Remember Lynne Stewart? If you don't or if you've never heard of her, Stewart is a classic example of someone who let politics get in the way of common sense.
Stewart was a lawyer who represented the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing, Omar Abdel Rahman, more commonly known as "The Blink Sheik." During the process, she apparently got a variation of the "Stockholm Syndrome" and started relaying messages from Rahman to his terrorist buddies. One tiny problem with that: it's illegal to do. After Stewart was caught, she was disbarred, convicted, and sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Fast forward to today. Stewart has been asked to participate in a legal ethics conference at Hofstra University Law School to talk about "lawyers over the edge" as it's being billed by the university. A representative from Hofstra defended their decision to have Stewart appear saying that she represents a cautionary tale of what can happen when the lawyer-client relationship gets too personal. Of course, that doesn't require them to actually have her appear, but hey, why let logic get in the way of getting a known criminal and disbarred lawyer to show up for a conference and generate publicity?
That's what's at the heart of Hofstra's decision: publicity. By bringing in Stewart, they're bringing national attention (and outrage) to the conference and the university. That will invariably bring in the potential of students and their parents' money. But before the administrators start patting themselves on the back for a PR coup, let me remind you of something Stewart has said:
Institutions that perpetuate capitalism and institutions of government have to be attacked.
Oh, did I mention Stewart is an avowed socialist?
And if Hofstra is using Stewart for publicity, that would make them a target. It's hard to tell which of the particulars in this situation is more guilty of rampant stupidity: Stewart for willingly helping a terrorist, or Hofstra for setting themselves up to be attacked by Stewart and her cohorts by using her to promote their conference.
Well, in the interest of fairness, I'm going to be nice and call them both dumbasses.