. Why is KU reviewing it?

7

Seth Peterson 7 months ago

Terry Bruce and other republican's don't want to talk about children being murdered, they just want to legislate matters to the point where the children die long, slow painful deaths. They want to put the bodies in the ground (provided they're poor enough), but don't you dare talk about a hypothetical situation where the children of someone THEY know might be called at risk.

4

guess_again 7 months ago

I am beyond appalled that the Chancellor and KU administration are rolling over on a professor about a comment uttered in a private manner in a non-classroom setting.

If the university is serious about maintaining its membership in the AAU, they also need to be prepared to respond to the American Association of University Professors. KU will be in hot water based on this action.

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Curveball 7 months ago

Guth will never be fired. I only know of two who were dismissed. One was crazy and she was allowed to receive her pay for about 5 years untile she could retire. The other one was fired for his political views and his viewpoint on the law. If anything this will probably be a stepping stone for Guth. Other Universities may want him even if they have to pay more to get him.

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mdlund0 7 months ago

One should be careful not to confuse the right to free speech with the ability to say things without consequences. The first amendment only protects us against government persecution for our speech, it does nothing to protect us otherwise. Prof. Guth has tenure, so his position is ultimately not in jeopardy. Were he to not have tenure and work in an at-will position as most of us do, his comments would definitely endanger his employment. In this way social pressure often bends the will, which is why tenure exists in the first place: so that "dangerous" ideas can be expressed (and encouraged). Whether or not they have merit in the dialogue at hand is for the court of public opinion. Suppressing ideas does nothing for us as a society and is a tool used in defeat by those who cannot conceive of a better idea. Terry Bruce should be judged harshly in this light.

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question4u 7 months ago

Where were the critics of this kind of talk when representative Virgil Peck suggested killing immigrants from helicopters? Why is Peck still in office? Why didn't legislators oust him from the statehouse?

If you want to condemn hate speech, then by all means do so, but your moral ground is underwater when you defend the right of a state representative to talk about murdering people then call for the head of someone who says something just as bad but is on the wrong side of your political fence. It's spelled h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y.

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fmrl 7 months ago

If one wants to make a reasonable argument against the second amendment or the NRA that is one thing but to have this sort of childish tweeting by a university professor is another. Does the state of Kansas want to pay such a person to "teach" its students?

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mags_and_k 7 months ago

He communicated his thought of... if it had been/was your (NRA) sons or daughters would you see your way to a solution? .......very poorly. Shocking the end part because it is.....well.....SHOCKING! Who says that??? But he can say it. But there are consequences. It doesn't matter if the employer is KU or anyone else. Guaranteed I would lose my job if I made such a social comment. All Employers have code of ethics. All employers tell you that you represent them in and out of the office. No one is arguing that he CAN'T say that.......the point is by you exercising your right is followed by your employer exercising their rights. State of Kansas is an "at will" state. Hire you at will and send you packing at will. The consequences of his actions, in my humble opinion, are appropriate.

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Scut Farkus 7 months ago

I am not impressed by Guth's ignorance on the consequences of such a tweet or the stupidity of blaming the NRA, but I am even more disappointed in the Chancellor's response.

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Larry Moss 7 months ago

Ok, I might be the only one having this problem. Again, could be, itsjusme. But, I'm trying to connect the dots.

KU Journalism Professor God

I'd find it the rarest event they all go together. Except maybe if it fit the Prof's. position. Oh, heck itsjusme?

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jayhawklawrence 7 months ago

Most gun owners including concealed carry license holders, want improved gun safety and enforcement of laws that are currently on the books. Most gun owners do not agree with the liberal extremists but they don't agree with the right wing extremists either. We know that we can do a much better job of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill or criminals but there is not enough cooperation among different political parties over these issues.

Why is that?

Ideologues are clogging up the lines of communication like zebra mussels because we keep electing these kind of people to congress. Kansas is suffering because of these kind of people in our government.

