Half An Education…The Left Half

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This is a partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, September, 16 2003 that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: So, is there a liberal bias at colleges around the country? Well, the Center for the Study of Popular Culture says that a survey they did last year found that liberal professors…get this…outnumber Republican professors 10-1.

The center's president is taking action to change the situation and he recently drew up an Academic Bill of Rights (search) that calls for colleges to hire more conservative professors and invite more conservative speakers to campus. Is this a good idea?

Joining us from Los Angeles, David Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Pop Culture and the editor from Page.com. Here in the studio, contributing editor to The Nation magazine, Yale journalism professor…an example of what we're talking about…the author of a new book, Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America. Nice to see you, Bruce.

David, 10-1. Ten to one.

DAVID HOROWITZ, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF POP CULTURE: Thirty to one at Brown, 28-1 at Wellesley and Wesleyan.

But I have to correct you, Sean. I'm not calling for the hiring of conservatives. This bill actually…the Academic Bill of Rights forbids faculty from hiring…being hired or fired or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of their political beliefs. It's said in black and white.

But where we've introduced this first in Colorado, with the support of the governor and the Senate majority leader, the liberals have twisted the whole argument around by claiming that we want quotas. It's the liberals who've imposed quotas on conservatives.

HANNITY: All right, David, hang on a second. Wait a minute. I just want to be clear here. All you want is you want fair and balanced. You want...

HOROWITZ: I don't even want…I'm not even asking for balance. I want codified the rules of academic freedom, because they've been so abused in today's universities.

HANNITY: All right. Let me go to Bruce.

Bruce, in principal, academia is so dominated by the left. Why would you be threatened, as a superlib? Because you're pretty far…Clinton wasn't liberal enough for you.


HANNITY: Why wouldn't you be comfortable with allowing and insuring that students got all points of view? Why wouldn't you be comfortable with that?

SHAPIRO: First of all, let's talk about these figures which David is talking about. And David, this is actually a question for you.

When you say 10-1 liberal, are we talking about liberal math professors? Is there a liberal way to teach math? Are we talking about Aristotle versus Plato or Bush versus Gore? Are we talking about, perhaps, biology professors? What is the relevance of how professors or anybody else votes?


HOROWITZ: That's a very good question, Bruce. The reason I needed to have a prima facie case that there is probably a blacklist that has been going on for 20 years on university campuses. And since it's very subjective, who's a liberal, who's a leftist, who's a conservative, I picked party registration, just because it was an objective test.

COLMES: What difference does it make?

HOROWITZ: I don't claim that this proves anything, except that there is an obvious…there is, let's say, an evident bias in the hiring process.

COLMES: Here's what concerns me, David. Is it true, as the Denver Post claimed, that you are encouraging students on your web site to go to use public records, to go to the county clerk's office to find teachers' political affiliations and then create a spreadsheet to have a list of teachers and where they stand politically? Is that accurate?

HOROWITZ: Alan, look, I spent many years…you know, I actually was on this show. We had...

COLMES: Is that accurate? That's all I'm asking.

HOROWITZ: No, I'm not encouraging people…I have one student who has gone to primary registrations just to show the skew.

SHAPIRO: But David, whose business is it what the party registration of a college professor is?

I have to tell you, I have a child in college. And what I care about is whether she's learning about the difference between Plato (search) and Aristotle (search), right? The difference between Michelangelo and Rubens. I don't care whether the professors are voting for Bush or Gore.

Whose business is it? And certainly, why should the state of Colorado or anybody else start asking what the political affiliation of a teacher is? This is un-American.

HOROWITZ: This is completely ridiculous. Here we have liberals who want diversity of skin color, because they claim that that means diversity of viewpoint. That's what the Supreme Court has declared.

And yet when…you know, I'm showing you that 90 percent of professors come from one political persuasion, you know, you suddenly object.

You can't get a good education if they're only telling you half the story.

HANNITY: Exactly.

HOROWITZ: Everybody, including liberal kids are getting robbed.

HANNITY: David. these kids are subject to indoctrination. They're a captive audience.

COLMES: Now you have people looking into public records of professors to find out if they're liberal or conservative, which I find an abomination. You also have legislators now you want to get involved with this. You've apparently said to the Washington Times 20 states are planning legislative action.

You want the government now to decide or get involved in whether teachers are left or right politically? That's not a very conservative position you're taking, David.

HOROWITZ: Well, no, Alan. You know, the liberals…and unfortunately you've been taken into camp here…have totally distorted this. All I'm asking for is a set of principles which guarantees freedom and guarantees...

SHAPIRO: If I were conservative and in this sense perhaps I am...

COLMES: Let him finish first.

HOROWITZ: Nobody would be hired or fired on the basis of their political beliefs. Let me say...

COLMES: You have a list here.

HOROWITZ: I want to make an announcement here on HANNITY & COLMES that Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston, who's one of the leaders of the House, is going to introduce the Academic Bill of Rights as legislation...

COLMES: It's amazing.

SHAPIRO: This is not…if I were conservative and on this issue, perhaps I am. The conservative thing is to keep the state out of the classroom. The conservative thing is to allow professors to pursue...what they have without the government telling universities who to hire. What a dangerous step.

HANNITY: Hang on one second.

HOROWITZ: OK. I will just say that the opposition here tonight is just…the opposition is based on lies. There is nothing in this bill, nothing in these principles. It's up on the web site. It's StudentsForAcademicFreedom.org.

HANNITY: David, we've only got a minute. Hang on a second, David. I got the point. I want to go to Bruce. I want to ask...How would you feel if you sent your kids off to college and 90 percent of the teachers thought like me and talked to students about everything Sean Hannity believes in. How would you feel?

SHAPIRO: Well, I'll tell you. What I expect from my daughter's teacher at college, what I expect from my students...

HANNITY: You'd want him.

SHAPIRO: ... my universities, what I expect is to learn how to think, to get the...

HANNITY: If 90 percent thought like me and taught them that my view of the world was the right view, what about that?

SHAPIRO: Some of the best professors that I have...

HANNITY: Answer the question.

SHAPIRO: Well…it's completely irrelevant.

HANNITY: It's not.

SHAPIRO: I want professors, whether they're like you, like David, like Alan, like me, like David, who can teach Aristotle, who can teach Plato, who can teach math, who can teach science.

HANNITY: But is 90 percent are like me, isn't that unbalanced?

SHAPIRO: If you know enough about Aristotle, I don't care.

HANNITY: David, last thought.

HOROWITZ: OK. This is sheer hypocrisy and smokescreen. These are…I mean, Alan, why...

COLMES: We're out of time, David.

HOROWITZ: The government is all over the universities, telling people what skin color is allowable.

COLMES: We have to go.

SHAPIRO: It's called the First Amendment (search), David. It protects academic freedom and key speech.

COLMES: We've got to go. That's all the time we have left for this evening.

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