“Effectively, Home Speaker Mike Johnson crashed Hamas’s spring break at Columbia right now.”

That quip got here from the Fox Information host Jesse Watters, who was interviewing Mr. Johnson on his prime-time show Wednesday.

In response to a standoff between scholar protesters and the college’s president, Mr. Johnson had visited Columbia University’s campus, the place college students had arrange encampments in solidarity with Palestinians. He was booed throughout a quick information convention on the steps of a college library.

“So a lot of them, Jesse, don’t know what the heck they’re speaking about,” Mr. Johnson stated.

Mr. Johnson’s look on “Jesse Watters Primetime” embodied the chiding and sometimes adversarial tone of conservative media towards the most recent wave of protests on school campuses over Israel’s marketing campaign in Gaza. Within the conservative media sphere, the protests are contemporary proof of the dysfunction and unrest which have lengthy gripped liberal establishments — significantly at Ivy League faculties — as social actions like Black Lives Matter, and now pro-Palestinian activism, unfold their affect.

“There’s a distinction between educated individuals and sensible individuals,” Mike Huckabee, the previous governor of Arkansas and Fox Information host, stated on the community Tuesday. “Plenty of these school children are educated, however they’re not actual sensible.”

It’s an outdated line that has met a brand new second.

For years, conservative commentators have routinely pointed to incidents on campuses as illustrative of elite, liberal hypocrisy. Cases of conservative audio system being shouted down by college students throughout occasions have been grist for the concept college directors have been illiberal of dissenting views, whereas coddling college students.

In 2016, then Fox Information host Todd Starnes pointed to a Black Lives Matter protest inside a Dartmouth School library as proof that white college students have been being “verbally assaulted.” Two years later, Charlie Kirk, a conservative activist, said on Fox: “I discover on school campuses, probably the most illiberal individuals are these those that preach tolerance.”

This type of commentary has taken on a brand new valence previously week, as scholar encampments and protests have roiled campuses. Many Jewish college students have reported feeling unsafe due to the protests, one thing conservative retailers have emphasised of their protection. In a latest column, Rikki Schlott of The New York Publish wrote that the encampments have been a “betrayal” to Jewish college students at Columbia.

Antisemitism is “exploding right here in the US,” Katrina Szish of Newsmax, a smaller conservative community, said on Thursday when she interviewed Tal Heinrich, the spokeswoman for Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The coed protesters, a lot of whom are Jewish, say they’re being intentionally mislabeled as violent and antisemitic to distract from their targets, which embody forcing their universities to divest from Israel. Protest leaders insist they’re merely making an attempt to assist Palestinians and converse out towards the conflict in Gaza.

However there have been a number of cases of hate speech and threats of violence particularly directed at Jewish college students.

“We’re Hamas, we’re all Hamas” and “All you do is colonize” are among the many uglier assaults directed at Jewish college students inside and outdoors Columbia’s campus in the course of the latest protests. On Friday, a scholar chief of the protests on the college apologized for feedback he made in a January video, during which he stated, “Zionists don’t need to stay.”

Fox Information, Newsmax, The Wall Avenue Journal and The New York Publish didn’t reply to requests for remark.

The protests have jumped far from the elite universities within the Northeast which can be a favourite punching bag for conservative commentators to colleges throughout the nation. That features the College of Texas, the place state troopers have arrested greater than 50 protesters, and the College of Minnesota, the place 9 protesters have been arrested after erecting an encampment.

However the criticism of how universities are dealing with the scenario dovetails with some political opinions about school campuses. Polls present that conservatives have misplaced religion in greater training lately, and conservative media retailers have steadily lined campuses as incubators for left-wing ideologies and as hostile to conservatives.

“This is among the outcomes of a campus tradition that has been rising more and more problematic for years, principally as a result of college directors have been tolerating id and left-wing politics and protests,” Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for The Wall Avenue Journal’s conservative editorial web page, stated on the “Potomac Watch” podcast on Tuesday.

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