The video: CNN's Anderson Cooper grilled Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell this week about his personal blog, which is entirely dedicated to posts about Chris Armstrong, the University of Michigan's first openly gay student body president. (See video below.) Shirvell, a Michigan alum, accuses Armstrong of trying to impose a "radical homosexual agenda" on the school. His blog has featured photos of Armstrong with the word "resign" written across his face, and a rainbow flag with a swastika superimposed on it. Cooper suggests Shirvell's campaign is inappropriate and borders on cyberbullying. "You're a state official, this is a college student," Cooper says. "What are you doing?"
The reaction: Shirvell's "vitriolic blog postings" might very well qualify as cyberbullying, says Jonathan Capehart at The Washington Post, except that Michigan has no cyberbullying law. "What's stunning is his total lack of judgment" along with "his seeming inability to understand how, well, strange his actions are." Plenty of people find Shirvell's views "offensive," says Alix Kemp at The Gateway, but "he has as much right to express them" as anyone else. Some have called for him to be "unceremoniously sacked," but that would turn a bizarre, petty spat into an assault on freedom of speech. Watch a clip from the interview:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- This week I learned the surprisingly dark origins of the Nobel Prize, and more
- How foreign aid screwed up Liberia's ability to fight Ebola
Subscribe to the Week