VIDEO: MRoth Appears On Fox News To Talk Sanctuary Campuses


I sometimes really wished I watched cable news. You know, among a life of reading, work, class, essays, and more at a Liberal University™, I feel like I somehow miss out on the rather illuminating shows on channels like Fox News. For anyone who might not know, Fox News is that one cable news channel that employs an anchor that declares that, you know, poverty isn’t all that bad because poor people have fridges. It is also the cable news channel that was founded and run by a sexual predator for 20 years. I am so checked out from the channel that I don’t notice when Evil Presidents of Liberal Universities™ are featured as guests (fodder for conservative viewers sitting on their couch in South Carolina eating spaghetti-o’s?).

Luckily, Melody Oliphant ’13 was paying attention to the channel and informed us that our dear old President Michael S. Roth ’78 appeared on the channel to talk to Tucker Carlson about Wesleyan’s decision to declare itself a Sanctuary Campus. Tucker Carlson is a Trinity graduate from a Middletown, but different from the one I am in now. He hails from Middletown, RI and hosts a show called Tucker Carlson Tonight every weekday on the channel at 7PM.

In the video, Carlson first questions President Roth by asking “If the Trump administration makes deportation its policy, will you give up the hundreds of millions of dollars that Wesleyan takes in taxpayer money?” Roth then goes on to challenge the notion of “hundreds of millions” and makes a jab at the Argus in the process (that’s fucked up, Roth). But then, he saves us all by making the conservative pundit visibly angry with his reasoned argument. Carlson didn’t seem able to grasp the idea that the declaration made by Roth was *shockingly* perfectly legal.

Carlson then practically begs Roth to admit that he wished he brainwashed us unthinking liberal human lavalamps a little more so that maybe, just maybe, Trump wouldn’t have been elected. Doesn’t Tucker know that, of all people, Wesleyan students historically listen to the opinions of their President the least, because like we’re so anti-establishment man?

I think we can say that we all like Roth a little more for destroying a Fox News anchor. Watch the exchange in full:

[UPDATED: Tuesday, November 22, 11:01PM]

We really messed up and forgot to mention that the Fox News host went to Trinity. Thanks to Twitter user @jarsilver for pointing this out (and Wikipedia for the confirmation):

  • President Roth did say that Carlson went to school in Hartford early in the “interview”. I was wondering whether he meant the University of Hartford or if I had misheard Harvard. Thanks for letting us know, jarsilver, that Carlson did go to school in Hartford at Trinity.

    There were a couple of areas where President Roth could have gotten in better digs at Carlson. He could have pointed out that, while there is a place at top colleges for conservatives, there is no place for climate change deniers or religious extremists because their views are fundamentally anti-intellectual. Simply put, it is not possible for an intelligent person with an open inquiring mind (both requirements for true success at a liberal arts university) to conclude that humans are not burning our planet up. Likewise, it is not possible for an intellectual to conclude that every word in the bible is the literal truth.

    A second area where President Roth could have given Carlson a body blow is by pointing out the hypocrisy of a Fox “News” host feigning outrage because a university President didn’t remain studiously neutral when confronted with the possibility that a charlatan could become President. The obvious irony is that the supposed “fair and balanced” station was a leading purveyor of fake news, invaiably designed to help the Republican party, e.g., giving Trump lots of time to spout his nonsensical birtherism. 1986

  • Peter Michaelson

    President Roth disgraced himself and the University, becoming the
    poster child for the left-wing, out-of-touch, intellectually-arrogant academic
    community. When asked by Tucker Carlson why Wesleyan needs to be a Sanctuary University, he lamely responded that it was ridiculous for the federal government to be trying to deport 12 million people. What does this have to do with Wesleyan? Last time I checked, Wesleyan does not have 12 million students, much less 12 million illegal immigrants. President-Elect Trump has most recently stated that
    all he intends to do is enforce existing law by deporting illegal immigrants
    who have been convicted of a crime. That being the case, how many students Wesleyan does have who are subject to deportation. And why would Wesleyan have any students at all, illegal immigrants or otherwise, who have been convicted of crimes? President Roth also stated that he had failed the University by not convincing enough students to not vote for Donald Trump. Is political campaigning really part of President Roth’s job? If Mr. Roth wants to be involved in politics, why doesn’t he leave Wesleyan and run for the Senate, like University President Ted Etherington did in 1970?

    Peter Michaelson ’71

  • zikka

    clueless youtube posters. all they can comment about is “the hair”

  • Roth Stop

    Roth got destroyed and has to stop. He just made Wesleyan look really bad. I
    We don’t need to here his thoughts on it all anymore. I hate the fact that he feels like he is speaking for all of us on campus. Please stop and just focus on running Wesleyan. I am starting to feel really like outcast these days and he has everything to do with it.

    • words words words ;-)

      hear* :-)

  • :(

    Embarrassingly, I think Tucker won the latter half of that exchange. When pressed to cite a specific instance Trump threatened to “roll back civil rights,” Roth could only mention voting restrictions (which is really an indictment of the Republican Party in general), and – as Tucker repeatedly pointed out – could not actually come up with any sort of link between voting restrictions or voter suppression and Trump’s campaign. I mean, if you’re going to make bold statements about the President-elect being a dangerous demagogue (and Trump certainly is), then you better be prepared to back up those statements when appearing on national television.

    Later, when asked how he could have “done more” to prevent Trump’s election, Roth brings up the distinction between his role as Wesleyan’s president and his role as a citizen, before Tucker points out that Roth specifically said he could have done more “as a university president.” Roth then proceeds to spend the rest of the interview dodging the question about what he could have done *as Wesleyan’s president* to prevent Trump’s election. Roth talks about encouraging all students to be politically engaged, but this does not answer Tucker’s actual question, and Tucker knew it.

    We all know Trump is a monster, but let’s not pretend Roth performed well in this interview.

    • :(

      Also, I’m guilty of jabs like this too, but the “fodder for conservative viewers sitting on their couch in South Carolina eating spaghetti-o’s” remark is exactly the kind of thing that perpetuates this idea of “elite, out-of-touch liberals” that is driving certain voters away from the Democratic Party.