Six professors at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School signed a letter demanding that Penn President Amy Gutmann investigate allegations that President Donald Trump fraudulently gained admission to the university 50 years ago.
“Failing to investigate an allegation of fraud at such a level broadcasts to prospective students and the world at large that the playing field is not equal,” wrote the professors in part. The allegation? It was made by Trump-family feud exploiter Mary Trump, the President’s niece, in her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” She wrote that someone named Joe Shapiro, whom she described as a “smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker,” was paid “well” to take the SAT for the President, thus helping Trump get into the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate.
Now, she has clarified that this was a different Joe Shapiro than the one married to Maria Shriver, though that Joe has known the President for years. (That Joe Shapiro could sue her.) No, it’s another Joe Shapiro…one who can’t be found. Mary says she is certain Trump cheated on his SATs, though she has no proof at all (and obviously wasn’t on hand for the test), because she trusts the people who told her, whom she does not name. “I’m counting on people I trust who told me this story. So, in terms of documentation, no, I can’t prove it. But I can certainly say with 100% certainty that I was told this story by a source very close to Donald,” she told George Stephanopoulas on ABC.
Mary later said she got the idea from the President’s 83-year-old sister, whom Mary—this is a real class act we’re talking about here—surreptitiously taped trashing her brother. At one point in the hours of tapes made in 2018 and 2019, the President’s older sister said she “believed” her brother cheated on the “SATs or whatever.” So apparently Mary is 100% sure that she “was told the story” by her aunt, who, since she said she “believed” her brother cheated on his, well, some test, apparently had no first hand information on the matter herself. Why nobody has asked the retired judge to explain why she “believes” her brother cheated, I don’t know. But she, being a lawyer, could tell them that the tape would be inadmissible as evidence of what she thought, if she was still around to testify directly.
[Notice of correction: I initially wrote that Trump’s sister was dead. Stupid mistake. Thanks to Michael for the heads up.]
That makes Mary’s claim double hearsay.
Do note that the news media refused to report that a woman who was willing to be identified said she was raped by Bill Clinton, but an allegation by an estranged niece against President Trump based on hearsay accounts by anonymous sources was considered worthy of broadcast. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!
But hey, I have lower than low expectations for what passes for journalists today. Educators are supposed to be smart, aren’t they? Wise? Logical? If not, why would anyone allow them to teach? And yet here are six professors at a prestigious business school, Legal Studies & Business Ethics Professors Brian Berkey, Julian Jonker, William Laufer, Eric Orts, Amy Sepinwall, and Kevin Werbach demanding an “investigation” based on nothing but rumors and bad blood. They argue, however, that “President Trump has provided substantial evidence that he is not above lying and cheating in other contexts.”
This, you will immediately recognize, was the basic argument behind the Russian collusion investigation. “He’s that kind of guy who would do something like that, so he probably did it. We don’t need any more evidence.”
Only in an environment in which a large proportion of the public and professions, especially in academia, have lost all sense of fairness and proportion, and thus regard any slurs on the character of the President of the United States as proof of the attacker’s virtue, would six people of supposedly good character make such an unethical demand in public.
University Provost Wendell Pritchett denied the professors’ request on behalf of Penn President Amy Gutmann, stating, “this situation occurred too far in the past to make a useful or probative factual inquiry possible.”
A few final points:
- One of the common fall-back arguments of the Trump Deranged is that Barack Obama was subjected to no less furious harassment and denigration by the Right. This, of course, is absurd on its face. On a related topic, many Obama critics asked to see President Obama’s college transcripts, suspecting that they would undercut the narrative that he was academically brilliant. No one called for an “investigation,” however, and the news media was notably uninterested.
- I have no doubts that President Trump has been and is capable of all manner of dishonesty, but I don’t see why he would feel it necessary to fake his SAT scores. I worked on admissions for one prestigious graduate school, and attended a college with an exalted reputation. Billionaires and millionaires could get their sons admitted if their breath showed on a mirror. The test scores of some of the admitted children of wealthy lawyers, not to mention affirmative action students, astounded me.
This episode is one more indication that Trump Derangement is heading into a new stage, and we can expect increasingly bizarre behavior as the possibility that the President will prevail in November becomes stronger.
I refuse to allow my head to explode over these warped and unethical people.