Northwestern alum Guy Benson: Student newspaper made 'huge mistake' by apologizing for journalism

The Daily Northwestern's apology for its coverage of a controversial campus event is unfounded, Fox News contributor and school alum Guy Benson said Wednesday.

Northwestern University’s student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, came under fire on Tuesday after apologizing for sending a reporter to cover students who were protesting a speech by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

On Sunday, the paper ran a massive, nine-paragraph apology expressing remorse for reporting on the event.


The paper expressed remorse for taking photos that some students found “retraumatizing and invasive” and contacting students through the school’s directory.

“We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night,” the paper wrote in the lengthy apology signed by eight staff members.

Dozens of professional journalists slammed the "embarrassing" editorial and expressed concern about the fallout such an incident could have on future journalists.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt, Benson exasperatedly stated that the paper's op-ed from its editorial board was "deeply wrongheaded and was sort of grovellingly apologetic for doing the sin of journalism."

"They committed journalism by asking questions of students, contacting students for comment, publishing on the record quotes from people, and taking photographs of public protests from a public event," he added. "And, that is all just totally proper."

Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications Dean Charles Whitaker came out swinging in a statement on Tuesday, hitting back at the student activists.

Whitaker wrote that: "the coverage by The Daily Northwestern of the protests stemming from the recent appearance on campus by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in no way beyond the bounds of fair, responsible journalism."

"The Daily Northwestern is an independent, student-run publication. As the dean of Medill, where many of these young journalists are trained, I am deeply troubled by the vicious bullying and badgering that the students responsible for that coverage have endured for the 'sin' of doing journalism," he said.

Benson said he was glad the dean of his former school took a strong stance "backing up the practices of journalism -- the tenets of journalism -- and criticizing the activists who engaged in this series of threats and intimidation against the student journalists.

"I think for the student journalists to be besieged and sort of beaten into submission by these activists who were furious, who apparently wanted to engage in private protests of a public event -- I think it's a shame," he told the "Friends" hosts.


Benson said he thought there was "groupthink" among the enraged students who "decided to toss aside what they knew should be the truth about journalism and go sort of a woke direction."

"And, that's a shame," he said. "Hopefully, a learning experience because this was a huge, huge, mistake."

Fox News' Brian Flood and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.