John McHarry wrote:
> Of course, one has to wonder why those whose profession is the study
> of history tend to have liberal views. Is there something in the
> detailed study of what has happened in the past that leads to such a
> position? Or is it just that those with other views tend more to spend
> their lives in other fields?
Interesting question. It seems that those attracted to fields of the
"letters" tend to be more liberal-oriented than those attracted to the
fields of the "numbers".
When I was in college the engineer/science/business students and
faculty were either politically conservative or apolitical. The
humanities majors and faculty were more political and generally
You can see the difference in the writings of the two types. The
first group tend to write in no-nonsense prose top down, "saw this/did
that" in more objective terms. The second group tends to write in
more abstract prose, such as focusing on people and their feelings
instead of the physical environment.
I know first-hand that the "politically correct" movement was real and
strong with a powerful influence on public discourse, politics, and
academics in certain areas (some places were much stronger than
others). I believe that movement did far more harm than good by
forcing a distortion of the facts* and public discussion of the real
issues. That's bad communication. I think in some productions PBS
was at fault -- in the example I cited in an earlier post, as well in
some other productions.
I really want PBS to be truly independent without political
interference -- pressure from the right is no better than pressure
from the left.
*I recall a writer in a newspaper article claiming a new school was
built in the 1950s and was segregated -- the black kids had to walk past
it to their own school. That was a lie and wrong. The new school was
actually a distance away from the old school and separated by natural
barriers (a park hill and an unbridged railroad line).
Another instance is unrealistically representing minorities/ poor/
handicapped and related issues in story lines -- more so than they do
in reality. PBS ran a Canandian children's series "Degrassi Jr High"
that seemed to focus on a contemporary social issue every week. Real
life isn't like that for most people, and constant issues exposure
becomes propaganda. Now I realize TV in the early 1960s was generally
unrealistically bland, but going to the other extreme doesn't make it
right. I will give "All in the Family" credit because while it
usually made Archie to be the bad guy, it would poke fun at Mike's
ignorance as well.