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Bari Weiss Has a New Grift in the Unaccredited “University of Austin’s” “Forbidden Courses”

A screengrab of the university of austin's description of "the forbidden courses"

Professional cancel culture victim Bari Weiss introduced a new grift Monday, announcing that she and a number of other right-wing figures are founding “a new university dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth.”

The new university is called The University of Austin and if you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait, isn’t there already a University of Austin?”, there is not. You’re thinking of the University of Texas at Austin. But also, this new university isn’t really a university at all, in that it’s not accredited, offers no degrees, and does not have a physical campus. It is seeking accreditation, but apparently it’s doing so from an accreditor that doesn’t operate in Texas.

What the “university” does offer is a (not for credit) summer program for students currently studying at real schools, exploring what its founders are calling “The Forbidden Courses.”

Weiss famously “self-expelled” from the New York Times after spending years complaining about receiving mild pushback for the offensive, oppressive opinions she was able to publish on the world’s most respected platform. She frequently rails against “cancel culture” and loves to complain about how she and other super successful, endlessly platformed conservatives (whom she refers to as the “intellectual dark web”) are being silenced.

Weiss is hardly alone among conservative public figures in turning the stoking fears of “cancel culture” into a full-time grift. Her companions in this latest fundraising-heavy scheme are a motley crew of right-wing intellectuals with careers built on yelling about ideological persecution.

So if you’ve been looking to take unaccredited courses in cancel culture from TERFs, anti-vaxxers, and David Mamet, all while filling Bari Weiss’ pockets, the University of Austin must sound very exciting to you! For everyone else, it’s at least a good (if exasperated) laugh.


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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.