Bias in Occupy Harvard article?

Thank you for the full-width front-page photo of Friday’s MITHenge in the Nov. 15 edition. What an outstanding sight.

However, the reporting involving our distinguished alum deserved better handling than was forthcoming in the story immediately below that awesome photo.

The piece contained language that could itself be accused of bias. The correct tone for reporting is not “bias … which was identified in an open letter,” but rather “bias … which was the subject of an open letter.” Similarly, the phrase “because of problems students raised with the class” is not well thought out. “Problems” are not capable of being “raised.” “Problems” may exist, or be perceived, which may subsequently lead to “questions” or “issues” being raised. But in any case, there is certainly a piece of sentence structure regarding perception that is absent, implying syntactically that a fact about ‘problems’ is being reported, rather than an opinion.

Also, the phrase “to show solidarity with” unquoted is hardly correct form for a meaningful campus newspaper like our venerable Tech. This is the second time we have seen this phrase on the front page in four weeks.

The student who organized a walkout of 10 percent of the students in that Harvard class clearly shows her political motivation in the quotes given. The sole coherent motivation given in these quotes is that she objects to the economic policies of the President for whom our alum, her professor, once worked. In fact not one coherent argument for reasonable perception of bias in Mankiw’s class is presented. It could be very reasonably suggested that while such an event with questionable motives does deserve reporting, it does not deserve reporting as the first story in our Tech, especially in such a fashion that could easily be accused of taking the side against our alum, and with the politically-motivated 10 percent of a Harvard class.

Thank you for continuing to spark our interest. However, it appears that additional editorial review may be required to maintain the standard of reportage to which we have become accustomed, and which our alums deserve.

Douglas B. Seymour is an SM candidate in Course 1.