Sarah Palin: Creationism Update (11 Sept)

FOR A BIT OF NOVELTY, we thought we’d look at how the ladies of the press are handling the Sarah Palin nomination. This isn’t a political blog, so we’re not discussing abortion, drilling for oil, gun ownership, or several other Palin issues. The facts which concern us here are: (1) she’s not an overt book-banner; and (2) so far, she seems to have only the slightest knowledge of the bogus scientific “controversy” over the theory of evolution.

Sarah once said that if the topic of creationism comes up in class it’s okay to discuss it, but shortly thereafter she said creationism doesn’t need to be in the curriculum. That’s all we know about “Sarah the creationist” and her alleged anti-science tendencies.

The rest is inference from things that haven’t happened: creationist organizations haven’t gone crazy with enthusiasm for Sarah, the educational establishment in Alaska hasn’t attacked her (she’s had some praise), and while Sarah has been in office, no actions were taken to water down science instruction.

So how are the media ladies handling it? With the same professionalism as the men in the media — which is to say, very badly. A few have reported accurately about Sarah’s creationism, but the rest are endlessly recycling their own brand of partisan spin.

Today’s newspapers offer the following (with bold added by us for emphasis):

We’ve noted before that USA Today has been accurate about Palin when few other papers were. This morning they have a column by Kathleen Parker which is rather good: Feminist template obliterated. Excerpt:

A full accounting of the rumors and myths circulating about Palin would fill this page. Briefly, she didn’t pose in a bikini with a rifle, doesn’t want to teach creationism in school, isn’t a secessionist and didn’t ban books. Palin did ask the librarian in Wasilla (twice) how she would respond if the community wanted some books excluded from the library.


Palin either will be the new Margaret Thatcher or the old Harriet Miers

Hey, that’s good! For contrast, there’s the Salt Lake Tribune, which carries a column by Helen Thomas: McCain hijacks Obama’s ‘change’ theme.

She babbles about stuff like the National Rifle Association and the phony issue about teaching creationism side-by-side with evolution. That “side by side” phrase is everywhere, and it’s not accurate.

Next she says that Palin would be an amateur. That brings to mind that old vaudevillian, Henny Youngman. When asked “How’s your wife?” he used to say: “Compared to what?”

Hopping across the ocean, we have the view of another female writer, Viv Groskop, in the Evening Standard, where we read Sarah steps into the limelight – but too late. This is not so much about the American election as about the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown — her angle is our Sarah, their Sarah. But she can’t resist deploying language like: “that awful Palin woman” and “moose-eating creationist.”

So there you are. The “truth” about Sarah Palin seems to depend entirely on the political views of the journalist. It has always been thus.

[Our related articles are here: Sarah Palin & Creationism.]

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6 responses to “Sarah Palin: Creationism Update (11 Sept)

  1. mightyfrijoles

    If we could get rid of all creationists by having a moose eat them, I’d be quite happy.

    I like moose.

  2. Your comment brings up a fine point of punctuation. The columnist used a hyphen in writing “moose-eating,” which is the right way to do it. Without the hyphen it would be about a moose eating a creationist. Not a pretty thought.

  3. Curmudgeon – I know you like her but you need to read this.

    You are a better PI than I am.

  4. Very interesting. The source is the other political party, but it could still be true. One thing I noticed was that the story said: “Wasilla forced rape victims to pay for their own forensic tests when Palin was mayor.”

    It’s not clear if this was Sarah’s policy, or it it was already in place when she became mayor. I’d really like to know that. If it’s her policy, then it’s bad. Really bad. Let’s wait for come confirmation from a better source.

  5. I did find this: “In 2000, there were 497 rapes reported in Alaska, FBI statistics show. That’s a rate of 79.3 per 100,000 residents, the highest in the nation.”


    Fewer than 500 for the whole state. How many of those were in Sarah’s town? Was she even aware of the issue?

  6. Yikes!