Revised TOOL of the Year Award Letter to Dan Mogulof

Editor’s Note: The following is a revision of the letter sent to UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof from the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP) on December 20, 2009. This  letter, which announces Mr. Mogulof’s selection as the Top Outstanding Oratorical Leader (TOOL) of the Year, has been censored revised. During a lunchtime summit meeting with Big-D (what we like to call Mr, Mogulof) on Friday, January 22 , our honoree was kind enough to point out a number “factual” inaccuracies our award committee made in drafting the original announcement (note: our putting the word factual in quotation marks should not indicate that Big-D used the word factual at any point during our summit meeting). We thank Big-D for pointing out these mistakes and in making our corrections have taken inspiration from the mild revisions his office recently made to a press release about the attempted siege protest at Chancellor Birgeneau’s home on the evening of December 11.  Also please note that due to security threats, Big-D’s January 29th award ceremony has now been moved to an undisclosed location.

Editor’s Note 2.0: Apparently the press release Big-D’s office released online and which the international press used for their reporting of the protest at the Chancellor’s home (and which may or may not being used as evidence in student conduct hearings) is technically not a press release. It is something completely and totally different, as Big-D recently informed us via email. We apologize for yet another “factual” inaccuracy and any emotional damage it might have caused anyone.

Dear Mr. Mogulof,

It is with deep respect and admiration that we here at the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP) write to express our gratitude for your masterful performance as UC Berkeley’s Executive Director of Public Affairs. The past months have been trying for all of us here at the University of California. We have seen “radical elements” infiltrate the most hallowed halls of our beloved university. Fanatics have corrupted young and old minds alike with their Bolshevism and dangerous demands to democratize the university’s decision-making processes. These extremists have terrorized us all with “incendiary devices,” militant strikes, fascist spectacles, and “childish” building occupations. Yet in the midst of such threats, you have helped us make sense of the chaos.

As the official spokesman of UC Berkeley, you have been there whenever our administrators, “fearing for their lives” were forced to hide in “undisclosed locations.” You have spoken courageously and eloquently on their behalf, waxing poetically on the value of autocracy during times of emergency. You are always there to answer questions when our leadersrefuse to have more pressing business to which they must attend.

Your words have been like a light in darkness, a sherpa in the Himalayas, guiding the UC community and the larger public to conclusions that we simply could not have arrived at without your help. You have taught us not to be fooled by appearances: the face of extremism, you have reminded us repeatedly, is not the one hidden behind the mask of a riot-gear clad police officer wielding a taser in one hand and a truncheon in the other. No, the face of extremism belongs to the unarmed undergraduate who demands her voice be heard and concerns addressed.

You have shown that truth is not a given. That facts are never as concrete as they might seem. And evidence, well, evidence is merely a formality—a pesky obstacle that only gets in the way of powerful people getting what they want.

For all of this and more, sir, UCMeP commends you and is pleased to name you the Top Outstanding Oratorical Leader (TOOL) of 2009.  Your unflappable unashamedness, always-for-sale rhetorical talents, and wild imagination are to be applauded. You truly embody everything a TOOL stands for.

As UCMeP’s TOOL of the Year, we recognize that you are not simply an easily replaceable propagandist as some might claim (we’re looking at you, No, you are a first-rate (and highly paid) rhetorician who has studied the greats: Socrates and Shakespeare, Goebbels and Glenn Beck. You have mastered their secrets and clearly grasp that out of rhetoric’s holy trinity (ethos, logos, and pathos), the strategy of preying on populist emotion will always prevail. Who needs logic or ethics when you can mobilize fear to get your point across?

While you have demonstrated your magisterial oratorical abilities throughout your tenure at UC Berkeley, your skills have been most brilliantly on display in recent weeks. The unquestionable ease with which you routinely and indiscriminately denounce UC Berkeley students (and all those nefarious “non-students”) talk about students as criminals, vandals, and/or extremists (sometimes all three at once!) reveals both enviable talentand courage. and Even more astounding has been your ability to deftly reverse our naïve notions of cause and effect. To compellingly argue that the early morning raid and arrests of 66 sleeping students in Wheeler Hall on December 11 was actually motivated by the terrorist action that took place later that night outside of Chancellor Birgeneau’s mansion demonstrates a formidable imagination.

UCMeP also commends you for your unwavering commitment to the welfare (sorry to use such an ugly word) of the University of California. Considering your paltry salary of $155,861.55 ( (Editor’s note: his salary is now some $20,000 less although we are not clear on the exact number. The figure we quoted is from a few years ago when he was given a bonus that may or may not have had anything to do with his handling of the UC Berkeley tree sitters and the UC- British Petroleum deal), it is clear that you cherish UC Berkeley more than the students you regularly vilify in the press. Of course, your love for the university runs deeper than that of the student with a 4.0 GPA (who plans to work for Teach for America after graduation) who you and Governor Schwarzenegger recently defamed as a terrorist for committing acts of terrorism .

Now that the District Attorney has inexplicably decided to hold off pressing charges against this student and the seven others arrested during the vicious and well-coordinated arson attack on Chancellor Birgeneau’s home (all due to lack of evidence … psssh), we are proud that you are standing by your previous denunciations, evidence or not are asking your office to make mild revisions to month old press releases.  An apology would merely show signs of weakness and demonstrate a wavering resolve. Who needs to apologize for ruining this young man’s reputation when budget cuts make it so that you will not get paid overtime for doing so?

We encourage you to not take your award lightly. Being named UCMeP’s TOOL of the Year comes with high expectations. You have received it not only in recognition of your past achievements, but also your incredible potential. We encourage you to continue finding innovative ways to challenge the students at the University of California. Keep thinking of new words and phrases to defame talk about a movement that so dangerously calls for democracy, equality, diversity, justice, and the end of police violence. We send our most heartfelt congratulations, and are most confident that you will live up to the high standards of being a TOOL.

Faithfully yours,

The UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP)

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