Student paper dispute, round 3: Taranto disputes the facts

csun-matador.jpgI ran a post on Wednesday about a 7,000-word online story in the Wall Street Journal on a long-ago controversy at the Cal State Northridge student newspaper, the Daily Sundial. In the post, the paper's former publisher Cynthia Rawitch, now a vice-provost at CSUN, briefly disputed the account of James Taranto, the editor of OpinionJournal who was suspended from the Sundial back in the day over the publication of a cartoon about affirmative action. Now Taranto responds online at the Journal.

We had not intended to rehash the dispute either; we were more than content to let our Friday hashing be this column's final word on the subject. But since Rawitch has now impugned our honor as a journalist, we must respond.

Rawitch is correct in asserting that our defiance of "a direct order from the Editor-in-Chief" was not part of our narrative. That is for two reasons: It didn't happen; and we had never even heard the accusation before yesterday.

It is true, and we acknowledged in Friday's column, that we had tangled with the editor-in-chief on more than one occasion earlier in the semester. But while it would be fair to characterize our attitude as having been insubordinate, our actions were not. We never contravened an order of the editor-in-chief, and she issued no orders with respect to the UC Rooster cartoon or our accompanying commentary.

CSUN's teams are the Matadors, which explains the artwork with this post.

Added: On the Daily Sundial alumni page on Facebook, many defenses of Rawitch.

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