GW Professor Under Fire For Kavanaugh Attack

A professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, Sean Aday, is under fire this week from various conservative sites and Campus Reform for using the occasion of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s birthday to call him a “rapey prep school douchebag.” As will not come as a surprise to many on this blog, I support Aday’s right to express his views on social media, even views that are offensive or obnoxious as they are here.

Aday responded to a posting on Kavanaugh’s birthday by tweeting:

“Appropriate that the picture here makes him look just like the rapey prep school douchebag that he is: RT @KimberlyRobinsn: Happy birthday to Brett Kavanaugh, who was born #OTD in 1965 in Washington D.C.”

Aday has other incendiary postings attacking attacking conservatives and Republicans. However, these are his views. It is true that he posts his personal twitter on his school web page. That has become common in academia. I can see the discomfort with the inclusion of the “follow” link for some critics. Yet, his Twitter bio does specify that his “tweets are his views, not GWU’s.”

This tweet is not alone, however, in expressing the professor’s dislike for conservatives. For example, he attacked Rush Limbaugh after the conservative radio host said that he believes “America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy…”  Aday responded that “It really speaks volumes about Rush’s sexual inadequacy and insecurity that he considers Trump — a rapist who even consensual partners describe as comically endowed and unsatisfying — “Mr. Man.”

I have previously written about concerns that public employees are increasingly being disciplined for actions in their private lives or views or associations outside of work. We have previously seen teachers (herehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere, here) students (herehere and here) and other public employees (here and here and here) fired for their private speech or conduct, including school employees fired for posing in magazines (here), appearing on television shows in bikinis (here), or having a prior career in the adult entertainment industry (here).  This includes Halloween costume controversies or the costumes of their children. Employees at private institutions have fewer protections from such disciplinary measures.

Sean Aday has taught at George Washington for 20 years and received his
Ph.D., and M.A. from The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 1999. He received his B.S.J. from The Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. He has a long list of academic publications.

As always, my principal concern is whether Aday brings his inflammatory views into his classes or interactions with students. I can certainly see how conservative students would feel uncomfortable with a teacher who expresses such views as part of a class. Students, however, are aware that teachers have different political viewpoints and engage in a wider array of social and political activities. Indeed, as a member of the media and public affairs school, it should be no surprise that he is engaged in the broader commentary and public debate. We want faculty and students to be active in the real world; engaging in our national dialogues over political or social controversies. There is no indication that he has created a hostile or intimidating atmosphere in his classes.

72 thoughts on “GW Professor Under Fire For Kavanaugh Attack”

  1. Well, then, in the interest of open-minded and collegeal discourse, that would make Professor Aday a narrow-minded, pinch-nosed, scumbag academic who couldn’t manage a serious job. BTW, “rapey” isn’t a word. And “douchebag” is so sixties.

  2. Sean Aday looks normal in the picture that is hypertexted by Professor Turley. He wears a jacket, is clean shaven and his blue shirt is clean. Very surprisingly, considering the type of comment he makes, he directss ” GW’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication and its Global Communication M.A. program.

    Aday provides Kavanaugh with a happy birthday address: “rapey prep school douchebag.”

    Turley says these are Aday’s views. This view is not a political view nor a personal lifestyle rather a hateful attack on another individual that borders on slander. He also heightens the campus hysteria over rape where no rape occurs. This is a man who should not be teaching college or graduate students without being reprimanded. He has no self control and should limit this type of activity off all school affiliated property and events including any form of school communications.

    Professor Turley and his colleagues should clearly state that Aday’s kind of behavior is unsuitable for GW University and take a moment to think where someone like Avenatti learned his behavior. Too much toleration as exhibited by GW and other universities leads to bad behavior later on.

    Professor Turley as one of the professors of Avenatti you had an obligation to promote good behavior. That is not what we are seeing on our university campuses. Lawyers are not just supposed to know the law. They are also supposed to be decent and law abiding people.

  3. The language convicts the quality of the tongue and the so called institute of higher education that employs the mouth it calls home.

  4. The fact that something has become common does not make it proper.

    There is no cost to actually having your own social media accounts.

    If you communicate via a government account, or an employer account, regardless of disclaimers, what you post is subject to action by your employer.

    Absolutely a a persons freedom outside the workplace should be protected.

    But when you use a workplace provided account, you have chosen to subject your posts to the discipline of your employer.

    That does not require that he be fired – but it allows it.

    Further – conservatives and progressives can demand people be fired for posts they do not like – whether on a workplace account or not.

    Workplaces are also free to decide what can be expressed on their accounts, and even what can be expressed publicly on other accounts that might reflect on them.

    And we all get a voice in these decisions by our own choices in the market.

  5. According to his bio, Professor Aday is a member of George Washington’s Media and Public Affairs Department, where he is training the next generation of journalists and spokespeople.

