Dis-information: C-ville’s big “Bert Ellis” lie

Charlottesville’s remaining weekly “news” publication, C-ville, has libeled University of Virginia Board of Visitors member Bert Ellis.

On page 11 of the paper’s April 26 print edition, C-ville references the now infamous “Fuck UVA” sign controversy, by publishing the following:

Ellis in NYT

The New York Times points to UVA Board of Visitors member Bert Ellis as an example of rising “anti-woke” education movements. In an article exploring the sharp tension surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and the deep political divide between education policymakers, writer Stephanie Saul frames America’s larger battle surrounding education policy around Ellis. Ellis has been deeply controversial since his appointment was announced, due to his destruction of a “Fuck UVA” sign on the Lawn and co-founding of the DEI-critical Jefferson Council. [emphasis added]

Bert Ellis c-ville

However, neither the New York Times nor any credible source has accused Ellis of destroying the sign. The referenced Times account reads:

In 2020, a student had hung a sign on her dorm room door that protested slavery, genocide and “KKKops” — and included an expletive directed at the university.

Her door faced out, onto The Lawn, a grassy court that was designed by Thomas Jefferson and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mr. Ellis appealed to Mr. Ryan, the president, to have the sign removed, which the university declined, citing the student’s free-speech rights.

“I decided that, shoot, if the university wasn’t going to take it down, I’d take it down,” Mr. Ellis said.

He said that he got as far as knocking on the student’s door. But after campus representatives asked him to desist, he left without carrying out his mission. [emphasis added]

Perhaps, realizing its error, C-ville edited its online version of the story (without citation of the original language) to instead reference Ellis’ “attempted destruction” of the sign:

Dis-information: C-ville’s big “Bert Ellis” lie

Yet, while he may have intended to remove it, no credible source indicates that Ellis actually “attempted” to destroy the “Fuck UVA” sign.

So, even C-ville’s “corrected” version is libelous toward Ellis.

Long a mouthpiece for progressive causes and the Democrat party, C-ville’s breach of the truth is not surprising—but it may be actionable.


Leave a Reply