Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News and the God & Country blog recently wrote about Ray Comfort‘s attempt to smuggle Creationism into a bastardized version of On the Origin of Species.
I don’t mind that he’s reporting on that non-story, because there’s an appeal to that story from both sides of that fence — the people who prefer sound science and rational thinking… and the people who agree with Ray Comfort.
When complaints started pouring in that the article about Comfort offered “coverage but no critical commentary,” Gilgoff decided to try something else.
He posted a piece by Comfort explaining why he wrote the prologue to this book. Later, he posted a rebuttal from science advocate Eugenie Scott. They’ll do another round of back-and-forth:
Here’s the first post from Comfort, explaining his new book, which he plans to distribute in the tens of thousands on college campuses. I’ll post a rebuttal from NCSE Executive Director Eugenie Scott later today. Next week, I’ll put up a follow-up post from each. And just a reminder: Neither God & Country nor U.S. News necessarily endorses their views.
This is the wrong way to handle the situation.
I understand the need for journalists to not be biased. But to suggest that there are two sides to this story and that they deserve equal time is ridiculous. Eugenie Scott knows her science. Comfort doesn’t know his.
You don’t give equal time to someone who thinks Obama was born in Kenya and someone who actually knows what he’s talking about. There’s no debate there. You don’t give equal time to a Holocaust denier and someone who experienced it firsthand. There’s no debate there.
It is perfectly fine for U.S. News and Gilgoff’s blog to take a position in this case! Eugenie Scott is not some polar opposite of Ray Comfort. She’s not some minority holding a fringe viewpoint.
She’s the voice of every educated, intelligent, pro-science person whose beliefs are based in reality — she holds the only position in this fake “debate” that is tenable. Why can’t U.S. News take the side of reality?!
Why can’t they simply say that they support her views and not his?
Why can’t they come out and say Comfort makes absolutely no sense and that his views have no foundation to rest upon? (Isn’t that what an actual reporter would write?)
Why do they have to pretend like there are two sides on this issue when there so clearly are not?
It doesn’t matter that there are millions of Americans who agree with Comfort. Every single one of them is deluded on this issue. A good reporter should just acknowledge that.