Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Daily Mississippian Figures It Out

A lot of the alumni of the University of Mississippi have seen something of a cult of personality develop around Robert Khayat, the Chancellor of that institution. He's good at making people think he's listening to them, even when he's just waiting to turn on them. The man's a snake, make no mistake about it-he's the kind of guy whose modus operandi is to use people until they've used up their usefulness. David Cutcliffe and Rod Barnes were useful idiots when the state flag was being voted on-they made their support for Khayat's preferred design public(remember he spent about a week on Fox News lobbying?). Want to play where are they now?

The definition of a good friend to Robert Khayat is based entirely on how deep their pocketbook is. Dickie Scruggs' pocketbook is pretty deep, so his loyalty is assured. It's no surprise that he used University letterhead to beg for leniency for Dickie. After all, he's used to getting everything he wants, opposition be damned-or run off. The DM has finally figured one thing out-Khayat will not tolerate public disagreement with his agenda. Maybe soon they'll start asking-why is Pete Boone still in charge of athletics, when he refuses to raise money, and turns off fans and alumni by the dozens? Why is Carolyn Staton still employed? Why is Warner Alford, a man who, as athletic director, got the university put on probation twice, affliliated with the university at all?

The DM itself is guilty of what it accuses the university community of doing-it's given Khayat a pass since he's been chancellor (they're not the only ones-Khayat has gotten free passes from the Daily Journal, Commercial Appeal, and the Clarion-Ledger mainly because he's a prominent Mississippi liberal). Only when he's embarrassed the university do they question him. They should have been asking questions a long time ago. If they had, maybe the letterhead controversy wouldn't have taken place.

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