Media Mashup: November 3, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 7.01.12 PMAcademics Hate Diversity Of Opinion, Particularly Conservative Views

The New York Times reports: “[A] team of scholars from six universities studying ideological diversity in the behavioral sciences published a paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences that details a shocking level of political groupthink in academia. The authors show that for every politically conservative social psychologist in academia there are about 14 liberal social psychologists.

“Why the imbalance? The researchers found evidence of discrimination and hostility within academia toward conservative researchers and their viewpoints.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/opinion/academias-rejection-of-diversity.html

Ivy League Hates Diversity

Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today: “The problem of inequality looms over America like a storm cloud. According to our political and journalistic class, inequality is the single biggest problem facing our nation, with the possible exception of climate change. It is a desperate problem demanding sweeping solutions. President Obama calls it the ‘defining challenge of our time.’ Hillary Clinton says we’re living in a throwback to the elitist age of ‘robber barons.’ Bernie Sanders says inequality is the result of a rigged economy‘ that favors those at the top while holding down those at the bottom.

“In that spirit, I have a modest proposal: Abolish the Ivy League. Because if you’re worried about inequality among Americans, I can think of no single institution that does more to contribute to the problem.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/11/01/glenn-reynolds-reduce-inequality-abolish-ivy-league-elitist-discrimination-column/74998648/

Pensioners Face Serious Problems

NationalInterest.com reports that “pension funds have tripled in size to about 150 percent of their sponsors’ budgets, and pensions hold roughly three-quarters of their assets in risky investments such as stocks, private equity and hedge funds. The growing size of pension funds relative to government budgets makes any percentage loss in the fund more costly for governments to make up, and the increasing risk of pension investments makes those losses more likely. While government budget planners crave stability and predictability in their annual pension contributions, the increasing size and risk-taking of U.S. public plans makes this goal impossible, even using actuarial methods such as smoothing investment losses over long time periods.

http://www.nationalinterest.org/feature/local-government-worker-pensions-hang-the-balance-14227

RIP: Fred Thompson

The Tennessean and his family eulogize Thompson: “He enjoyed a hearty laugh, a strong handshake, a good cigar and a healthy dose of humility. Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home.

“Fred believed that the greatness of our nation was defined by the hard work, faith, and honesty of its people. He had an enduring belief in the exceptionalism of our country, and that America could provide the opportunity for any boy or girl, in any corner of our country, to succeed in life.”

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2015/11/01/former-us-sen-fred-thompson-dies-73/74752142/

Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist, who reported in Europe and the Middle East. He teaches media law and international journalism. Send suggestions and tips to charper@temple.edu.

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