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ITHACA, N.Y. — A conservative cartoonist recently took a jab at Cornell University for its treatment of Fox News correspondent Jesse Watters, who was expelled from campus for arriving without announcement and interviewing students on the “liberal bias” of Cornell’s faculty.
Bruce Tinsley, a political cartoonist best known for his Mallard Fillmore comic strip, poked fun at Cornell’s reaction toward Watters. The comic strip, which appears in more than 400 newspapers nationwide, features a duck named Mallard who is a conservative reporter.
In the comic, Mallard the duck says, “Cornell University, questioned by a Fox News reporter about whether it has a liberal bias, responded by kicking the reporter, Jesse Watters off its campus.” The duck then asks, “So, Cornell…can we take that as a ‘yes’?”
In late October, Watters was on Cornell’s campus to film a half-serious segment for the O’Riley Factor. Watters asked students questions about the liberal bias of the Cornell faculty after a report from Cornell Daily Sun that showed 96 percent of nearly $600,000 of political donations by the faculty went to the Democratic Party.
Watters also asked questions that seemed to mock the professors by asking students whether professors pass around “doobies” or “burn incense” in class. When a student incorrectly answered his question of what the national debt is currently, Watters responded by saying, “Professors aren’t telling you the truth.”
In addition to Tinsley’s comic strip, Cornell has received criticism Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, who noted that while he was acting as a provocateur, he posed no real threat to Cornell’s students or to the university itself.
In a statement, Cornell said its decision to expel Watters from campus was “motivated by our responsibility to protect student privacy” and that Cornell “believes in exposing students to a diverse set of perspectives”. The statement also said that Fox News gave no advance notice to the university to set up interviews with students.