Kellyanne Conway made a very catty tweet today, after the story broke in the Washington Post about the Justice Department indicting 50 people, including two television stars, for bribing college officials to let their under-achieving children into prestigious schools. The centerpiece of the story is a college admissions adviser, William Singer, who orchestrated one hell of a bribery scheme, whereby rich folks could get Johnny or Susie admission to a college that they didn’t deserve via a charitable donation, and then turn right around and take it off of their taxes. Here’s a brief sketch of the facts. Washington Post:
The alleged crimes included cheating on entrance exams and bribing college officials to say certain students were athletic recruits when those students were not in fact athletes, officials said. Numerous schools were targeted, including Georgetown University, Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and UCLA, among others.
Boston’s U.S. attorney, Andrew Lelling, called it the largest-ever college admissions scam prosecuted by the Justice Department. Of the 50 people charged in the FBI’s Operation Varsity Blues, 33 were parents, officials said, warning that the investigation is ongoing and that others could be charged.
“These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege,” said Lelling. “This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal-justice system, either.”
The blow back to this story has been hurricane force all day. Then Kellyanne threw in her two cents, and the wind blew even harder.
I look forward to you supporting a probe into how Jared got into Harvard https://t.co/70fFmbCJkA
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) March 12, 2019
Now, of course, Jared can’t withstand an eye blink of scrutiny on this topic, for the simple reason that his father paid Harvard $2.5Mil to secure Jared a seat, that he could not have gotten under his own merit. Today’s revelation in the Washington Post is recalling Jared’s unsavory past in this department. ProPublica Editor Dan Golden wrote a book ten years ago about how the wealthy bought their kids’ way into elite colleges, and he wrote an article about Kushner, specifically, in 2016, after the election. Here are excerpts, which are being being discussed today, in the wake of the college scandal. Bottom line, Jared Kushner is a child of privilege, whose father bought his way into Harvard — and then his father-in-law got him a security clearance, equally undeserved, so he can play diplomat and scheme to sell nuclear starter kits to the Saudis.
I [spoke with] administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less than stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision
“There was no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard,” a former official at The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, told me. “His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not.”
Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Kushner Companies, said in an email Thursday that “the allegation” that Charles Kushner’s gift to Harvard was related to Jared’s admission “is and always has been false.” His parents, Charles and Seryl Kushner, “are enormously generous and have donated over 100 million dollars to universities, hospitals and other charitable causes. Jared Kushner was an excellent student in high school and graduated from Harvard with honors.” (About 90 percent of Jared’s 2003 class at Harvard also graduated with honors.)
The children of celebrities and corporate titans have been buying their under-achieving children’s way into schools in which they do not belong for years. Trump’s schools have hidden his transcripts, so there’s no way to confirm the salacious rumor that he got a 400 cumulative score on the SAT; but since Trump was called, “the dumbest goddamn student I ever had” by one of his college professors, it’s very likely that the rumor is true.
Kellyanne Conway had no business playing holier than thou on Twitter today, because truly, the White House is a glass house, and nobody in it has any business throwing stones and sitting in moral judgement on anybody.
More of the seedy side of abuse of our institutions by the rich and famous was exposed today, and it makes perfect sense that this would come to light during the administration of Trump. He has earned nothing in his life, college degrees included. He got where he got on daddy’s dime and his children after him have done the same.
We need to clean house in this country, first by getting rid of Trump and his cabal of crooks, then by taking care to clean up the corruption in education and seeing that the meritorious, not the mendacious, get accepted to the best schools. Enough is enough. Giving a seat at Harvard to Jared Kushner, when a man or woman, who is actually gifted should have gotten is, is a misuse of our most precious commodity in this country, human resources, specifically, that of our children. Hopefully, the investigation into the college bribery scheme will result in a resetting of standards in higher education.