An ecology professor at the University of Georgia banned his students from using Fox News as a source, according to a screenshot obtained exclusively through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line.
Scott Connelly informed his introductory ecology class that they were only to use “reliable news sources” for an upcoming assignment, citing CNN and the New York Times as examples.
“Please do not draw from questionable sources such as National Inquirer, Fox News, OAN, blogs, etc,” Connelly wrote.
The assignment asked students to find a news story related to technological developments in sustainable energy.
When contacted for comment by YAF over email, Connelly doubled down after being questioned over his ideological bias playing a role in the assignment.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with ‘conservative media outlets’, and I am at a complete loss as to why you are jumping to that conclusion,” Connelly wrote in an email. “This has to do with scientifically accurate news pieces that focus on the topic we are studying… it will be much easier to complete the assignment in a reasonable amount of time if students start with the reliable news organizations that I suggested, which have run countless articles that are scientifically factually correct and also address the topic we are studying.”
Connelly went on to challenge YAF to provide articles from conservative news outlets that would be “suitable” for the assignment.
“…please share with me where your scientific training and expertise was obtained, so I can better appreciate why you find those news sources to be excellent choices to complete this assignment,” he wrote. “And I do remain quite curious which particular news stories from these sources you deem to be best suited for this assignment, so please forward me that list when you compile it.”
Professor Connelly is one of many across the nation who let their own ideological biases take precedence in the classroom. Labeling conservative media outlets as “questionable,” while touting left-leaning sources like CNN and the New York Times as “reliable” for student usage is as blatant as bias gets in the classroom.
Would conservative students be penalized if they were to use a source that Connelly subjectively declared “questionable”? It seems likely, given his defensive reply when called out over email. One can only imagine how he must treat students with whom he disagrees in the classroom setting.
University of Georgia did not respond to YAF’s request for comment.