Kudos to Smith for reminding folks of the crucial historical parallel behind this kind of move. It starts with this quote:
Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.That motto of goes back to a case when a political appointee tried to fire an economist, Richard Ely, for supporting workers. Once again, goons are trying to trammel inquiry.
—Board of Regents, 1894
But you should read Smith's article. This is the kind of reporting we need today.