Avoid hard questions: give fashion advice instead

I resurface for the moment to share this with you. From The Chronicle of Higher Education's elections blog:

At the event, Brent Igo, an assistant professor of psychology at Clemson, asked Mr. McCain whether he’d consider someone a terrorist for researching the events of September 11, 2001, according to the AP. He said he wanted the candidate to weigh in on federal legislation that Mr. Igo believes could threaten such academic work.

In his response to Mr. Igo, Mr. McCain commented on the attire of the professor, who wore a gray sports jacket over a pink knit shirt with jeans and tennis shoes, the AP said.

“From the sneakers, you’re not a snappy dresser,” the senator was quoted as saying. “That doesn’t mean you’re a terrorist. You terrorize the senses.”

The original AP story is here.

I will admit that academics are not always the best dressed, but then again we have to dress ourselves. Still, the use of "fashion commentary" to dodge a question is irritating at best, since the issue is serious.

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