Sunday, November 28, 2004

Conservatives in Academia

meet your new department head

Jesse at Pandagon has a new post addressing George Will's latest piece. The esteemed Mr. Will is best known for helping Ronald Reagan prepare for a Presidential debate using stolen briefing materials, then providing live television commentary of the same debate while concealing his role in the candidate's preparations. Will is now using his position of moral authority to allege that academia is biased against conservatives. Jesse writes,

There is a groundswell of complaint about systematic bias against a phantom group of academics who appear to not really want to work in academia to begin with. The "problem" will continue apace, because most of the time of schools' recruitment departments will be spent out there trying to find any conservative professor who will teach there...or, worse yet, flooded with second and third-rate potential professors who are all of a sudden die-hard Bush supporters.

We know what's coming next, because academia is only the latest target. We''ve seen what happens when similar allegations of bias are levelled against the news media. The latest institutional victim of the accusations (PBS, for example) cantilevers even more precipitously to the right in a vain attempt to avoid further rebuke - or, as a worse fate, is forced to offer yet another primetime programming slot to Tucker Carlson. Thus, false allegations of bias toward the left result in an actual tilt toward the Right - which, after all, is the ultimate objective.

The rush to find willing media conservatives for "balance" has provided jobs for otherwise underqualified talking heads like Carlson, McLaughlin, O'Reilly, and the entire Fox Network staff. It's what affirmative action must look like on Bizarro World. Now it's academia's turn.

UPDATE: Michael Berube's now on this one, too. Keep following what he has to say -- it should be interesting.