Brown Daily Herald Columnist Uses Fake Thomas Jefferson Quotation in Noxious Column

Last week in the Brown Daily Herald, junior Oliver Hudson argued that universal suffrage is “immoral”. On Sunday Hudson responded to his critics — who had produced some 272 comments on the Herald’s website  — by quoting James Madison and Thomas Jefferson:

In fact, the founders despised democracy. James Madison, the “father of the Constitution,” argued in the famous Federalist 10 that democracy is an undesirable form of government, incompatible with “personal security or the rights of property.” Thomas Jefferson, who penned the words “all men are created equal,” said of democracy: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.”

As an eagle-eyed Herald commenter points out, there is no record of Thomas Jefferson declaring democracy “nothing more than mob rule.” According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which collects “spurious quotes” attributed to its namesake,

We currently have no evidence to confirm that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote, “Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%” or any of its listed variations. We do not know the source of this statement’s attribution to Thomas Jefferson.

This is principal to Hudson’s defense: that (like Jefferson) one can believe that all men are created equal yet also believe (like Jefferson) that democracy is a savage manner of governance. So where does Hudson’s defense stand if Jefferson never argued the latter? Which other historical figure believed in equal rights but not democracy? (Also, where does the Brown Daily Herald stand on using false quotations? Or on fact-checking in general?)

Brown Daily Herald Columnist: ‘Universal Suffrage Is Immoral,’ ‘I Read Atlas Shrugged Once’

Meet Oliver Hudson. Oliver is a junior at Brown University, where he is editor-in-chief of the campus’ conservative magazine the Brown Spectator, and writes a regular column in the Brown Daily Herald. Today, Oliver focused his writing on a topic he appears to be quite passionate about: voting rights.

“Most of us accept and celebrate our universal suffrage. But is it a good idea? In my view, no.”

Rather than allow every adult U.S. citizen to vote, Oliver argues, this “privilege” should be based on taxes. As he writes, Restricting the right to vote to taxpayers is moral and practical. Sounds like someone really dug that Ayn Rand seminar they took last semester.

If Oliver ran things around here, people wouldn’t just be voting wherever and whenever they pleased, no sir. Right now, the voting population is comprised of two groups: Those good hearted people who pay their taxes and give the government revenue, and another set of people who then take that money in the form of “benefits and programs” — or “stuff and things” — but may or may not pay their fair share. And for Oliver, if you don’t pay, you shouldn’t be voting, because a vote for a federal representative immediately decides where the government’s money goes. Read the rest of this entry »

Poor People Don’t Go to Brown, The Coolest College Ever

Brown University, the tropical island to which celebrities deport their children, doesn’t have poor people:

Under 50 percent of students receive financial aid, and a majority of students pay full tuition — $53,136 in the current academic year — which itself is more than the median U.S. household income.

But but but! That has nothing to do with Brown’s ubiquity in substantial, thoughtful television shows which refuse to fetishize the lives of wealthy teenagers for the aspirational attention of their flyover peers:
The O.C., FOX’s hit drama running from 2003 to 2007, heavily featured Brown. In the first three seasons, main character Seth Cohen — a pot-smoking, geeky, comic book lover with a witty sense of humor — had his sights set on Brown. Yet in a plot twist, Seth is denied admission, and instead, Summer Roberts — his superficial, valley-girl girlfriend — is offered a spot.  Read the rest of this entry »

Brown Students Offended by Ad, Still Happier Than You, Though

We all know Brown is a bastion of political correctness and hippie happiness, a school that has love-ins and guitar circles instead of discussion sections. But the Brown Daily Herald threatened the peace last week by publishing an advertisement from the “David Horrowitz Freedom Center” that featured a list of “Palestinian Lies” along with a background picture of two shadowy figures in the background holding guns and Qurans (pretty sure the image is shopped though).

Horowitz, for those of you fortunate enough to not know, is a conservative “scholar” who equates wearing hipster Arab scarves to support of terrorism and believes Muslim Student Associations across the country are Saudi financed arms of the Muslim Brotherhood. Yes, he writes the jokes for us.

Showing their belligerent sides, Brown students took to the streets, over-turning cars and setting tires aflame – partly because they found the ad offensive, but largely because being violent hipsters is ironic.

Letters to the Herald called the advertisement “slanderous” and “full force-hatred,” among other things. To which, the BDH responded, in true troll fashion: “Free speechProblem?” (Well, there is a tiny problem; the free speech argument doesn’t hold up when you accept money from the people whose views you don’t endorse.)

 The BDH wasn’t the only Ivy newspaper solicited by Horowitz in the name of “peace.” Cornell and Columbia are both featured on the “Wall of Censors” because the Sun and Spectator found the ad too offensive to publish. Although Spec EIC Sam Roth told IG that they do not comment on individual ads, Dan Smullyan, Spec’s Ad Manager, told IvyGate,

It is the Columbia Daily Spectator’s policy not to publish expressly political advertisements – ones whose sole purpose to promote a particular point of view. We apply that policy across the board, without bias, and do not favor any side in the forum of ideas. If a group is advertising an event, we will publish their ad. But ads that are, in effect, paid editorials, will be judged inappropriate for publication.