    Professor, do you think your colleague reflects well on you, your institution, or his profession?

  6. Parents, don’t let your kids grow up to be college students (to paraphrase that good old CW song). Never saw this kind of stuff when I was at the university…maybe bec I was in the Business School and profs were pro-Capitalism.

  7. There is a fine line between free speech and libel. This certainly approaches if not crosses that line. The operative word is “rapey”. This implies an act for which their is factual support.
    Hand he used words like creepy, or slimy, which are merely characterizations, this bile would have been totally defensible but this requires some form of discipline. Tenured or not, there has to be some standard of accountability.
    He should be made to retract his use of the word “rapey” or face censure.

    1. I’m thinking the same thing, the word “rapey, ” is operative and indicates criminal. But then again, using a word with a -y on the end is now common slang, like the word -ish. I have seen both the -y and the -ish to indicate non-serious.

      If I said I am white-ish, then am I saying, in fact, I am, white, or am I saying I’m sort of white, but could be NOT white, and maybe blue, or green…

      It’s common in culture now to be suggestive of a fact without actually admitting a fact.

  8. Well, what a pathetic little lying conformist he is, saying stupid and untrue stuff to make TPTB happy with him! What person with at least 2 functioning brain cells would believe Blasey Fords ridiculous story??? If she had accused Obama of the same thing, they would have been able to rip the story to shreds. So, if he really believes the crap he says, he is nuts. He deserves a scathing Irish Poem!

    Sean Of The Brain Dead???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a twerp named Aday,
    And OH! The dumb stuff he would say!
    He has to be CRAZY,
    To believe Chrissy Blasey,
    And that stupid story about the two front doors! Sheeesh!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. “A professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, Sean Aday, is under fire this week from various conservative sites and Campus Reform for using the occasion of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s birthday to call him a “rapey prep school douchebag.” As will not come as a surprise to many on this blog, I support Aday’s right to express his views on social media, even views that are offensive or obnoxious as they are here.”
    **********************
    Rape is a crime. Falsely accusing someone of it in writing is libel per se. That makes it is more than merely offensive or obnoxious; it’s actionable. Actual malice ought to be as easy to prove out of this yahoo’s mouth. I hope the Justice sues the arse off Sean Aday and my only regret is I can’t handle the case. I’d enjoy seeing Aday living under the 14th Street Bridge.

  10. As always, my principal concern is whether Aday brings his inflammatory views into his classes or interactions with students.

    Your real concern should be that they hired and tenured someone who is dishonest and puerile. Why not shut down the School of Media and Public Affairs? If it’s a corrupted faculty, you don’t need it.

  11. Two things to which you don’t call attention:

    1. Factual truth is unimportant to liberals under the age of 70, and to some over 70 – see Gainesville.

    2. This juvenile has a position at a research university, and, it appears a tenured position. Arrested development and casual mendacity are no bar to a position in academe.

    3. Well, if you’re a person of a certain sort. The smart money says if you examine the voter registration cards of the GW faculty, you’ll find Republicans in the business school, the engineering school, and (now and again) in a few departments in the arts and sciences faculty (economics, geology, computer science, mathematics). And that’s it. Such people are not admitted to graduate school, are tossed out after a year or two if they are admitted, are rejected by academic hiring committees if they make it through graduate school, and are denied tenure if they ever do get hired.

    These are the dots you refuse to connect. The man is your colleague while someone like Thomas Woods (https://mises.org/profile/thomas-e-woods-jr) gets shunted off a community college faculty.

  12. What is sad is how disgustingly uncivil and ileducated he is. It speaks volumes of what used to be good academic Institutions that have now turned into re-education camps and brainwashing farms for the liberal left. Just as with other leftists regimes they only seem to know how to speak in ignorant memes and seem in pcapable of understanding multiple viewpoints, instead marching to the same beat as all the other lemmings. 20 years but imagine a person educated at these institutions speaking with such simplistic ignorance, but now it is commonplace

  13. ‘ “It really speaks volumes about Rush’s sexual inadequacy and insecurity that he considers Trump — a rapist who even consensual partners describe as comically endowed and unsatisfying — “Mr. Man.” ‘

    It really speaks volumes about George Washington University’s intellectual and academic inadequacy and insecurity that it considers Adar— a moron whose students describe as comically void of teaching ability and otherwise unemployable — “Professor.”

    1. Ho hum the programmers of the left demonstrate the usual shop worn boring traits learned in Soro-ista School. Make up anything, provide no facts or credible sources but number one is the description is invariably obtained from a mirror with a name change. Such is the living death of The Collectives daily routine. Ad Machina.

  14. There is no indication of his using that type of language against anyone except straight conservatives. He is a gay bitch, prideful and smelly. You know he takes that garbage with him everywhere he goes. It’s the only thing that keeps him from being just smelly and gay.

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