A professor at a public university in West Virginia has forbidden her students from using Fox News as a research source because it’s biased and icky. Seriously. She also said they couldn’t use The Onion (a parody site), but if they had to choose between the two, she’d take The Onion over Fox News.

WOTV, a local NBC affiliate, got the scoop that a syllabus for a political science course at West Liberty University informs students that the two sources are unacceptable. Let me repeat: A professor of a political science course has banned Fox News from the classroom.

According to Fox News (hehe!), the syllabus says:

DO NOT use

1) The Onion — this is not news this is literally a parody

2) Fox News — The tagline “Fox News” makes me cringe. Please do not subject me to this biased news station. I would almost rather you print off an article from the Onion

MSNBC, Fox News’ liberal counterpart, is presumably a-ok, which is weird, because they’re the ones that are constantly caught selectively editing footage to promote false narratives and further their own agenda. But then again, I probably just heard that on Fox News, so what do I know? Oh wait -- I also heard it from The Atlantic, Real Clear Politics, Examiner.com, The Hollywood Reporter, the San Francisco Gate, Politico, The Washington Times, and I think I’ve made my point.

See what I did there? I didn’t discredit information from a news site because I don’t like their political bent. No one should mindlessly believe what one media source tells them anyway. Part of forming your own thoughts and opinions is gathering information from a variety of places and perspectives before deciding what to believe about something.

Stephanie Wolfe, the visiting assistant professor behind the ban, is completely missing the point of political science. In politics, there is a right and a left, and everyone has an opinion. Students should be encouraged to take them all in, especially those that may differ from their preconceived notions.

The university preside, Robin Capehart, agrees with Professor Wolfe’s critics.

“One of our values at West Liberty is to encourage students to go out and inquire and gather information and look at as many different sources as possible on any side, before you reach your opinion,” Capehart told WTOV. “Any attempt to limit the breadth of a student’s ability to investigate is obviously something at which we have a concern.”

It’s unclear if any action has been taken to reprimand Ms. Wolfe, but it’s been reported that she is now allowing Fox News as a source. I imagine some cheeky students will use it exclusively. I would.

Do you think this professor was out of line for banning Fox News?


Image via vauvau/Flickr