The Sun was not available to give a comment to IvyGate, but correspondence posted by Horowitz’s group on their website includes an e-mail from the Sun that states that:

 The Sun reserves the right not to run any advertisement that might be deemed controversial.

In its response, the BDH contended that the Wall of Lies wasn’t hate speech.

Who do you agree with? Tell us in the comments.

UPDATE: A source says that this ad ran in the Yale Daily News today.

Ivy Leaguers Have a Penchant for Igloos

Igloo (n): an Eskimo house usually made of sod, wood, or stone when permanent or of blocks of snow or ice in the shape of a dome when built for temporary purposes. Yes, the Merriam Webster Dictionary is not politically correct and chooses to ignore the “proper” expression of Inuit. (Although, technically this ignores the Yukip and Aleut groups.)

Anyway, these icy forts have been popping up on snow Ivy campuses for years. Maybe its due to the fact that a simple snowman won’t cut it for the Ivy League – we must apply all our ethnic studies and physics skills to the shaping of snow. (While we’re at it why don’t we write an essay on whether man conquers snow or snow conquers man while we’re chilling in our igloo?)

A tipster sent us a link to the Blog Daily Herald’s students who do cool things at Brown. A few students who made an igloo on their main green got full in-depth coverage featuring them building the igloo and a picture of the whole crew.

However, Bwog’s coverage of Columbia’s igloo from last year featured just a mere picture of snow art lumped along others. Also the identities of the igloo mastery were only revealed in the comment section.

Since blogs tend to create unnecessary battles between schools, judge which school has the best igloo in the comments.

Bwog’s Columbia photo:

Blog Daily Herald’s Brown photo:

Brown Senior Wants to Get Rid of Athletics Department, Fellow Students Suddenly Discover Team Spirit

We all know the Ivy League’s pretty useless at sports, unless you count “naked parties” and “playing miniature golf in plaid khakis” as athletic activities. And we also know that Brown’s football field gets more use from students lying around smoking dope and sharing their feelings than it does from people who actually know how to throw a football. But above all we know not to mess with Ivy League athletes, because they have a lot of rage and inexplicable team spirit, and they have to wake up at 5am every day to use the ThighMaster, and they drink revolting whey protein shakes. And if you provoke them, they will KILL YOU AND EAT YOU.

So we hope Brown student Susannah Kroeber has learned her lesson, because we’d hate to have to cover her death at the hands of Brown’s thumb-twiddling athletes. The former athlete and opinion columnist at the Brown Daily Herald wrote a piece last week called “Why the Athletics Department is Bad for Brown,” in which she denounced the athletics department for being a fascist spending machine:

But high level sports teams in the way that they currently operate do not have a place at Brown. The Department of Athletics should be cut, or at the very least be forced to undergo massive reform, if it wants to see continued funding. Sports teams at Brown currently encourage all of the attitudes that the University stands against (or should stand against):

On a team, you lose your individuality. The more you stand out as different, and the less you cohere to the group, the less you are worth and the more you are stigmatized.

On a team, many people acting as a mechanical unit is appreciated far above diversity.

On a team, methods of dictatorship are appreciated far above those of democracy.

On a team, anyone who fails to obey the strictest of rules is punished.

On a team, anyone who doesn’t play for your team is an enemy.

Oh boy. We have never met Susannah Kroeber, and would like to throw in that she’s probably a delightful person to have a serious political discussion with (particularly if you disagree with her and you’re not wearing body armor). But in addition to going painfully overboard with her generalizations, she also neglects to mention that half of Brown couldn’t give two shits about the heinous violations of basic civil liberties on sports teams, because half of Brown doesn’t even know that Brown has sports teams.

And those that do, of course, now want to maim her. Commenters have called her article “a piece of trash” and “emotionally hyperbolic ranting,” and she’s been pegged as a “chauvinist” and a “stupid Brown Univ. hipster.” (The war between athletes and hipsters wages on.) And many of them insisted that Brown was a scion of athletic talent, like this one:

Here’s a little secret: sports, especially at Brown, are a big deal, and are one of the greatest sources of friendship and camaraderie available.

The centrality of athletics at Brown is more than a little secret. It might be the third-best-kept secret in the Ivy League, after the freshman skeletons buried in Harvard Yard and the fact that Princeton eating clubs are actually mass orgies. But anyway.

Alexa Caldwell, another Brown senior, took the lead with a rebuttal in the Herald last Thursday. Among other things, she made the point that there is no better preparation for professional life than viciously beating the other guys with a field hockey stick:

what she so drastically misses is that the athletes’ experience on the playing field is, in fact, the best preparation we can get in our future professional lives. What area of life rejects or does not participate in this kind of competition and intense mentality? Professional work in marketing, political campaigns and legal cases all require the skills developed in competitive sports. Attacking sports teams at Brown for engaging in “abhorrent” behavior that is common and promoted in every day [sic] life is unfair and unjust.

