Yesterday was among the craziest of my entire life. The story traced in this blog of the Republican Party’s Open Records Law request for access to my emails has in the past twenty-four hours gone viral in a very big way so that this blog has received more than 2 million hits in the past 24 hours…attention on a scale I could never have imagined for the strange circumstances in which I find myself.
I’m posting this latest entry because I’ve just learned that the New York Times will run an editorial on Monday morning (March 28) making an eloquent case for defending academic freedom against intrusions of the kind that the Wisconsin Republican Party has launched against me. Those who know me will know that this is not a battle I would ever have chosen for myself, but I do want to say how grateful I am for the support I’ve received from SO many people over the past 24 hours…not just from the New York Times and the other newspapers and blogs that have paid attention to this story, but from the many colleagues, students, friends, and total strangers who see in this episode a threat to liberties that most Americans hold dear as our national birthright.
In my heart of hearts, I keep hoping that even Republicans who learn about my situation will respond by saying to themselves that this is not what their party should stand for. Indeed, in my own understanding of the history of the GOP, leaving aside dangerous aberrations like Joseph McCarthy, what I am experiencing is not what the Republican Party claims to stand for. It is time at last for “the better angels of our nature,” in the words of another great Republican, Abraham Lincoln, to reassert themselves.
The New York Times editorial is accessible at
For additional coverage of the story, here are links compiled by my colleague Kris Olds, to whom I’m very grateful. If you’re interested in issues relating to higher education in the world today, don’t miss his helpful postings at http://globalhighered.wordpress.com
- ‘A Shabby Crusade in Wisconsin,’ New York Times, 26 March.
- ‘Wisconsin Professor’s E-Mails Are Target of G.O.P. Records Request,’ New York Times, 26 March.
- ‘The Wisconsin Republican Party uses Open Records Law to get emails written by the Wisconsin professor William Cronon,’ Althouse, 25 March.
- ‘Demand for Emails of Wisconsin Professor Raises Legal Questions,’ FIRE, 25 March.
- Chancellor Martin’s statement on open records, academic freedom, 25 March.
- ‘GOP won’t withdraw records request,’ Capital Times, 25 March.
- ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Bad FOIA Request,’ Slate, 25 March.
- ‘Wisconsin GOP Seeks E-Mails of a Madison Professor Who Criticized the Governor,’ Chronicle of Higher Education, 25 March
- ‘Wisconsin GOP: You’re friggin’ right we want that one friggin’ college professor’s friggin’ emails,‘ Daily Kos, 25 March.
- ‘Wisconsin’s most dangerous professor,’ Salon, 25 March.
- ‘Bloggers Beware! (If You Work at a State University in Wisconsin),’ Econbrowser, 25 March.
- ‘WI Republican Party uses open records law to intimidate its most moderate critic,’ Crooked Timber, 25 March.
- ‘Academic Intimidation,’ New York Times, 25 March.
- ”Have You No Sense of Decency?’ The Wm. Cronon Story,‘ The Atlantic, 25 March.
- ‘UW Prof. Cronon: I Wish GOP ‘Could Have Spelled My Name Correctly’,‘ TPM, 25 March.
- ‘Republican Party Response to Cronon Critique of Open Records Request,‘ Scholar as Citizen, 25 March.
- ‘Wis. GOP: Attacks On Our Open-Records Request Against Professor Are ‘Chilling’‘, TPM, 25 March.
- ‘Wis. GOP FOIAs Emails of State University Prof Critical Of Gov. Walker,’ TPM, 25 March.
- ‘Wisconsin GOP: You’re damn right we requested Walker critic’s emails,’ Washington Post, 25 March.
- ‘Wisconsin GOP Seeks to Silence a Distinguished Dissenter. McCarthyism is Back,’ The Nation, 25 March.
- ‘GOP seeks e-mails of UW-Madison professor,’ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 March.
- ‘Wisconsin GOP Blasts “Concerted Effort to Intimidate” Over Request for Professor’s E-mails,‘ Slate, 25 March.
- ‘Wisc. GOP defends request for professor’s emails,’ Yahoo.com, 25 March.
- ‘Professor’s Emails, Open Records, First Amendment: Wisconsin Professor William Cronon,’ Constitutional Law Prof Blog, 25 March.
- ‘UW history prof targeted for records request by Republican Party,’ Capital Times, 25 March.
- ‘An Open Letter to Chancellor Biddy Martin,’ Greg Bond/Facebook, 25 March.
- ‘Scott Walker’s Office Seeks Access to Critical Professor’s Email,’ Forbes.com, 25 March.
- My Worlds Collide,’ TPM, 24 March.
- ‘Abusing Open Records to Attack Academic Freedom,’ Scholar as Citizen, 24 March.
- ‘William Cronon: Dissing Wisconsin’s traditions,‘ Madison.com, 24 March.
- ‘Wisconsin’s Radical Break,’ New York Times, 21 March.