Dan Drezner has an excellent post, with which I largely agree. I haven’t read the guy’s work (I doubt if I would like it), but my smell test suggests the following. Many non-top universities tenure a large group of faculty members, none of whom really deserve it. They are insiders, they have friends in the department, the replacements wouldn’t really be better, and so the tenure sticks. It is quite easy to argue ex post that a "no" vote is warranted in most of these cases. But if Finkelstein hadn’t done controversial work, he in fact would have received tenure along with many other non-deserving candidates. He didn’t, and in that sense I also suspect the process was unfair.