Ann Coulter.........fits into the same category as Rush Limbaugh..........one sees her name associated with an article and you already know what it's going to consist of........crap........more crap..........covered in .........wait for it............crap.
John Lott's thesis of More Guns, Less Crime has been thoroughly deconstructed by a number of academics and researchers finding that there were serious problems with his data and the interpretation of the data.
For example see "Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis" by Professor Ian Ayres (the William K. Townsend Professor of Law, Yale Law School) and John J. Donohue III (the William H. Neukom Professor of Law, Stanford Law School) in the Stanford Law Review.http://islandia.law....hue_article.pdf
Lott's work was pretty much trashed in the early 2000's as junk science but he is popping up yet again as we see from the comments of Ann Coulter. As this article notes Lott has been wandering in the academic wilderness after having his hypothesis well and truly trashed.
In the early 2000s, his work fell into controversy for employing what some academic critics termed “junk science” and for various apparently fatal methodological flaws. Later, he was unable to prove the existence of a study central to his thesis. He was also caught using a fake “sockpuppet” persona to defend his work and attack his critics online. “In most circles, this goes down as fraud,” Donald Kennedy, the then-editor of the prestigious journal Science wrote in an editorial. Even Michelle Malkin said Lott had shown an “extensive willingness to deceive to protect and promote his work.”
There were other controversies as well, such as the case of the mysterious missing table and the claim that 50 percent of black Republican votes in Florida were rejected. Eventually, even the conservative American Enterprise Institute apparently was not a good fit for him, as he left that gig in 2006, which he had taken after leaving academia. He now has no academic affiliation and is a general conservative commentator.
Yet in the wake of the shooting, the media has turned to him as an expert, and often failed to caveat his arguments by mentioning the controversy surrounding his work. Since the shooting, he’s appeared on CNN at least three times, done numerous radio interviews, and most disappointingly, appeared on the ”NewsHour” on PBS.
“NewsHour” is perhaps the finest news program on television and is well respected by people whose respect you would want (full disclosure: It also gave me my first internship in Washington), but it was a lapse in judgment to bring Lott into the program so uncritically. On CNN, at least, he went toe-to-toe with hosts Piers Morgan and Soledad O’Brien, who challenged his thesis and methodology. The “NewsHour” interview, however, was characteristically civil and credulous.
“John Lott has been a prominent voice in the gun rights debate, arguing against further restrictions. He’s an economist and the author of ‘More Guns, Less Crime,’” was anchor Ray Suarez’ introduction of Lott. He appeared with Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA who is also skeptical of the effectiveness of gun control. Lott and Winkler were both key sources in Jeffrey Goldberg’s recent article in the Atlantic making “The Case for More Guns.”
Even Fox News, which employs Lott as a contributor and generally has significantly lower standards than “NewsHour,” appears to have avoided booking him or commissioning him to write Op-Eds on its website it the wake of the shooting.
News program should be free to bring on whomever they want to interview — there’s no value to viewers in censoring certain guests by keeping them off the air. But, if you choose to bring on someone like Lott, who has been so thoroughly questioned by his peers, broadcast journalists owe it to their audience to give all the pertinent information, or at the very least, challenge the arguments the guests are making, so they may better make up their own minds.