When I walk into a gun story, oftentimes I see a caricature of Obama drawn in an insulting manner and meant to be humorous. I often have to endure a stupid political comment or two before I leave the establishment and I often get quoted a rediculously stupid comment that someone heard on conservative talk radio, sources that are designed for propaganda, not truthfulness.

I too worry about liberals criminalizing law abiding citizens, but is it not just as dangerous to our freedoms to allow ourselves to be used by right wing ideologues? In my view, they are both bad and the anti-government, Obama hating culture they promote is insane. Someone has to say enough is enough and that is going to have to be the majority of gun owners who happen to be moderate regarding gun control issues.

We need moderates in our government again and we need to fight back against political lobbyists and secretive political organizations that are designing the bills our legislators are pushing into law. These people are not working for us. They are just lying to us.

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Armen Kurdian 7 months ago

It is wholly appropriate to put him on administrative leave. I don't think he should be fired, but the comment is utterly reprehensible. What if he had made a comment about black civil rights leaders because the shooter was black...saying the blood was on their hands? Would that have been grounds to fire him? I venture to guess many of you left-wingers would be singing a different tune. The difference being that I would also agree with you if that were the case.

He needs a stern talking to and a written warning. Then send him back to work.

And for you left-wingers, I'll help you push back on the NRA if you promise to defund Planned Parenthood. After all, they 'kill' people too, right? Of course, if that were the case, we'd be tweeting that several times a day...

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fmrl 7 months ago

I grew up in an era when you found out the consequences of your freedom of speech with a beat-down. Apparently this Guth did not. Better for him that he would have.

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optimist 7 months ago

What I find most disappointing about Mr. Guth is his lack of effort as a journalist in finding out the whole story and presenting it in its entirety in lieu of a tweet that simply demonstrates his lack of initiative.

There are a number of commonalities amongst each of these mass shootings. They all turned firearms into weapons and their choices of firearms varied. However each of them had lengthy histories of mental illness ranging from depression to schizophrenia. Each of them had recently been prescribed or stopped taking a prescribed Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). While there are millions of firearms in circulation in this country only a few are used for violence. The fact that after the mass shootings we find out about the mental illness is concerning. The story is usually everyone knew but did nothing. The story that isn’t being reported is the SSRI connection. Is the media failing to report this because of the vast sums of advertising revenue they receive from drug companies? Is the result the intentional redirecting of our attention on the gun rather than the real cause, big pharma? I don’t claim to have all of the answers but I thought people like Mr. Guth were tasked with getting to the truth. What exactly is he teaching his students about journalism? Sounds like he is just another guy that takes the story they are fed.

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jayhawklawrence 7 months ago

Does the NRA work for gun owners or gun manufacturers?

"Today's NRA is a virtual subsidiary of the gun industry," said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. "While the NRA portrays itself as protecting the 'freedom' of individual gun owners, it's actually working to protect the freedom of the gun industry to manufacture and sell virtually any weapon or accessory."

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-nra-has-sold-out-to-the-gun-industry-to-become-their-top-crisis-pr-firm-2012-12

It is time to push back against the NRA leadership and take a good hard look at this organization.

Have they become corrupted by money? It is time to question what is going on with these people.

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mags_and_k 7 months ago

If he would have juuuuuuuust left off the last part!

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firebird27 7 months ago

Unfortunately we are in an age of twitterdom in which commentary is reduced to sound bytes. The Chancellor's response is likely an act of political expediency to avoid reactions from a conservative governor and state legislature who might punish KU in an era of economic hard times. In doing so, principles, such as tenure, are sacrificed (at least temporarily) to weather a potential political storm in a time when KU can least afford it. If Guth's comments were made at KU in the 1960s and 1970s, the Chancellor would not have done anything.

In the end, Chancellor Gray-Little has suffered a political cost with some faculty members but not all. Professors are afraid to do anything with the fear of job cuts, and a Provost wielding a budget axe in these hard times. There is a theoretical term for this type of institutional behavior, which sound melodramatic but in terms of its definition is appropriate. It is friendly fascism. I do not use this term lightly. Faculty recourse is limited and ultimately sequestered in a political atmosphere of fear.

