College Professors Are Cliquey and Liberal

Sometime in the late-19th/early-20th century, the professors at our colleges and universities decided that being members of an exclusive club was...

Sometime in the late-19th/early-20th century, the professors at our colleges and universities decided that being members of an exclusive club was more important than making oodles of cash. That's according to Harvard English professor and New Yorker contributor Louis Menand, who writes about the gulf between the real world and academia in his new book The Marketplace of Ideas. Simply put: The academy is not interacting with the rest of the world, which its ideas, ultimately, should serve and aid.Menand criticizes academics as no longer being in the business of holding court as public intellectuals (or creating them), but rather developing a fraternity-like system that assures that new ideas and knowledge will be held close to the tweed vest by generations of like-minded people. In order to stay free from the encroachment of the marketplace, it's cranking out boffins and not, in the parlance of Malcolm Gladwell, "mavens," who bring information to the general public.As proof of the uniformity of academia (as pointed out in Slate's celebratory review of the book), Menand notes that in the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry enjoyed the support of 95 percent of humanities professors. He got that nugget from as-yet-unpublished research from two sociologists, who determined that professor is the occupation that identifies most with being politically liberal (43 percent identify as liberal, whereas only 9 percent cop to being conservative.)The New York Times discussed the findings this weekend, noting that:
Nearly half of the political lopsidedness in academia can be traced to four characteristics that liberals in general, and professors in particular, share: advanced degrees; a nonconservative religious theology (which includes liberal Protestants and Jews, and the nonreligious); an expressed tolerance for controversial ideas; and a disparity between education and income.
Further, right wing attacks against liberal academics and the liberal media (journalist is the second most-liberal occupation) assure that these patterns will continue.How can we break this cycle? And should we? (I might not be the most objective person to answer since I am, after all, a journalist.)Photo via
via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

Keep Reading
via United for Respect / Twitter

Walmart workers issued a "wake up call" to Alice Walton, an heir to the retailer's $500 billion fortune, in New York on Tuesday by marching to Walton's penthouse and demanding her company pay its 1.5 million workers a living wage and give them reliable, stable work schedules.

The protest was partially a response to the company's so-called "Great Workplace" restructuring initiative which Walmart began testing last year and plans to roll out in at least 1,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores by the end of 2020.

Keep Reading
via Rdd dit / YouTube

Two people had the nerve to laugh and smirk at a DUI murder sentencing in Judge Qiana Lillard's courtroom and she took swift action.

Lillard heard giggles coming from the family of Amanda Kosal, 25, who admitted to being drunk when she slammed into an SUV, killing Jerome Zirker, 31, and severely injuring his fiance, Brittany Johnson, 31.

Keep Reading