Who's going to break the news to MSNBC's Chris Matthews? Apparently, a study by Yale University -- you know, that great New Haven bastion of conservatism -- finds that folks who self-identify with the Tea Party are more literate when it comes to scientific matters than non-Tea Partiers.
If and when this knowledge causes the Hardball host's head to explode, I hope the suits at MSNBC will be kind enough to donate Chris's cranium to science. Former NewsBuster Matt Vespa has more at our sister site CNSNews.com. Here's an excerpt:
Professor Dan M. Kahan of the psychology department at Yale says he was surprised to discover a positive correlation between science comprehension and members of the Tea Party:
"Identifying with the Tea Party correlates positively (r = 0.05, p = 0.05) with scores on the science comprehension measure."
"I've got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I'd be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension."
"But then again, I don't know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv -- & I don't watch Fox News very often -- and reading the "paper" (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico)."
"I'm a little embarrassed, but mainly I'm just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view."
"Of course, I still subscribe to my various political and moral assessments--all very negative-- of what I understand the "Tea Party movement" to stand for. I just no longer assume that the people who happen to hold those values are less likely than people who share my political outlooks to have acquired the sorts of knowledge and dispositions that a decent science comprehension scale measures."
Prof. Kahan apparently lives in the same sort of cocoon that the elite liberal media live in. Both liberal academics and liberal journalists are isolated from reality, not interacting with a broader cross-section of American society which includes, obviously, conservative Americans of all kinds of backgrounds, including, yes, heavily scientific and technical ones.
Here's hoping Prof. Kahan's epiphany leads him to a interacting with folks who aren't like-minded. And while he's at it, maybe he can bring some liberal journalist friends along to learn a thing or two from average Americans.