... don't say anything.
A guy with a Gr. 10 education and a faux Oxbridge accent spouts off about the value of a university education, something with which is he completely unfamiliar.
Warren has never taught university students. He has no idea of the research that's going on. Yes, we get uneducated, unready students from high schools, but the smart ones with real desire are clued in by the end of first year. The quality of humanities scholarship is much better than it was fifty years ago. The research work is of far higher quality and theses are superior to those of two generations ago. Most Canadian history books written before about 1965 are simply jingoistic story books. The best, including all of Parkman's works on Canadian history and most of the works by the handful of Tory English writers that are Warren's intellectual well, are elegantly-written but poorly-researched political tracts.
Yes, the quality of writing has suffered over the years. It's something the academy shares with journalism.
As for the value of being self-taught, Warren really lets his ignorance show. Graduate students are nothing if not self-taught. In fact, when you're doing PhD research, you're supposed to be educating yourself in fields in which no one has worked before and you present the information you find to the world. That's the very idea of the thesis.
The Ottawa Citizen could be such a great newspaper. It has the best investigative reporter on Parliament Hill. It has a stable of talented, dispirited writers. And it has David Warren.