Alternative Title: Billionaire hypocrite Bill Ackman embarrassed after he fails to do satisfactory due diligence before opening his big mouth, again

  • Excrubulent@slrpnk.net
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    18
    arrow-down
    3
    ·
    edit-2
    6 months ago

    So… I only clicked on this because the title was so convoluted I wanted to see what kind of situation made sense of it.

    This single headline has five layers of linguistic recursion. You have to hold all five in your head in order to make any sense of it, and they’ve hidden even more actors within the folds of each clause.

    Just on the first attempt to read it, there is:

    1. A woman

    2. Who is married to a critic

    3. Who

    4. Who was the president of Harvard

    5. Business Insider

    6. reported on the critic (1)

    7. A review was conducted on Business Insider (5)'s report (6)

    8. The review (7) did not cause Business Insider (5) to retract the report (6)

    Is that right? The first paragraph says it’s actually a woman who is married to a critic of the ex-president of Harvard, but it’s still a confusing mess. Why are all these details headline worthy?

    I’ve tried reading the article but it just keeps on piling on the actors, and every sentence has a similarly obfuscatory construction, and if you get deep enough in you find the review (7) was conducted by yet another party that Business Insider (5) won’t disclose.

    What was the content of that report? Where can I find it? Why should anyone care about this? The author doesn’t seem interested in these basic questions of the story. It reads like middle school gossip, and is about as gripping.

    This is someone who wants to hide that they don’t have much to actually say, if I had to guess. If the facts of the case were something they wanted to explain clearly, then they could do that. If this is an actual attempt to convey information then this person should not be a journalist.

    I smelled bullshit and as I dug into the article, that smell only got worse. If anyone actually knows what’s going on here I am still vaguely curious, but not enough to wade through all this.

    • SeaJ@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      22
      ·
      edit-2
      6 months ago

      Haven’t read the article but from previous news, the previous Harvard president (the first black female Harvard president) was basically forced to resign because she failed to say that a student calling for genocide would be a violation of school policy during a congressional hearing. One of the main guys trying to get her pushed out claimed she plagiarized parts of her doctoral thesis. Business Insider looked into that guy’s wife’s thesis and found that some of it was plagiarized. He whined that they should not be targeting him or his wife.

      Business Insider double checked it and his wife definitely plagiarized parts of her thesis.

      • Excrubulent@slrpnk.net
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        7
        arrow-down
        1
        ·
        6 months ago

        Okay, see this actually makes sense of this - it’s a deeply politicised back & forth of people running smear campaigns on one another, and they’re arguing over whether either was a justifiable smear, and this article is so breathlessly relating the latest tidbits that it fails to inform the reader of any of the context in a way that can be followed.

        Also as I understand it the issue she was effectively forced to resign over was the plagiarism one, not the antisemitism one.

        You said she failed to say it was a “violation of school policy”. After reading into this issue, I can see a number of right wing publications wording it in this exact same way, but that wasn’t the question she was answering.

        She wasn’t asked whether it violated school policy in general - if Harvard has a policy against hate speech then surely calling for genocide is against it - but whether it violated the policy against bullying and harrassment in specific. That’s a different question.

        The nuance that is left out here, which both women I saw questioned attempted to explain before being shouted down by the Republican asker, is that harrassment is a set of actions, not words. If someone were to approach a specific person and aggressively say “good morning” every morning for a period of time, that could be harrassment. If someone were to call for genocide in the privacy of their own dorm room amongst other people who shared their awful beliefs, that would not be harrassment or bullying of anyone because no person in particular is being targetted by those words in particular. It’s certainly hate speech, but it’s not harrassment. If you said it to someone’s face, particularly a Jewish person, that could easily be bullying and harrassment.

        In other words, it very much depends on the situation, which was exactly their answer.

        Hence the overly specific question of whether it is against the harrassment policy gets transmuted into the much more general question of whether it violates any policy, and they can use this to claim she said something she didn’t. It sounds like the Republican who was aggressively grilling them on this issue chose her words very carefully to target this ambiguity so that it could be misrepresented. Similar to the plagiarism accusations, it’s not like they give two shits when their side is guilty of it, so they’ll happily confuse the issue in order to weaponise it against their opponents.

    • Zaktor@sopuli.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      6 months ago

      From the article:

      Business Insider would not say who conducted the review of its work.

      This article is reporting on a what is basically a press statement by another news outlet, though given the story, that top-line response is the real story. No one really cares what’s in the report, the facts of the original reporting aren’t in question, the real story is simply that they rejected the billionaire’s attempt to pressure them to quash it and/or punish the writers.

      • Excrubulent@slrpnk.net
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        1
        ·
        6 months ago

        Okay, well that’s actually quite a simple summary, and would’ve fit a headline quite nicely, I appreciate it. I have no idea why this article is so infuriatingly obtuse.

  • vintageballs@feddit.de
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    14
    arrow-down
    3
    ·
    edit-2
    6 months ago

    PSA: Business insider belongs to Axel Springer, the German pendant to Murdoch. Take everything you read from any of their publications with a 1MT brick of salt.

    • Zaktor@sopuli.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      1
      ·
      6 months ago

      This is definitely not in service of Murdoch-aligned politics. BI highlighted a rightwing billionaire’s hypocrisy and after the billionaire complained to his fellow rich people at AS they put out a statement saying “our reporting is good and we won’t be quashing it”.

  • Arete@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    3
    arrow-down
    35
    ·
    6 months ago

    Is Bill Ackman’s wife also the dean of a prestigious university? If so she should probably also be investigated. If not I don’t see how this is relevant.

    • floofloof
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      21
      ·
      edit-2
      6 months ago

      You could argue it’s relevant because it has forced him to show he doesn’t have a principled objection to people getting ahead through plagiarism (it’s fine when it’s his wife), so he must have decided for other reasons to target the president of Harvard using plagiarism as ammunition. It throws light on his character and motives.

      • Arete@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        2
        arrow-down
        19
        ·
        6 months ago

        I mean ok I guess, although I see a man defending his wife from attacks rather than defending her right to plagiarize. From the article it was 2 quotes in a 300 page dissertation, and they’re not contesting it. The scales of the plagiarism are wildly different, his wife isn’t in academia, and afaik he had no idea about it at the time, so none of this has any bearing on president Gay’s rightful dismissal.