3/30/2005

Heads up on "liberal bias of professors" study

The Gainesville Sun has an article today (http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/
20050330/WIRE/203300322/1117/news) on a study that claims to find an overwhelming "liberal bias" among professors. The fact that corporate media shill Howard Kurtz of the WaPo wrote the piece, as well as an alert from an intrepid blog reader, prompted me to do some digging about this study. I found the following via the Crooks & Liars and Rising Hegemon blogs:
Barely mentioned is that the study appears in the March issue of the Forum, an online political science journal. It was funded by the Randolph Foundation, a right-leaning group that has given grants to such conservative organizations as the Independent Women's Forum and Americans for Tax Reform. "Right-Leaning" doesn't really state it strongly enough. IWF is Phyllis Schaffly's "tea-time" crony group, and ATR is pretty much Posse Comitatus with better offices.
And the leading researcher of the study, Robert Lichter of George Mason University?
His full name is S. Robert Lichter. Say, this S. Robert Lichter used to work for AEI and has a long history of calling things "liberally biased". However, it fails to mention that between 1986 and 1988 Dr Lichter held the DeWitt Wallace Chair in Mass Communications at the American Enterprise Institute. Back in 1993, Dr Lichter appears to have been less shy about his connection with the AEI, as it features in a biography of him used to advertise a speaking engagement at the Ashbrook Center (http://www.ashbrook.org/events/lecture/1993/lichter.html) (http://www.fair.org/reports/lichter-memo.html).
And according to FAIR (http://www.fair.org/reports/lichter-memo.html), at a conference sponsored by Accuracy In Media after the first Gulf War, Lichter was reported by the AP (4/27/91) to have said "...he was disappointed in statements by [Peter] Arnett upon his return from Baghdad that he was in the enemy capital on behalf of all CNN viewers, not just Americans. 'I see a trend toward journalists seeing themselves as citizens of the world' rather than patriotic Americans," Lichter said. Lichter had another go at Arnett in the second Gulf War, during the media feeding frenzy following Arnett's remarks in an interview with Iraqi state television. An April 1, 2004 Washington Post article quoted Lichter saying: "If ever there was a poster boy for bias, it is now Peter Arnett." (http://www.carma.com/news/prweek/030414.asp)
And none of this information was mentioned by Howie Kurtz.

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