As you know, AIG is planning the Noah’s Ark theme park, which will be built in Kentucky and named Ark Encounter, with the enthusiastic support of Kentucky’s Governor, Democrat Steve Beshear. The Governor not only appeared with ol’ Hambo at the official announcement of the new park, but he is also trying to get the project some special tax incentives.
AIG has a new article at their website bragging about all the media coverage the Noah’s Ark theme park is generating: Media Mania. They mention only two negative items.
In the serious media, one of the harshest comments about the Ark Encounter appeared Thursday on the editorial page of the state’s leading newspaper, the Courier-Journal (of Louisville). It lashed out at Governor Beshear for mixing church and religion, relegating his pro-economy, pro-jobs stance to be of less importance.
That editorial said a bit more than that. Here’s how it began:
Gov. Steve Beshear needs a vacation. Indeed, he should have taken it this week.
Other than extreme fatigue, how else can one explain his embrace of a project to build a creationism theme park in Northern Kentucky (near the Creation Museum) and the apparent willingness of his administration to offer tourism-development tax incentives to developers of the park?
Aside from that editorial, AIG mentions only one other negative item. They say, with bold added by us:
Of course, there were the non-journalists who blogged outrageous comments, such as one person who suggested that the governor might have taken a bribe to support the Ark Encounter. (We will not provide you with that web-link and give the blogger the satisfaction of seeing additional visitors coming to his blog to read his scandalous suggestion.)
Oh dear. We’re not certain, but we suspect they may be talking about your humble Curmudgeon. When the Courier-Journal‘s editorial rhetorically asked: “Other than extreme fatigue, how else can one explain [Gov. Steve Beshear’s] embrace of a project to build a creationism theme park …” we rhetorically responded with this:
The editorial is far too kind when it asks how Beshear’s behavior could be explained other than by extreme fatigue. But they have to put up with the guy and your Curmudgeon doesn’t. Therefore, we herewith offer a suggestion or two that might explain the governor’s behavior: (1) Beshear is in Ken Ham’s pocket; (2) Beshear is an imbecile; and (3) all of the above. There are more possibilities, but those come immediately to mind.
We know that creationists like to take everything literally, nevertheless we’re shocked — shocked! — that AIG may have misinterpreted our stylish prose. We certainly didn’t mean to suggest anything as primitive as raw bribery. Creation “science” is indeed primitive; it’s pre-Babylonian — Sumerian, actually. But their political practices are very much up-to-date.
One can do favors for a politician, and in that sense the politician is in one’s pocket. In this case, it seems to us that AIG is offering Beshear — and Beshear is accepting — an opportunity to ingratiate himself with and pander to the creationist segment of Kentucky voters. He is thus indebted to (or “in the pocket of”) ol’ Hambo’s enterprise. That’s politics, not bribery.
So let us be clear. Although we certainly hold promoters of creationism in low esteem, we never meant to suggest that AIG was literally handing bags of cash to Beshear. We think both AIG and Beshear are smart enough to avoid that.
As for AIG’s unwillingness to provide a link to our humble blog, that’s quite all right. In fact we’re grateful. This blog isn’t a commercial endeavor, so we don’t need or want the kind of traffic that a link from AIG would provide.
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