One may not like Guth's forthrightness, but as others have stated, he should have been allowed to say them. If KU's faculty rose up to protest, which it is highly unlikely, not only would the Chancellor be under fire but also the state legislature and its application of institutional rigidities that our Governor and conservative members have no qualms of using.

One wonders what Martin Luther King, Jr. would have said about this occurrence.

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Centerville 7 months ago

A university employee publicly calling for the murder of children because he disagrees with their parents? Back to anger management classes and paid leave for you (again) Mr. Guth!

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WilburM 7 months ago

No one has mentioned the extraordinarily difficult process of revoking tenure. Certainly a angry, intemperant tweet doesn't come close to meeting the standard. And this is an example of what tenure is for. It protects Guth, to be sure, but it also protects the rest of the faculty from an increasingly aggressive and hostile legislature. I'd prefer it that he was back teaching on Monday, and that the University would have more of a backbone, but I can understand why it's rolling over right now, given wrath of many legislators.

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William Weissbeck 7 months ago

Just out of curiosity because I'm a tech novice and do not Twitter. I know enough to know that far too many people (even KU athletes) have used Twitter to post some really stupid things. But how do people who aren't subscribing to your Twitter account get ahold of your dumb comments? Have we reached the point that not only do we have the NSA's spying, but also private companies that are trolling for negative comments to their clients' interests and then forwarding them to people in power to be all indignant?

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Bssecamp 7 months ago

Shame on the chancellor for capitulating on the First Amendment of all things. This was a teachable moment for the legislature-- there is such a thing as freedom of speech and privacy. Prof Guth's remarks may have been bombastic and raw -- mass shootings can do that to people - but that is his right as a citizen and there certainly was no threat made-- just a rhetorical point. And he didn't say them in class or while speaking as a representative of the university. The chancellor instead has demonstrated that KU faculty had better keep quiet on issues of public concern or face serious career consequences.

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jayhawklawrence 7 months ago

The Kansas legislature is all about bullying our schools right now. This is what this is about and the Professor's comments clearly made in anger, are simply an opportunity which allowed a mean spirited politician a chance to get another kick into the stomach of a school that these people deride in their illegal closed door meetings.

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William Weissbeck 7 months ago

I'd love to hear Prof. Calder Pickett's views, but I'd hate to raise his blood pressure at his age. Does the Journalism School stand for anything these days? There is such a thing as an intemperate comment done in the heat of the moment. In light of the shootings last night in Chicago, doesn't anyone understand that those of us who think there is a better way, might not be angry? If the dear legislator is upset by this comment by this state worker, then he'd better stay out of many of the classrooms on the Hill. I'd hate to see his head explode.

All hail, Greater Brownbackistan.

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2002 7 months ago

The support of this poor example disappoints me. You absolutely have the right to free speech, but to think that there isn't a price for that free speech from time to time is idiotic. The other very disappointing response is that some are admitting they are KU grads, supporting this professor and hanging their entire argument on the first amendment. Didn't you learn more at KU? I did. The truth is that most of the supporters are anti-gun just like the professor and they support limiting the extent of the second amendment. With this response you would think that I am a NRA fan. I'm not. I support more regulation, assault weapon limits and background checks. But I'm also open minded enough to know that the Naval Yard, Sandy Hook, Columbine and so on are never going to be stopped by gun regulation. It is moronic to blame these mass murders on guns. The blame is on sick people who, if they didn't have a gun would find another way to murder people just like the Boston Marathon murders did.

If this professor was a Geology professor, maybe he gets a reprimand. But as a Journalism professor it is impossible for him to train future journalists to be unbiased with such poor judgement. He should be fired. I'm sure that he will be a hero to the far left liberal elite and will land a higher paying job at some university that is intent on brainwashing students. But that isn't what KU should be. And to be consistent. A professor that tweeted that the Occupy Wall Street people should die should be fired also.

