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Friday, April 11, 2008
AIA's Kline Selectively Cites Article About Poll
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In an April 8 Accuracy in Media article, Accuracy in Academia's Malcolm Kline writes:

The latest survey on academic bias has sent academics into their usual state of denial despite evidence of same that frequently stares them right in the face. “Taken together, 40 percent of the Americans in the survey said professors often use their classrooms as political platforms,” Robin Wilson of the Chronicle of Higher Education reported on April 4th of a Gallup poll.

“When that many Americans think this happens often, higher ed has a problem,” says S. Robert Lichter, director of its Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Higher ed doesn’t feel that way:

• “The more you have less real experience on a campus, the more likely you might be to buy this ambient background belief,” Jeremy D. Mayer, director of the master's program in public policy at George Mason says.

• “The farther away you are from academe, the more worried you are about what goes on,” Harvard sociologist Neil R. Gross says.

Actually, proximity may prove correct a maxim of author M. Stanton Evans. He outlines what he calls “Evans’ law of inadequate paranoia”: “No matter how bad you think things are, they’re worse.”

But Kline doesn't the full context of the statements he plucked from the Chronicle of Higher Education article. The lead of it stated: "The older Americans are, and the less time they have spent on a college campus, the more likely they are to believe that professors are politically biased."

Kline also clipped the quote from Mayer. He went on to say: "If you have never been in a college classroom, the fantasies and hyped-up expectations promulgated by David Horowitz and others may seem plausible descriptions of the typical American campus."

Why would Kline do this? Perhaps to hide the article's suggestion that the main way older and non-college-educated people would agree with Gallup's question "How often do you believe that college professors use their classrooms as a platform for their personal politics?" would be through the millions of dollars spent by and on behalf of conservatives such as Horowitz -- and Accuracy in Academia, the AIM offshoot of which Kline is executive director -- to promote that very idea.

Thus, it would seem that all this poll does is confirm the work of Kline and other conservatives to push the idea of academe as hopelessly liberal -- and that their millions have had an effect on persuading people with no recent contact with higher education, or no contact at all, to swallow their side.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 11, 2008 3:37 PM EDT

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