David Glenn in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

In a motion filed last week in federal court, Mr. Lott’s lawyers asked the judge to place a gag order on any information that might turn up in depositions or private documents as the lawyers on both sides prepare for the trial.

The motion asserts that “publication or dissemination of information that is obtained during discovery, particularly if provided without context or explanation, could be extremely damaging to sales” of Mr. Lott’s new book, Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don’t. The book, which was released this week by Regnery Publishing, was written in part to rebut Mr. Levitt’s work.

Lott’s lawsuit is now just about this statement in an email to a Lott fan:

It was not a peer refereed edition of the Journal. For $15,000 [Lott] was able to buy an issue and put in only work that supported him. My best friend was the editor and was outraged the press let Lott do this.

In Freedomnomics that issue is a primary part of the evidence Lott offers to support his “more guns less crime” thesis — he has a table of classifying academic research on the thesis and more than half of the refereed journal publications that Lott alleges support his thesis appeared in that special issue. What do you think that Lott is trying to hide?


  1. #1 Hank Roberts
    June 6, 2007

    Hmmm. So, without secrecy, his marketing plan for his book has a problem? Interesting.

  2. #2 Coin
    June 7, 2007

    What is the probability that this gag order will be granted?

    And if granted, is there some outcome to the trial that might allow the gag to be lifted and the information released?

  3. #3 Sortition
    June 7, 2007

    It is perplexing that Lott compares the half-baked theory of Free Markets only to other half-baked theories. Maybe, if he considered fully-baked theories as well, he would find that some of those work as well.

  4. #4 agricola
    June 8, 2007

    I think Levitt’s legal team have nailed it pretty comprehensively:

    “Lott ignores the primary fact that he is the one who has brought this libel suit, thereby placing his reputation and his past conduct directly at issue in this case,” they write. “He cannot now attempt to litigate this case in private and have this court hide his embarrassment.”

  5. #5 mark
    June 8, 2007

    If I were him, I’d try to hide the fact that my book was being published by Regnery. How much credibility do they have in academia, considering all the Creationist crap they publish?

  6. #6 Hank Roberts
    June 8, 2007

    It’s a faith-based economic theory.
    That’s probably why he wants to keep his marketing PR stuff secret.
    You know, if the founder is discredited, everything after him falls as well.
    That’s fundamentalism, in a nuts hell.

  7. #7 z
    June 8, 2007

    No need for a gag order, this has been making me gag for a few years now.

  8. #8 Ed Darrell
    June 19, 2007

    Back when I worked with them as they published a “biography” of my boss at the time, Orrin Hatch, I was shocked at the way this publisher played fast and loose with the facts. At one point I asked the editor about their fact checkers, and I was told that they employed none whatsoever — they were more interested in the “policy positions” than that facts.

    Oh, the publisher? Regnery. Regnery is barely more than a vanity press. I think it’s still headed by former Paul Laxalt aide Al Regnery, who got a few seconds of fame during the Reagan administration when he was nominated to be Assistant Attorney General for Juvenile Justice. He showed up for his confirmation hearing in a car with a bumper sticker that read, “Have you slugged your kid today?”

    Yeah, that kind of judgment and wisdom.

  9. #9 Eli Rabett
    June 20, 2007

    Regenry is not a press, it is a money laundering machine. Goes like this, wingnut writes book, Regenry prints it. Book does not sell in the stores but wingnut rich guy buys a zillion of them. Money goes from rich guy to Regenry to wingnut.

  10. #10 Dano
    June 21, 2007

    Wingnut welfare channel.



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