Herald edits letter to editor with crowbar, publishes
My letter of comment, before some fourth grader at the Miami Herald got a hold of it and turned into this.
I am an alumnus of the University of Miami, with a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting, 1994. I also publish Artblog.net, a blog that covers the art world locally and abroad. I was dismayed to learn that Kyle Munzenrieder, a fellow writer at miami.metblogs.com, was removed from UM student housing for his blogging at Miamity.com.
Mr. Munzenrieder published a post that hyperlinked to what the Nov. 23 article in the Herald described as a rap song that “included several males describing lewd sexual acts in detail, including group sex references.” The creators of the nine-minute song were current members of the UM football team and former UM housing residents. The post was picked up by ESPN and bad publicity ensued, although the reported behavior surprised few of us familiar with the culture of college football and the history of this specific team.
On Nov. 28, the Herald published a response from Jerry Lewis [sic], vice president of communications at UM, saying that “there is no connection between the Seventh Floor Crew rap song issue and the student being returned to his parents’ supervision.” Rather, “UM officials discovered that the student had used university property and its computer network to post highly inappropriate and explicit photographs and, as the student indicated in the story, he also posted a suicide note.”
Munzenrieder has already explained to UM officials that the suicide note was a joke; Lewis undoubtedly knows this, and chose not to share it with your readers. Munznenrieder characterizes the other assertion as a lie, and points out convincingly that had he violated UM’s technology usage policies, he would have been subjected to a hearing as afforded by the school’s student rights policies. Nothing of the sort took place.
The prospect that my alumni donation might go towards keeping one of the Seventh Floor Crew poetasters in kneepads leaves me extremely reluctant to give to the university. I remain grateful to Munzenrieder for his indifference to the cult of football, and feel bad that its high priests at UM were able to disrupt his academic career with such impunity. If the ‘Canes are so sensitive to bad publicity, they may want to reconsider their regular provision of source material.