Initially we thought that there could be better preparation for attorneydom than gnashing one’s teeth against a mouth guard and body-slamming one’s opponent. But then we were like–well, no, not really. We’re pretty much content to stand on the sidelines for this one and root for whoever seems to be winning, because we ourselves have minimal upper body strength. And as a rule, we bow down to anyone who can stomach whey protein.

Ghosts of Editors-in-Chief Past: Brown Grad gets the Scoop on Olbermann

Thanks to the snooping of a recent Brown grad, Keith Olbermann was suspended from MSNBC for making three financial contributions to Democratic candidates, which is apparently against network policy.

Meet Simmi Aujla, former editor-in-chief of the Brown Daily Herald. Aujla had been working for Politico for just five months when she broke the story, which seems to suggest, against all common sense, that working for a college daily newspaper might actually give you good life skills.

Aujla also served as the Herald’s crime beat chief and co-editor of the paper’s Metro section.  As the Brown Herald wrote,

Aujla, a senior staff writer from Timonium, Md., has taken on a wide range of stories and was on the demanding crime beat in the spring. With boundless energy and finesse, she reported on town-gown relations and discrepancies in crime reporting between the Department of Public Safety and the Providence Police Department.

Aujla decided not to respond to our requests for a comment.  Further, we asked George Miller, current editor-in–chief at the Brown Daily Herald to tell us about his work experience with Aujla at Brown. Miller also left us with “no comment.”

However, we at IvyGate have some encouragement. To all those fellow students selling their lives to college newspapers – keep on trucking. Your lack of social life might one day lead to the toppling of lovably “big-headed” pundits.

Take a look at Aujla’s work experience as seen on her LinkedIn profile as inspiration:

Legislative relief reporter

June 2007 — August 2007 (3 months)

Associated Press

(Non-Profit; Newspapers industry)

January 2010 — April 2010 (4 months)

I covered Idaho state politics.

Reporting intern

The Chronicle of Higher Education

(Privately Held; Newspapers industry)

September 2009 — January 2010 (5 months)

Intern in Boston bureau

The Wall Street Journal

(Public Company; DJ; Newspapers industry)

June 2009 — August 2009 (3 months)

Business reporting intern

Austin American-Statesman

(Privately Held; Newspapers industry)

May 2008 — August 2008 (4 months)


The Brown Daily Herald

(Newspapers industry)

2008 — 2008 (less than a year)

Business reporting intern

Orlando Sentinel

(Public Company; Newspapers industry)

Although I’m saddened to know that Olbermann will not be boasting about Cornell for one more night, I offer my congratulations to Aujla on all her hard work. Nonetheless, as MSNBC President Phil Griffin said, “We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.”

Brown Sued For Alleged Rape Coverup

The BDH reports that William McCormick III, formerly Brown ’10, and his parents have sued Brown University and several of its officials — including President Ruth Simmons. The suit alleges that McCormick was treated unfairly in a sexual assault case brought against him by a female student in the fall of 2006.

The complaint states that despite the female student’s resistance to pursuing the matter, she eventually acceded to pressure from University employees to divulge McCormick’s name, an act which compelled her to file a written complaint.

McCormick was then served a “no-contact order” by Associate Dean of Student Life Terry Addison, according to the complaint, and “in violation of Brown policies, he was not provided a copy of the complaint, nor was he told the substance of the allegations.”

The plaintiffs allege that the female student “felt that the Deans were ‘yelling at her’ ” and “pressing her to add to complaints about” McCormick. Friends of the female student then allegedly confronted her and, despite her denials, concluded that she had been raped, according to the complaint.

It gets juicier still: the student who brought the complaint is said to be the daughter of a wealthy donor, whose treatment by the institution (at McCormick’s expense) stems from her position of privilege. Know more? Email us at

Bring Back the Fake Spec! Joke Issues Dead This April 1

The Washington Post indicates that April 1 “joke issues” of school papers, laden with fake news and goofy headlines, may be a thing of the past — come tomorrow, you will have to read (or ignore) the same boilerplate. Spectator EIC Ben Cotton says a joke issue, which had run in past years,

sets up a whole slew of ethical issues — trying to toe the line between what’s funny and what’s an inappropriate comment about a person or subject we purport to cover objectively is asking a lot.

Yawn, boring! Brown’s Herald declares that it totally WOULD have a joke issue, but they’re on spring break right now. Just like a real coward would say! (April Fools — or is it?)

For fun pranks, one has to look outside the Ivy League, I guess! Boston University’s Free Press Editor-in-Chief, who is planning a prank issue, declares:

It’s a nice day off from hard news, barring giant stories (which we would put online), and is a fun chance to have the core staff all sit down together and write/layout the paper ourselves from scratch.

Yeah, that sounds fun, and a clearly-delineated enough tradition to ensure no toes would be stepped on. No fooling!

RagTime: You BET Edition