USA Today’s affiliate the Sarasota Herald-Tribune immediately upon my appointment to serve as a Trustee at New College of Florida published a hit piece on me by looking through my sparse Twitter profile. In a subsequent editorial in the comments section, there were comments that were at the least unwelcoming and at the most an incitement to violence. I asked that they remove the comments and they ignored me. Later a death threat was made against me. Still, they ignored it and then finally removed one of the comments.
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In a previous blog, I wrote:
I only ask that you formally apologize and admit your mistake here in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune with adequate visibility. Or you can admit your duplicitous double standard for people with whom you disagree by not recognizing your mistake and ignoring this request once again.
I then laid out my intentions in another blog:
I move that we remove USA Today and its affiliates from the list of approved media outlets until an apology is received with a commitment from USA Today to adhere to its own policies.
It was this that warranted a letter from USA Today’s legal representation. After citing many cases and legal opinions, some of them valid, some of them bluster,
Your contention that a comment on the Herald-Tribune website did not comport with USA Today’s “Conversation Guidelines” does not change this analysis. Nothing in the law empowers you to enforce those guidelines or to threaten punishment to the Herald-Tribune for not applying them as you prefer. Your unhappiness with the Herald-Tribune’s handling of a third-party comment is inconsequential. In any event, we note that this comment was removed several days before your correspondence.
So, USA Today will not apologize but doubles down on their duplicitous double standard.
In Sarasota Herald-Tribune/USA Today’s article yesterday by Chris Anderson, there are three previous articles about me mentioned. Two articles have new information that would be shared if USA Today were true to their journalistic duties. First, after maligning me as a covid conspiracist, new information put out by the CDC reveals much of the conspiracy theory to be conspiracy fact.
Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination
The second article states that the Board member's request for prayer was denied. Now, after consulting the existing law, my prayer request was granted. There has yet to be a follow-up from USA Today.
In an article in American Thinker, Tanya Berlaga quoted The First Continental Congress in 1774:
The last right we shall mention regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honorable and just modes of conducting affairs.
This is not a surprise; much of the mainstream media has lost its way. It appears that USA Today has morphed into a propaganda arm of wokeness, whereby its oppressive officers need to be shamed or intimidated into more honorable and just modes of conducting affairs. It is more and more understandable every day why Trump called the mainstream media “fake news” and “enemy of the people.”
Latest Hit Piece, Laughable
There’s a guy who knows a guy who knows Eddie, and that first guy was a felon. That is basically the headline. That is not hyperbole. You’ve got to examine your life’s decisions if Simone’s tea is stronger than yours. (Starts at the :26 mark)
Further accusations are scattered about in a sloppy attempt to throw as much spaghetti on the wall as possible to see what sticks. For these, our current board member and my business partner for over 20 years, Ciaran Dwyer, responds here:
Your article dated February 8, 2023, which made several references to 21stCentury Ministries dba Inspiration Academy includes many insinuations of impropriety based on one individual (Mr. Huff) who has no connection to the school whatsoever.
For your information, the school has a current letter of compliance from the Dept of Agriculture and Human Services (expiration July 23, 2023) based on following the registration requirements of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes, the Solicitation of Contributions Act. This includes filing the current Form 990 with the State.
Your article also refers to a $400,000 loan that Mrs. Heinemann made to Mrs. Speir in 2016. Starting a school in West Bradenton was a challenging business plan but a beautiful ministry plan. The school struggled for its first four years and required the founders, Mr. & Mrs. Speir, to put all their assets on the line to keep the school going. Mrs. Heinemann was willing to provide a loan to Mrs. Speir for additional funding to keep the school open. By God’s grace, the school is now financially stable.
It has been and continues to be an honor to sacrifice and even mortgage our house for a cause we believe in with others who believe in the same mission. This must never have entered Chris Anderson’s mind. The mission, in part, is so beautifully aligned with New College’s distinctive. To treat every student as the exception and develop their unique gifts.
Chris Anderson and others don’t seem to understand this. It is difficult for those who have bent the knee in a foolish transaction with the bishops of wokeness to comprehend such a sacrifice. My wife, Claire, is proud of our actions, and your vain attempt to damage her reputation only serves to highlight her integrity, leadership, and character.
I am reminded of a quote in the movie “300.” It’s a long scene but worth the watch. In this beautiful moment in history when western civilization began, and freemen stood against tyranny, Xerxes then made threats against their women. Leonidas says, “clearly, you don’t know our women.”
