Friday, November 1, 2002

Miami U.

Free Bill O'Reilly


The next student protest at Miami University could have nothing to do with saving whales, the war on Iraq, global warming or the rights of defenseless pullets to avoid getting fried by Col. Sanders.

President James Garland might find something entirely different on his lawn. Such as "Free Hannity & Colmes.'' Or, "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, We Want Britt Hume and Tony Snow.''

Some disgruntled Miami U. students are demanding less Wolf Blitzer and more Bill O'Reilly. They want Fox News on their dorm cable.

"If something doesn't happen soon, we may resort to holding a rally in President Garland's front yard,'' said senior economics major Aaron Sanders.

I want my Fox TV

About 7,000 students at Miami live on campus. They get only one choice for cable news: CNN and more of it. Four CNN channels, no Fox.

"CNN is just one source of news and it tends to have a liberal bias,'' Mr. Sanders said. "Fox is the most popular cable news source. As the ads say, it is fair and balanced.''

Richard Little, senior director of university communications, said even President Garland has asked why Fox News is not available at his president's residence on campus. "It's just an economic decision,'' Mr. Little said. "It has nothing to do with Fox News or CNN.

"We provide our own cable system through a broker, and when we started there was no Fox News.''

He said there has been no flood of complaints, but students are being surveyed to find out what channels they want next year. And right now, the Cartoon Network might be running ahead of Fox and CNN.

To add Fox in mid-contract could cost as much as $15,000 a year, he said.

But Mr. Sanders argues that's only 50 cents per student per month. The cost, according to Mr. Little's figures, would be about $1,750 per month. And Mr. Sanders insists that's a small price compared to all that Miami spends.

Liberal spin zone

Mr. Sanders is the conservative columnist for The Miami Student, and chairman of the College Republicans of Miami University. He doesn't live on campus, but says he's had lots of support from dorm-dwellers since he wrote a column demanding Fox News for students who get an overdose of liberal spin in classes.

"Higher education is a product of the people who feed it to you,'' he said. And at Miami U., like nearly all campuses, the diet is liberal meatloaf, day after day, with only an occasional sprig of conservative parsley.

"In the political science department out of 30 professors, maybe two or three are conservative,'' he said. "Sometimes in my political science classes I disagree a lot, but I feel that if I don't keep my mouth shut it may affect my grade.''

Mr. Sanders says he might go into teaching to balance the tilt. Meanwhile, he says students deserve a second opinion from Fox News.

Are you listening, Bill O'Reilly? For only $1,750 a month, you can turn an entire campus into a no-spin zone.

E-mail or call 768-8301.

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