Lemme clarify something about the post below.
I think that Ezra is right when, in his update, he says:
What I do believe, or am at least considering, is that the heavy consumption of information tilts consumers towards the liberal end of things.
Similarly, Brad DeLong is right when he says:
A good deal of it, in economics at least, is that you simply cannot dare not--not if you want to look others in the eye (or yourself) adopt the line of the Bush administration.
I don't know if liberals are smarter or not, but I think they we all agree that the more information you have, the more reality you deal with, the farther left you're gonna tilt. That's why we call ourselves the reality-based community.
My supplementary point, though, is that when having a national debate about whether it's a problem that there are liberals in universities, whenever we say things like what Ezra, Brad, and I all think, the right-wing hears this: "we think we're smarter than you."
In this debate, which is a debate that is not going away, this is not a helpful thing to say. It's not going to change any minds, and will reinforce an impression in those that already hold it. It fits right into the conservative "liberal elitist" frame and it distracts from the real debate, which is "does matter that academics tend to have center-left political views?"
Conservatives who talk about liberal professors assume that liberal political views=liberal bias in the classroom=a blacklist against conservatives in academia=thought codes on campus=those libruls are brainwashing our younguns. And none of this is the case. And that needs to be said over and over again.
To that end, I seems to me to be more strategically sound to emphasize the aspects of the debate that I wrote about below, not something that inevitably will sound to conservatives like elitism.
UPDATE: OK, let me make this as clear as possible. I don't think Brad, Ezra or anyone else is saying that liberals are smarter than conservatives. I'm only saying that when we say that knowledge seems to lead people towards liberaldom, conservatives think that we're saying that we're smarter. And that their misinterpretation leads them to confirm in their mind their "liberal elite" preconception.