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The Alumni of Belmont University

Saturday, April 15, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Glenn has alerted me to the resignation of Bill Hobbes from Belmont University. I am having some trouble putting together a narrative of what happened here, but it doesn’t look good for the University at this point, and if anyone posts a chronology of events, I will link to it here.

In the meantime, it seems to me that alumni of Belmont University might want to inquire of their school what is going on there, and how it conforms to the mission statement of the university.

UPDATE: Background from an e-mailer:

Bill is a former journalist and the most well known blogger in the Nashville area, but he stopped blogging shortly after the first of the year citing competing priorities. However, he continued commenting frequently at other local blogs. Because of Bill’s conservative politics, and because he rarely walks away from a disagreement, he has gained a fair number of enemies in the local blogosphere.

At the time that the Danish cartoons controversy broke out, Bill created a stick figure cartoon called Mohammed Blows on a Blogger site. He never did anything else with the blog and did not advertise it in anyway, and he says that he forgot that it even existed. However, when Bill created another Blogger website for the purpose of starting an unofficial blog for the just announced Republican gubernatorial candidate, Jim Bryson, the cartoon site showed up in a list of sites on Bill’s Blogger profile. Please note that Bill had no official connection to the Bryson campaign. A local Democratic political hack, Mike Kopp, who previously worked for Al Gore and more recently in the administration of Tennessee governor Phil Bredeson, found the site and posted the cartoon on his blog. Bill quickly removed the site and commented at several other blogs that it was created as a result of a lapse in judgment during a time of personal crisis, and apologized. The Nashville Scene, a local alternative weekly owned by The Village Voice, then ran a vicious piece by John Spragens (who reportedly is about to go to work for Democratic U.S. Representative Jim Cooper), reprinting the cartoon and at three different points suggesting that Belmont should consider its association with Bill. Bill’s resignation was announced the following morning.

Interestingly, it is unlikely that more than a handful of people ever saw the offensive cartoon until Mike Kopp and the Nashville Scene chose to use it.

Roger Abramson, a conservative who previously wrote for the Nashville Scene, has extensive comments here. The blog Nashville Files also has several posts.

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