How to Misuse State Funding When There Is None

ACADEME BLOG

Huffington Post has published an article by Tyler Kingkade with the headline: “Tennessee Lawmakers Consider Bill That Could Chill Free Speech.”

It is not an especially shocking headline because we have now become very used to the reality that the Far Right sees no hypocrisy in defining unlimited corporate political contributions as the exercise of free speech while denouncing the exercise of free speech by actual citizens.

Nonetheless the tease under the headline did get my attention: “Republicans hate the idea of students organizing ‘Sex Week’ so much, they’re threatening to withhold funding that already doesn’t exist.”

Yes, it turns out that the students themselves are funding this week of events—that neither the state government nor even the University of Tennessee are providing funding. So, as Kingkade points out in his article, the outrage over what is characterized as an inappropriate use of tax dollars has no actual basis in…

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