These days, socially-maladjusted, far-right white guys who incessantly try to play victim can be seen everywhere, including in the buildings surrounding Washington Square Park. Some, like Fox News host Sean Hannity, who contends that Roy Moore’s pedophilia allegations were fictionalized by left-wing news outlets and once said that AIDS can be transmitted by crying, dropped out of our school. Others, like Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, who describes himself as a “western chauvinist” and has stated that Muslims are “stupider” because of “inbreeding,” have been invited to NYU and have spoken on campus thanks to our open-minded NYU College Republicans.
Another, Michael Rectenwald (aka @antipcnyuprof), has somehow become a professor in our Liberal Studies program. He’s a frequent Twitter user and often comes off as a snarky high school Republican learning to use a thesaurus, with tweets such as “Hollywood is a vegan #SJW sausage factory pumping out tasteless and vapid platitudes meant to stupefy the world.”
Last year, presumably because borderline-incomprehensible Tweets such as these didn’t get him enough attention, Rectenwald decided to lie in a Washington Post op-ed about his leave of absence from NYU, falsely alleging that he was forced out by the administration because of his controversial opinions. To quote a summary of the situation as published in this paper:
“In his recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Rectenwald explicitly stated that NYU had paid to silence him, yet this was quickly proven to be false when NYU released a copy of the email correspondence between Rectenwald and LS Dean Fred Schwarzbach. The conversation revealed that his previous comments were inaccurate, and that university officials had never forced him to take a leave of absence.”
Even though NYU exposed him as a liar, Mr. Rectenwald had clearly learned from President Donald Trump that lying is okay if it gets you enough attention. He summarily received write-ups from Fox News, Breitbart and the New York Post, among others. Soon, he posted YouTube collaborations with Dr. Jordan Peterson, another rising star of the self-victimizing right who gained notoriety for fighting the use of gender-neutral pronouns because they were part of an “ideological battle led by neo-Marxists.”
But this was not enough for Mr. Rectenwald. Now, perhaps as part of a promotion tour for his upcoming book, “Springtime for Snowflakes: ‘Social Justice’ and Its Postmodern Parent,” he is going to court, suing NYU and four fellow professors for defamation. One professor called him “the devil,” “coward” and “punk ass,” among other things; another labeled him a “right-wing misogynist.” In true non-snowflake fashion, Mr. Rectenwald requested that his office be moved — which the university agreed to do — due to “fears that he might be attacked verbally.” Then, he filed a lawsuit anyway. He gave an interview about the lawsuit to the New York Post while in tears. This is quite surprising behavior for a man who frequently tweets things like “My closing statement to Social Justice Warrior at some ‘elite’ university: Why don’t you go to a safe space and tend to your obv psychic wounds?”
Rectenwald’s hypocrisy-laden lawsuit is so transparently a ploy for attention that I have reservations about even publishing this article, but the student body must be aware of this self-aggrandizing attempt to drain resources from our school and to steal from our professors who already don’t make enough money. I hope that Mr. Rectenwald will soon leave NYU and assume his rightful position as a daytime cable news contributor or C-list lecturer on the College Republicans club circuit.