Publishing Political Views in the FNL
To The Faculty Newsletter:
The publication of this essay [“Iran and the P5+1 Pact,” by Noam Chomsky, MIT Faculty Newsletter, Vol. XXVIII No. 1, September/October 2015] is outrageous and harmful to the collegiality I have experienced in over 50 years as a faculty member at MIT. Not only is the FNL no place for a political attack on the U.S., but giving a well-known Israel antagonist a platform for what seems to some of us outright anti-Semitism is so outside the boundaries of the FNL that it demands an apology. What’s next, an attack on Republicans? The FNL is not a place for presentation of one’s political views, it is for discussion of issues critical to MIT. I demand a statement of the Board explain the boundaries of this aberration. What’s next, a recommendation on how to vote?
Steven R. Tannenbaum
Faculty Newsletter Editorial Subcommittee Responds:
We are sensitive to and observe libel laws with respect to references to individuals and groups, but do not censor expressions of political viewpoints with respect to MIT, national, or international policies.
The FNL covers a wide range of issues, not limited narrowly to MIT affairs. For example, Vol. XXVII No. 4, March/April 2015, also carried an article by Prof. Aron Bernstein on the Iran negotiations; the issue with the article Prof. Tannenbaum objected to also carried an editorial describing the international activities of Prof. Ernie Moniz, Dr. Jim Walsh, and Assistant Professor Scott Kemp; the current issue carries an article on the international migration crises.