The Medill Scandal That Will Not Die

Gregg Easterbrook, Frank’s younger, more frivolous, brother, writes an NFL column for He takes summers off, kinda like my professor friends. Now he’s back for the new season, and takes time to poke at the rotting corpse of the Medill scandal started by our own D. Spett. D., we salute you! Here’s Gregg, writing for a national audience of football fans, the vast majority of whom couldn’t care less:

Northwestern to Name Janet Cooke Dean of Journalism: John Lavine, dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, admitted to exercising “poor judgment” for use of anonymous quotes there is strong reason to believe he fabricated. If the quotes were genuine, using them was not poor judgment! In a classic exercise of institutional whitewash, Northwestern’s provost cleared Lavine, the provost saying he could find no proof the quotes were made up. Of course, you can’t prove an unnamed person does not exist! The whole reason unethical journalists invent unnamed people is because it is impossible to disprove the anonymous comment. Lavine offered no notes to back his suspicious quotes — which means Northwestern University has a journalism dean who, under the best-case analysis, is unaware of the standards of his profession. Medill charges graduate students $58,399 per year then declares all is fine because the dean is ignorant of basic practices of the profession being taught. Why isn’t this simple fraud on the part of Northwestern University? Everyone who attended Medill in the past academic session should get his or her money back.

Here’s the link, so you can check my source.


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