Thursday, February 23, 2006
Study finds bias on American campuses
WASHINGTON—A new study has found pervasive bias in American colleges and universities, researchers at the American Enterprise Institute announced today.
“Based on our analysis of professors’ financial contributions to political campaigns,” said AEI Senior Fellow for Bias Karl Zinsmeister, “we conclude that American campuses are basically one-party nations—except that such nations usually have the merit, such as it is, of candor about their ideological monopolies.”
The Zinsmeister study, conducted over ten months at nearly forty universities across the nation, found that in a hypothetical race for the Presidency of the Whole World, professors in the humanities and social sciences would give over six times as much money to Jean-François Lyotard as to Jürgen Habermas. In some fields, such as English and Comparative Literature, the ratio was over eleven to one.
“These are the definitive findings we’ve been looking for,” said Stanley Rothman, a neutral observer who just happened to be stopping by. “In the past, liberal professors have complained that our studies of party registration and political affiliation were flawed because they didn’t capture something they called ‘nuance.’ For example, we’d find that eighty percent of the professors in a sociology department were Democrats, and we’d take that to the press, knowing that Howard Kurtz and George Will would jump all over it. But then it would turn out that among those Democrats, some were ‘symbolic interactionists’ and some were ‘functionalists’ and they’d go on about Durkheim or William Julius Wilson and a whole bunch of things we didn’t know or care about. The same thing would happen in anthropology and literature and history and philosophy—time after time, we’d find that these sneaky liberals had all kinds of different intellectual commitments and research specialties, and everything got messy and complicated. But now we’ve got the bastards at last. These Lyotard-loving liberals can run, but they can’t hide.”
Robert Lichter, a fair and balanced observer of the media, agreed. “This study is simply devastating,” he said from his office at the Center for the Fair and Balanced Observation of the Media. “What we see is that professors prefer Lyotardian ‘paralogy’ to Habermasian ‘communicative action’ by a factor of six to one. This constitutes a nearly universal and yet deeply paradoxical consensus for the Lyotardian claim that consensus is ‘terror.’ And this means, in turn, that American professors support terror, as researchers at the Coulter Institute have shown as well.”
Critics of the AEI study were initially unsure how to respond to the findings. “The Zinsmeister study is basically a sophisticated form of cherry-picking,” said one irrelevant, nit-picking liberal. “They’ve focused almost entirely on Lyotard-friendly territory like the University of California at Irvine, and they’ve completely ignored the work of feminist Habermasians like Seyla Benhabib. This study says more about the biases of the study itself than about American college professors.”
When asked to respond to such criticism, Zinsmeister replied, “I have no idea what this irrelevant, nit-picking liberal is talking about. All I know is that we’ve found irrefutable evidence of bias. Again.”