My Colleague: Marc Lamont Hill

Marc Lamont Hill, the ousted gabber for CNN, is a poster child for what’s wrong with academia and journalism.

Last year Hill contacted Temple University about teaching there, and the university bigwigs jumped at the chance to employ him.

The school gave him a tenured job, coupled with an endowed chair in the Department of Media Studies and Production, which is part of the college I teach in. In fact, his office is just around the corner from mine, although I haven’t seen him there.

Had the university tried to assign him to my department, I would have vigorously opposed the decision—probably without success.

His “scholarship” includes a co-authored book with Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted cop killer. Hill is convinced Abu-Jamal is innocent, although the courts have determined otherwise for decades.

Another book focuses on his disgust with cops, particularly the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He’s the guy who didn’t raise his hands.

Hill is an avowed Marxist who’s buddies with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of The Nation of Islam and a vehement anti-Semite. Here are a few of Farrakhan’s rants about Jews:

Either Hill knew what he said at the United Nations was a blatant attack on Israel’s right to exist or was ignorant about its meaning despite claiming expertise about the Middle East. He can’t have it both ways, which is what he’s been trying to do.

But this recent attack was far from the first. Here is a recitation of his attacks on Israel:

I’ve only had a couple of interactions with Hill. I appeared on his Huffington Post show a few years back as the token conservative. I didn’t get asked back.

Also, he decided to offer a course in the journalism program about Germantown, a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Philadelphia.

Having spent a great deal of time working with the Germantown community and its news media, I offered some suggestions in an email to Hill. I didn’t even get a collegial acknowledgment of my analysis.

Hill planned to hold the class in the bookstore and coffee shop he opened in Germantown— an obvious conflict of financial interest that Temple University vetoed.

What’s also interesting is that his course evaluations are absolutely awful. See

While CNN bounced Hill for his inappropriate comments about Israel, a Temple University spokeswoman stood steadfastly behind his right to freedom of speech. Fortunately, the chairman of the board of trustees has stated that the university will determine where Hill can be reprimanded or fired.

Hill’s comments are clearly hate speech. As I tell my media law students, the First Amendment usually protects such speech. But his protection under the First Amendment doesn’t mean the university can’t get rid of him if it really wants to do so. I hope his office opens up some day soon. It’s a nice one! Stay tuned.