NYT' s Tierney quoted “IQ expert” funded by eugenicists

In an October 24 New York Times “Political Points” column titled "Secret Weapon for Bush?" John Tierney reported that right-wing columnist Steve Sailer concluded that President George W. Bush has a higher IQ than Senator John Kerry, purportedly based on their scores on military tests. But then, rather than seeking a different view on the suppositions of Sailer -- whom Tierney identifies as a conservative -- Tierney obtained validation of Sailer's findings from University of Delaware “I.Q. expert” Linda Gottfredson. Tierney didn't report that Gottfredson is herself a controversial figure whose research has been funded by the Pioneer Fund, an organization designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its support over the years of the work of white supremacists, eugenicists, and others dedicated to proving the existence of genetic differences between races.

Gottfredson pronounced Sailer's analysis “creditable,” Tierney stated in his article, adding that she “said she was not surprised at the results or that so many people had assumed that Mr. Kerry was smarter. 'People will often be misled into thinking someone is brighter if he says something complicated they can't understand,' Professor Gottfredson said.”

To obtain “expert” commentary on Sailer's findings, Tierney did not have to look far. Sailer, who describes himself as “a reporter, movie critic for The American Conservative magazine, a columnist for VDARE.com, and founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute," has written frequently in defense of both the Pioneer Fund and Gottfredson (see, for example, here). He has cited her work in both his columns for VDARE.com, an anti-immigration website, and in an January 14 article he wrote for United Press International titled “How Smart Is Bush?”

Controversy arose around Gottfredson after her university first rejected a $174,000 grant she received from the Pioneer Fund, and then later accepted it following legal pressure, according to the book The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund by William H. Tucker. The SPLC noted that the Pioneer Fund's original charter called for the pursuit of “race betterment” for descendants of “white persons” who “settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution.” The SPLC also reported: “Many involved in the early years of the fund, including its first president Harry H. Laughlin, maintained 'contacts with many of the Nazi scientists whose work provided the conceptual template for Hitler's aspiration toward ”racial hygiene" in Germany,' according to an Albany Law Review article by Paul Lombardo." The Pioneer Fund has funded work by Jared Taylor, founder of American Renaissance magazine whom the SPLC describes as “a courtly presenter of ideas that most would describe as crudely white supremacist,” and Richard Lynn, a current member of the American Renaissance board of directors and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster. In an article in the July 2002 edition of American Renaissance, Lynn wrote that “blacks are more psychopathic than whites.”