Magazine article Editor & Publisher

How Liberals Warp the Minds of Journos

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

How Liberals Warp the Minds of Journos

Article excerpt

Are journalism-school faculties hotbeds of liberalism, and should colleges take affirmative- action steps to address this? John Tierney, the self- described libertarian/contrarian columnist for The New York Times, certainly thinks so -- or so he said in an Oct.11 column, which drew a wide response from readers. Tierney is not entirely wrong, of course, but one should keep in mind that this is the man who, this past summer, dubbed the Valerie Plame/CIA leak scandal "Nadagate," saying it featured "a spy who was not endangered, a whistle-blower who did not blow the whistle and was not

smeared, and a White House official who has not been fired for a felony that he did not commit." As late as Oct. 24, he was still claiming it added up to "Nada."

Tierney often cherry-picks facts to support his Stosselesque opinions. We all do this, of course, but he likes to cite the experiences of friends or other solitary figures to prove larger points. That's what he did in his unintentionally comical columns earlier this year hyping Social Security privatization. One of them was so goofy he had to admit that readers who called him a "superficial nitwit" were "at least half-right."

Actually, I thought he had written a parody of himself when he started his Oct. 11 column by citing a study by crusading right-winger David Horowitz -- and then compared cronyism at j-schools to a president picking his own lightly qualified counsel for the highest court in the land.

Alas, it seems he was serious. Citing Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture, Tierney wrote that a check of voter registration rolls found that Democratic mind-benders outnumbered Republicans 6 to 1 at j-schools and 8 to 1 at selected law schools. Only one journalism school, the University of Kansas, had a majority of Republicans (by 10 to 8). The Democrat- to-Republican ratio ranged from 4 to 1 at Northwestern and New York University to Columbia's 15 to 1 and beyond (Berkeley).

From the get-go, problems with the survey are obvious, though not noted by Tierney: It covered only nine out of more than 450 j-departments in the country. Further, there are Democrats (Joe Lieberman), and there are Democrats (Howard Dean).

But how does Tierney know liberal indoctrination is a major problem? Well, a "lot of young conservatives and libertarians have simply given up on the traditional media, either as a source of news or as a place to work. …

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