If you've already read the earlier piece on the intellectual shenanigans of National Post columnist Barbara Kay, well, I have a bonus for you. In Kay's Dec. 2004 column describing the allegedly hideous over-representation of liberals on college faculties, Kay writes:
For example, one recent study shows that amongst American university teachers, Democrats outnumber Republicans 15 to one. That's on average. In anthropology, Democrats cast 30 votes for every one Republican. Similar results doubtless apply in the faculties of sociology, education, English literature, and women's studies (probably more like 1,000 to one there).
Let's ignore Kay's obvious attempt at pulling statistics out of her ass in that last sentence when she writes "Similar results doubtless apply ...", making it clear she has no clue and is just speculating. No, let's concentrate on the figures she supplies to see where she got them from.
Kay curiously doesn't give a reference to this "recent study" she quotes and, when you finally track it down, you begin to understand why. It's almost certain that the study she's referring to is "How Politically Diverse Are the Social Sciences and Humanities? Survey Evidence from Six Fields," by Daniel Klein and Charlotta Stern. From the abstract, you can clearly see the identical values quoted by Kay:
The most lopsided fields surveyed are Anthropology with a D to R ratio of 30.2 to 1 ... The average of the six ratios by field is about 15 to 1."
Can there be any doubt that this is the study Kay is talking about? But hold everything! What's this? Note well the relevant portion of the title of that study: "How Politically Diverse Are the Social Sciences and Humanities?". [Emphasis added.]
This is clearly not a survey of faculty political affiliation across the entire spectrum, only within the social sciences and humanities, which most people would expect to be more liberally-flavoured, just as one would expect more of a conservative presence in areas such as, say, law, business and economics.
But notice how Kay describes the study:
For example, one recent study shows that amongst American university teachers, Democrats outnumber Republicans 15 to one. That's on average.
But that's not what the study purported to show; the study spoke only of the alleged ideological imbalance within the humanities and social sciences. In short, Kay simply lied about the results of that study. I'm sure you're all just mortified by the thought of a right-wing propagandist playing fast and loose with the facts, aren't you?
BONUS TRACK: I've linked to this Russell Jacoby article before but it's such a sweet piece of writing, it really deserves as much publicity as it can get.