Fenno’s anonymity is hypocritical

BY EARORA@LAW.HARVARD.EDU

For the RECORD,

Full disclosure: I was highlighted in the Nov. 4 RECORD column “Fenno.” Fenno isn’t my style of comedy or commentary, but my opinion of Fenno’s merits is irrelevant.

Fenno is uniquely anonymous:-“The RECORD will not print unsigned letters.” Fenno does not wish to attach his name to discourteous text, yet indiscriminately calls out fellow students. HLS professors voluntarily step into a spotlight, but Fenno today exposes in print and on the internet the full names of students seeking no public attention. At the same time, Fenno’s author and the RECORD’s editors keep Fenno’s identity a secret.

Editorial cartoonists sign their work. Far from wearing masks, the cast of HLS’s “Parody” publish their names in a program. Proud of their perspectives, these speakers do not hide from the same critical gaze they turn on others.

Unlike in the past, Fenno’s current incarnation does not use anonymity to speak truth to power; she simply prefers not to associate her name with the column’s rudeness. Fenno has the right to publish anonymously, but a responsible writer would not exploit immunity she denies her subjects.

Publicly disseminating caricatures of identified private individuals from behind a veil of anonymity is cowardly and disingenuous. Fenno authors, if you have something to say-be it profound, comical, or neither-speak it loudly and clearly. But embrace your viewpoint and attach your name to it. You demand no less from the students you profile.

Signed,Elizabeth Arora

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