Ingraham Not an Academic

by Meg Smoot | 10/16/00 5:00am

To the Editor:

I would like to contest the assessment of Laura Ingraham in Professor Vavreck's recent letter. There is a place in politics for political scientists who analyze empirical data, for political commentators who espouse their opinions, and for unbiased news anchors who present all sides equally. To use the same standards of comparison for these different professions is unfair. Vavreck attacked Ingraham for being biased even though inherent in her profession is an element of personal interpretation. Ingraham is neither a political scientist nor a news anchor, her job is to comment on politics as she sees it.

Ingraham is not an academic. She approaches her work through her own experience in the political system, instead of analyzing empirical data from an outside perspective. Judged by a political science standard as Vavreck has, then yes, there are discrepancies in Ingraham's analysis. Vavreck fails to see Ingraham for what she is " a former criminal defense attorney and Supreme Court clerk turned author and political commentator. Furthermore, Ingraham exudes character and charisma unlike others in her field. Her femininity does not undermine her raw intelligence and the legitimacy of her commentary.

Though her positions are not shared by all, Ingraham's comments are not only valid, but have furthered political discussion on this campus. Personally, I found her talk informative, entertaining and thought-provoking.

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