I suspect that the weaponization of language to advance political agendas is probably as old as language itself. In my experience, many if not most human primates are quite socially competitive.
Many humans will weaponize almost anything available, whether it be sticks or stones, words, political agendas or academic policies to advance personal or group/tribal interests.
And many academics do seem to have a particular bent towards unusually aggressive political competitiveness, often associated with a jealous streak.
Dr. Peter Hotez has recently published an opinion piece in an obscure academic journal in which he constructs a false equivalence between right wing politics, “Antiscience”, vaccine and vax mandate hesitancy (“Antivaxxer”), and antisemitism.
According to this article, In his forthcoming book, The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: How Health Freedom Propaganda Endangers the World (Johns Hopkins Press anticipated 2023), Hotez estimates that 200,000 Americans needlessly lost their lives from COVID during the last half of 2021 alone, which he largely blames on propaganda from the far right.