Here's the Latest Fallout From Dr. Biden Op-Ed

Northwestern denounces author, 'Wall Street Journal' editor stands by the piece
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2020 3:36 AM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2020 6:59 AM CST
Here's the Latest Fallout From Dr. Biden Op-Ed
President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden leave the The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Northwestern University is making sure to point out that it does not agree with the controversial op-ed about Dr. Jill Biden written by one of its former lecturers. In fact, it calls Joseph Epstein's suggestion that Biden drop the honorific since she's not a medical doctor "misogynistic." The school notes Epstein, an author and former professor, has not taught there since 2003. "While we firmly support academic freedom and freedom of expression, we do not agree with Mr. Epstein's opinion and believe the designation of doctor is well deserved by anyone who has earned a Ph.D., an Ed.D. or an M.D.," its statement reads. The university's English department, where Epstein once lectured, issued its own statement noting that Epstein's piece "casts unmerited aspersion on Dr. Jill Biden's rightful public claiming of her doctoral credentials and expertise."

It goes on to note that the department "rejects this opinion as well as the diminishment of anyone's duly-earned degrees in any field, from any university." For his part, Epstein told CNN in response to a request for a comment, "No comment, apart from saying that I thought mine a lightly humorous piece, but I fear there isn't much humor in the world, especially among the politically correct." Biden's spokesperson called on the Wall Street Journal to take the piece down, tweeting that it is a "repugnant display of chauvinism." And the incoming "second gentleman," Doug Emhoff, tweeted, "This story would never have been written about a man." But the Journal's opinion editor wasn't backing down. "This is how cancel culture works," Paul Gigot wrote. "These pages aren’t going to stop publishing provocative essays merely because they offend the new administration or the political censors in the media and academe." (More Jill Biden stories.)

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