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Epstein’s famous for a WSJ column pouring contempt on Jill Biden, a Ph.D. holder, for using the title “Dr.” He directly entreated her, an Ed degree grad from a state school, to cut out the pathetic vainglory. He directly entreated his readers also to drop her doodoo, stupo, pseudo, honorific, and admit her degree’s embarrassing worthlessness.

The column went over like a lead balloon. A really big, international, lead balloon. The WSJ was forced to issue – not a retraction, no sir. An editor there felt compelled, given all the hoohah, to double defensively down, endorsing Epstein’s titular rigor. (Here are all my Epstein/Biden posts.)

But Joe. Have you watched any of the January 6 hearings? Have you noticed how scrupulous the committee is in referring to John Eastman as Dr. Eastman? He is, like Jill, a Ph.D. holder. He is, unlike Jill, a traitor. But in this generous country, we not only refer to graduates of the University of Delaware grad school, like Jill Biden, as Dr. We even extend the courtesy to traitors. Here in the US, if you have a doctorate, even if you have conspired to destroy the country, we will respect your title. Think about that, Joe.

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2 Responses to “An Important Lesson for Joseph Epstein.”

  1. TAFKAU Says:

    The snobbery that runs through the academic world knows no limits. Jill Biden’s doctorate is an Ed.D. rather than a Ph.D., so I guess that puts her on a rung below Eastman, though his degree from Claremont Graduate School isn’t particularly elite (of course, his J.D. is from Chicago, so I guess that helps him somewhat with the diploma sniffers).

    I’m not a fan in general of Ph.D.s or Ed.D.s calling themselves “doctor.” When I was in California, I used to joke to people that if they called me “doctor” one more time, I’d remove their appendix. Now, however, I live in the south, which is positively Germanic in its obsession with hierarchies and titles, so I’ve given in and accepted that I will be Dr. TAFKAU to almost everyone. (Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of those professors who insist that 18 year olds call me by my first name. Professor TAFKAU is just fine.)

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    TAFKAU: I always liked “professor” and very much disliked “Dr,” which seemed, as you say, ridiculous. I didn’t get called Dr much though – almost always professor.

    On the Biden/Epstein thing – People are free to use the title they’ve earned, whatever I might think of their doing that. It’s common courtesy to respect their preference, and Epstein deservedly fell into a deep vat of shit when he went after her.

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