To USA Today and Chris Anderson, I say, “clearly, you don’t know my wife.”
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Last night I overheard Chris Rock passionately complain to Judd Aptow that Woke is a religion. I thought-- Has he been reading Speir's Substack?!
I told him that people were trying to make this college an anti-woke school and he fatalistically said its never gonna happen! He said he saw the writing on the wall about college nonsense back in the 90s.
Normal outspoken people have a very bad opinion of colleges - but you are up against a community in denial of how at least half the country thinks.
Its frustrating that they refuse to investigate just how much higher ed and K-12 have changed for the worse. We have not created a better educated population since the 60s-- we have done the reverse. College professors used to be among the most respected of profesions, now they are at the bottom along with used car salesmen. But those in academia refuse to take responsibility for this demotion.
Now the average American IQ has fallen below 100-- so below basic level. Average isn't even average anymore. This makes it all the more important to be focusing on common sense.
There are lawyers who will take your case of slander seriously. Try for example Morgan & Morgan who advertise that they take cases after review and get their profits from the proceeds of a win.
The most difficult attacks you will face will be against your family. Stand firm. I see your wife is standing firm. Much harm is brought about with innuendo and duplicitous intent both of which are being thrown at you “ to see what sticks” but Morgan and Morgan will be able to use law to see what sticks among the various charges brought against you.
I have experience but I never sued, for at the time I was too inexperienced to stand under the excruciating pressure. I woke one morning and found the St Pete Times headline on the front page “ Teaching Hate to Students” with a picture of me beneath the headlines. It was a school picture from my 10 years of National award winning teaching. What I noticed first - being a blond - was their “ art” or “ news” department had drawn my eyebrows sharp and black, which accomplished the goal of making me appear to be a witch. In short, I have experience with what you are experiencing and I know the feeling of hopelessness that can ensue.
I’m glad you are more of a fighter than I was in my 40’s! One last example. My father - when I was in the 7th grade - formed a committee and took on the illegal stuffing of ballot boxes that kept a criminal group in power in our little 10,000 person county in SW Georgia. Because a young investigative reporter in the Atlanta Journal got interested ( the Lieutenant Governor was from our town) the reporter worked with my father to get the word out as well as the criminals out. It was dangerous work and in an illegal gambling hall in a nearby county when Jack Nelson,the investigative reporter and my father Tom Davis entered “the joint” there on the wall were tiny “column photos”of a group of reporters to be wary of as a threat to business : Jack’s photo was among them. A bouncer wearing guns played on the jukebox “ Fools rush in where angels dare to tread” and he played it over and over. In short, It took real courage to face powerful evil in the early 1960’s. It still does.
The reporter became the DC Bureau chief of the LA Times. and it’s true that history repeats itself because the only column I’ve read that provided a balanced read about New College was written by the Atlanta bureau chief of the LA Times,where Jack Nelson worked. concerning the situation at New College the techniques of the fight has not changed. Here in Sarasota are being insinuated as a crook by a newspaper slur because you are local and easy fruit to pick, not a nationally known powerhouse like Rufo.
Furthermore, The student who did stand up to the university and support Rufo ( and also was quoted in the LA Times) lives with me. Jesse Hudson does not ever plan to desert the Western Canon and because of it he has been called (on Twitter and elsewhere) “ stupid, rube, baby, ignorant, behind the times, sexually repressed, “- anything at all that could denigrate him was repeated ad Infinitum. By strangers.
So here’s my point : since I have front-line experienced what you, your wife, and my student ( whom I am here in Bradenton driving to classes where he studies theoretical mathematics) are being forced to endure let me commend your courage.
It’s fun to watch movies where one honest man takes on Congress as a hero but when Mr Smith DOES go to Washington” such heroes with stalwart courage are portrayed as in Brave NEW World or 1984 in “newspeak” - war is peace; good is evil; courage is cowardice.” Were I teaching ( I’m always “ fired-up” to teach and always “fired” for it ) ... my first essay assignment would be define “Courage.” You do, Jesse Hudson does, Chris Rufo does, my father did. He was born in 1910 and knew an old man who at 12 seating latecomers in Ford Theatre, saw Lincoln assassinated; my father had his glasses broken when a county sheriff hit him in the face with the butt of the sheriff’s pistol; my father was the small town printer, the unknown Bed Franklin with the college degree from Purdue in the Western Heritage; my father was an embodiment of courage. Take heart, sir, because Tom Davis lived in peace to 99 years old.