Boffo blog tells the story of a Lott presentation at a workshop about a decade ago:
I was not prepared for how truly awful the paper was. His argument concerned how expensive elections have become in this country. … His evidence consisted of a correlation between growth in federal spending and growth in campaign spending, and from that he concluded that Big Government caused expensive campaigns. Two lines trending upwards, and he claims with perfect seriousness—and without performing any of the necessary tests—that the one causes the other. When we pressed him on his analysis, not only had he not performed any appropriate tests, but he seemed wholly unfamiliar with the relevant econometrics literature. … Afterward, we agreed that it was the worst presentation any of us had ever seen at the workshop, worse than any first-year grad student’s.
Yes, there is a reason why Lott could not get a tenure-track job in academia.