Please keep KU as a school that teaches education not political philosophy.

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jayhawklawrence 7 months ago

I don't agree with Guth and I think his comments are offensive, however, I think the response from the Kansas legislature is even more offensive and hypocritical. But from this house of clowns it is 100% predictable.

How about the legislator who wanted to shoot immigrants from a helicopter. Where was the demand for his "firing".

The right wing has set the new standard for offensive comments in this country. Guth is just going down to their level.

I seriously hope that KU does not bend over and let these people do whatever they want. This is a time to stand your ground in spite of the 81 question inquisition they have planned for next month. These people want to break the will of any opposition to their lunacy.

These are the same people who want to arm 18 year olds with handguns. This is about the NRA and gun manufacturers wanting to make more money off of our stupidity. They are allowed to spend tax dollars suing the federal government to let kids buy handguns but you are not allowed to get mad and say anything about it.

Well Damn them all to Hell.

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evalrt 7 months ago

I totally agree, too. I'm ashamed that starburst is a Kansan and Jayhawk.

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Jujubeee 7 months ago

As a KU alum, I'm ashamed to be associated with a University that lets someone like this to teach impressionable college students.This man has been reprimanded by the university in the past for abuse to colleagues and now statements like this. It's appalling. I emailed his superior to let my disgust known. I also informed her that I will no longer be donating any of my hard earned $ to the KU endowment or any others that seek my donations, as long as the university stands by this kind of an individual.

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Michael Capra 7 months ago

wishing death to the parents and there children is ok then,, ever heard of terroristic threats against the law

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icyeyes 7 months ago

I totally agree Starbust!

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starburst 7 months ago

As a KU journalism graduate, I am appalled at this knee-jerk reaction by the university bending to the pressures of a powerful conservative legislator. What ever happened to academic freedom? What happened to freedom of speech? It sounds like we need a new chancellor who can stand up to political pressures better than Bernadette Gray-Little. I've been ashamed of being a Kansan since Brownback was elected. Now I have to be ashamed to be a Jayhawk, too.

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voevoda 7 months ago

While Prof. Guth's comments many be politically inexpedient, morally questionable, and poorly enunciated, they do not constitute legitimate grounds even to place him on administrative leave, much less rescind his tenure and fire him. He hasn't done anything to disrupt the operations of the university or to endanger any person on or off campus. The university's actions violate AAUP standards, which are incorporated into its own rules and are endorsed by the Kansas Board of Regents.

And what is happening to the students in Prof. Guth's courses, while the KU administration is taking this action? Are they missing their classes, or getting a less-qualified instructor who is less prepared to teach the subject-matter of the courses? KU really needs to rethink this knee-jerk reaction to political pressure.

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Michael Capra 7 months ago

u people think it ok to suggest to kill children wow

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Gary Anderson 7 months ago

The blood IS on the hands of the #NRA. Next time,PRAY IT'S NOT YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you. There...I fixed it.

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patkindle 7 months ago

I suspect guth will never miss a paycheck this was just window dressing to appease the rednecks move on folks, nothing to see here, it is all covered up

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Bruce Bertsch 7 months ago

I know this Prof. He is not my favorite, but his tweet is no worse than many others. Much ado about nothing.

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Gotoit 7 months ago

This article did not include all of Senator Bruce's press release, but Bruce based his call for removal on the precedent set in 2005 with the removal of Paul Mirecki. Someone should probably tell Mirecki about this since he is probably on the KU campus right now since he is still a faculty member. Either that or Senator Bruce should probably check his facts.

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Mari Aubuchon 7 months ago

So I guess the 2nd Amendment trumps the !st in this state. Appalling.

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Michael Capra 7 months ago

well ljw everyone else reported this on Monday as for guth he should be fired him wanting kids to die what was ku thinking on this one thanks terry bruce for calling ku

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