CNSNews.com columnist Hans Bader did a lot of whining over Jill Biden using the "Dr." honorific despite having a PH.D. and not a medical degree. First came his Dec. 14 column:
I am a lawyer with a "Juris Doctor" degree from Harvard Law School. But calling myself "Doctor" would be misleading, because I don't practice medicine. Indeed, it would be insufferably pompous. As law professor Eugene Volokh notes, lawyers don't call themselves "doctor," even though the word "doctor" is in their degree.
Jill Biden has an Ed.D degree that required even less study than becoming a lawyer, and no original research -- indeed, it required less research than I conducted while at Harvard Law School.
Yet, Biden calls herself "Dr." And liberal media -- the same liberal media that ridiculed conservatives with doctorates for calling themselves "Dr." The conservative White House official Sebastian Gorka was mocked for calling himself "Dr." by TV host Samantha Bee, and the Washington Post questioned Gorka's doing so, because, it said, "mainstream news outlets generally refuse to attribute the 'Dr.' prefix to anyone who is not a medical doctor."
Calling Biden "Dr." makes even less sense than calling a lawyer like me "Dr." That's because Biden's "Ed.D" degree required less study (3-4 years part-time study) than a law degree (which requires three full years of study), according to one of the nation's leading law professors, Eugene Volokh. Biden's studies also did not require the equivalent of a dissertation, which is typically required for a doctorate.
So Biden's claim to be called "Dr." is far weaker than that of people like Sebastian Gorka, who completed a dissertation to get their PhD. (Remember, the media mocked the conservative Gorka for calling himself "Doctor Gorka").
You know who else had no problem calling Gorka "Dr."? CNS. A July 2017 article graced him with the honorific. An October 2017 CNS article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, meanwhile, referenced not only "Dr. Sebastian Gorka" but also "Dr. Alveda King."column attacked her doctoral dissertation, insisting without evidence that "its quality was so poor that people would likely have raised questions about its adequacy, if her husband hadn't been a powerful politician in Delaware, whose state university gave her the degree." He rehashed his earlier whining about Biden's purported lack of rigor:
People assume that because Mrs. Biden received a doctorate, her paper must have been a "dissertation." But it wasn't; in reality, it was a mere "executive position paper." As law professor Eugene Volokh notes, the University of Delaware did not require Mrs. Biden's paper to conduct any original research, as is required for a dissertation. Her degree was also not like a Ph.D, because it required less coursework than is needed to get even a lesser professional degree like a J.D.
Lawyers like me need three years of full-time study to get a J.D; Mrs. Biden's degree only required part-time study for 3-4 years.
So her degree wasn't the equivalent of a Ph.D, a medical degree, or even a professional degree, in terms of its rigor.
Bader made sure not to mention that, unlike with Biden, there are questions about the legitimacy of Gorka's doctorate, earned from an obscure Hungarian university, which is much more of a polemic than actual researcch and which the doctoral referees team (one of whom co-wrote a book with Gorka, so he may have been a bit bias) to have merely rubber-stamped instead of offering any sort of detailed evaluation.
That's the sort of thing CNS is doing these days -- bashing anything Biden because it can.