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CMU student newspaper fires editor who falsified attack on AFA-Michigan's Gary Glenn

April 16, 2009

Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,

Under pressure from multiple sources on and off campus, Central Michigan University’s student newspaper Friday morning published — on page two of its on-campus print version — a three-sentence retraction of the false report included in its story regarding my visit to the campus this past Tuesday night.

In response to my phone discussion today with student editor-in-chief Jacob May, pointing out that their ethical obligation to correct their false report extended beyond the confines of the CMU campus, he later in the day added the retraction to the CM Life website at the top of the Wednesday story which falsely reported that “many groups” had accused me of being “anti-Semitic.” (In fact, no group has ever made such an accusation.)

Here’s the retraction:

“Editor’s note: Because of an editing error in Wednesday’s edition of Central Michigan Life, this article originally included uncorroborated remarks alleging that American Family Association (of Michigan) President Gary Glenn was ‘anti-Semitic.’ This is incorrect. Central Michigan Life regrets publishing this error.”

What CM Life terms an “editing error” was in fact the now former managing editor’s insertion of the false allegation into the story after the reporter had turned it in for publication; thus, the reporter — under whose name the false information was published without his prior knowledge — joined us in demanding it be removed.

Jacob advised me that the managing editor guilty of this “error” has been fired, as first reported yesterday by the Campus Conservatives group which invited me to speak…see their news release below.

However, still having not fully learned their lesson, CM Life editors as of this moment have let remain on their website the “corrected” version of Wednesday’s story, which merely diverts what they now admit was a false attack on me personally to an equally unsubstantiated attack on the national AFA organization — again, without citing any accuser by name or identifying any factual sources or substance for the slur.

Thus, what originally read — “Glenn also denied any allegations of being anti-Semitic, which many groups have accused him of.” — now reads instead — “…which some people have accused the national AFA of being.”

Folks, this student newspaper is funded and operated by your tax dollars.

If you’d like to join us in demanding that CM Life remove all “anti-Semitic” slurs from their story — a subject which, by the way, had nothing whatsoever to do with the topic on which I spoke Tuesday night — please join us in contacting the CMU president’s office as follows:

Phone: (989) 774-3131

Thanks as always for your support!


Gary Glenn, President
American Family Association of Michigan


For more information, contact:
Dennis Lennox, CMU Campus Conservatives

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The managing editor of Central Michigan University’s student newspaper was fired for falsifying accusations that libeled Michigan’s leading traditional values spokesman.

Garrett Ellison had changed a piece after the reporter turned it in for publishing in Wednesday’s edition of Central Michigan Life. His changes claimed American Family Association of Michigan President Gary Glenn was an anti-Semite.

The thrice-weekly newspaper is retracting the story and issuing a full apology in Friday’s edition.

Glenn was at CMU to speak during a Campus Conservatives meeting. He is the author of the 2004 constitutional amendment that enshrined traditional marriage in the Michigan Constitution.

“This is a victory for conservatives, who have been oppressed for years at CMU,” said Campus Conservatives spokesman Dennis Lennox. “One has to wonder how many other utter falsehoods have been published.”

Lennox has also called for the firing of another editor, Caitlin Foyt, who attacked Glenn on Twitter calling him “homophobic” and “anti-semitic (sic).” Foyt, who is bisexual, according to her Facebook profile, has been previously banned from writing about Campus Conservatives because of her biases.

“As a taxpayer-funded newspaper, Central Michigan Life has an obligation to be objective and impartial,” said Lennox. “Students need to know they can trust the school newspaper.”



Letter to CMU newspaper by Rabbi Glenn Harris,
Congregation Shema Yisrael, Bloomfield Hills

To the Editor (Central Michigan Life),

There is a thing called libel. It consists of putting falsehood to print. It potentially carries criminal charges.

Joe Borlik authored an article (“Hundreds protest conservative speaker: Group closes meeting in response to demonstrations” April 8, 2009), in which he commented about American Family Association (of Michigan) President Gary Glenn, and I quote:

“Glenn also denied any allegations of being anti-Semitic, which many groups have accused him of (italics mine). He said the mission statement of his organization has always been to promote Judeo-Christian values.”

Unless Mr. Borlik’s is intentionally sabotaging any future career in journalism, I call on him to either provide the organizations, names and dates of the alleged allegations of anti-Semitism against Mr. Glenn (and they must be verifiably dated prior to 4/8/09), or else retract his statement in writing, with appropriate apologies to your constituency and to Mr. Glenn.

I am all for free speech, but I have a particular disdain for false accusation, particularly when it is memorialized in print. I have known Mr. Glenn for the better part of a decade, and this man has not a shred of anti-Semitism in him.


Rabbi Glenn Harris
Congregation Shema Yisrael
Bloomfield Hills, MI
(248) 593-5150


E-mail message from Joe Borlik, the student reporter under whose
byline the false CM-Life report was published (highlights added):

Gary Glenn,

I apologize if you were unhappy with the article and I will forward this to the managing editor. But I would like you to know that when I wrote the article in the newsroom I never wrote that “many groups have accused you of being anti-semetic.” If I had wrote that I would have said which groups accused you of such allogations. It is not like I wrote it and it instantly went into print. It was edited by three editors after it was written and one of them must have added that in. Once again I apologize.

Joe Borlik
Central Michigan Life
(616) 405-3578

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