The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Thanks to his penchant for acting in his own interests instead of that of the school he runs, Jerry Falwell Jr., is facing calls for an investigation from his own students.

Last week, over 60 Liberty University students protested Falwell’s conduct, asking for an “open and clean investigation” into Falwell. This comes on the heels of a lengthy Politico piece which detailed Falwell’s impressive amount of misdeeds.

There’s nepotism — he hired his son to run a shopping center owned by Liberty. There are shady loans — Falwell has pressured the University to give loans to his friends. There’s a positively Trumpian tangle of overlapping interests, such as the fact that, through a shell company, the University’s real estate manager owns a nearby hotel and Falwell’s son is a silent partner. At least once, Politico reported, Liberty employees were asked to promote the hotel on the school’s website.

And then there’s Falwell’s Trump-style hypocrisy. While running a school that prohibits male-female dancing, for example, Falwell goes nightclubbing in Miami.

There’s also the traveling with a 21-year-old pool boy, of course.

Akin to Trump, Falwell also has a decidedly loose interpretation of what it means to be a non-profit. The university, ostensibly a nonprofit, had $1 billion in revenue and over $200 million in profits in 2016 alone. They make that money by refusing to grant tenure to professors, starting course designers at salaries around $11 per hour, and spending very little money on students.

Instead, the school now boasts a football stadium that just saw a $40 million upgrade, a $3.2 million shooting range, and more. Falwell personally earns nearly $1 million per year in salary. And when Trump came to Liberty in 2017, Falwell had the school print and sell Trump-branded merchandise, which might be a violation of nonprofit laws as well.

All of this behavior is what led to the students’ desires to see a full and fair examination of what’s happening at the school. As one of the leaders of the protest, Ian Parish, put it, even students who aren’t typically very political are “outraged and incensed” with Falwell. Students aren’t calling for him to be ousted or to step down. Their “real mission and goal” is just to see learn if the allegations against Falwell are true.

Falwell is not handling this well at all. In fact, he’s reacting in a fashion that is one of the things these students were already concerned about. The student protest was spurred not only by the Politico piece but also by a Reuters story that found Falwell using ableist slurs like “half-wit,” and calling a student “emotionally imbalanced.”

In response to the protests, Falwell has responded with the same vicious behavior, tweeting out an Instagram post mocking the protesters.

Published with permission of The American Independent.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

David Perdue
David Perdue

With most conservative candidates in primary races across the country pledging allegiance to former President Trump and disseminating his Big Lie, what is a Republican candidate to do to get ahead? Why, just accuse their Republican opponent of having ties to China, of course!

Spurious, misleading, and even exaggerated accusations of connections with China are a source of anxiety for Republicans in the 2022 races, while campaign strategists and candidates have labeled such allegations a “prime attack in a Republican primary,” according to the Washington Post.

Keep reading... Show less

John Eastman

Former Trump attorney John Eastman used his University of Colorado email account to collude with a Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania to formulate a pretext to seat Trump electors in a state Joe Biden won by nearly 82,000 votes. It was a last ditch-bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election, new emails obtained by the House Select Committee show.

Eastman devised a sinister idea to label tens of thousands of absentee ballots illegitimate, thus giving then-President Trump the state’s popular vote lead. This method, Eastman proposed, “would help provide some cover,” beneath which Republicans could swap Biden’s electors with sham electors for Trump who would subvert the 2020 elections.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}