We’re desperate for news of the Coppedge trial, so once again we turn to the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
There we find a new post by David Klinghoffer: The Deep, Dark Secret of NASA’s Big, Bad Scary Pro-Intelligent Design Harasser David Coppedge: He’s Shy. As with Klinghoffer’s earlier posts about the trial, it’s about 2% news and 98% spin, but we can separate one from the other. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Here in Los Angeles, ex-NASA/JPL computer specialist Coppedge testified for a second day, held up by his suffering from a severe headache as the court session was supposed to commence.
Oh, dear — the man had a headache. What a terrible ordeal the poor fellow must be going through. Klinghoffer continues.
The headaches are something he’s had a problem with going back to 2008. They’re also one small indication of a big problem that JPL’s legal defense team will have, if Judge Hiroshige is the least bit sensitive to personalities.
Yes, if the judge pays more attention to Coppedge’s endearing frailty than he does to the actual evidence in the case, then JPL is going to be in big trouble. But it usually doesn’t work out that way. Let’s read on:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory has the burden of showing that Coppedge engaged in “harassment,” that he “targeted” co-workers for pro-ID proselytization with a “secret list of people with whom he spoke” about “his religion” (variously identified as intelligent design or Evangelical Christianity,” that in pressing his views on colleagues he was “so persistent, and he was so judgmental,” as to make fellow employees “uncomfortable.”
Uh, no. JPL has no such burden. Coppedge is the plaintiff. It’s his burden to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his demotion and subsequent lay-off were the result of harassment and discrimination by JPL. JPL only has to counter that with evidence that its behavior was proper. It doesn’t need to show that Coppedge stalked the halls like some kind of evangelical Dracula. We continue:
But beyond his merely existing, it’s impossible to imagine how the David Coppedge we’ve seen in the courtroom and the court building is remotely the type to harass or push, to be persistent in personal interactions, to target anyone. The debilitating headaches are stress-related, he explained on the stand, and they give just one indication of what a basically delicate personality Coppedge is.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! So why doesn’t Klinghoffer offer to testify as some kind of expert in delicate personalities? That would be relevant testimony. Well, it’s as relevant as those goofy DVD’s that the judge is going to watch. Here’s more:
He’s so far faced only the questioning of his own attorney, William Becker, who sometimes shows impatience in the court with Coppedge’s manner of speaking, which mixes a certain sheepish hesitancy with a tendency to digress. When Becker chides him — Becker who’s on his side — you worry that Coppedge will shatter. He blushes very easily.
That’s interesting. To us it means one of two things. Either Becker didn’t take the time to rehearse his client’s testimony, to make sure Coppedge covered all the points that he wants covered, or … and this alternative seems more likely, Becker tried to do his job but Coppedge is incapable of taking instructions in such things. Either is possible, but the latter seems likely considering what JPL claims about his insensitive behavior on the job. Coppedge may be a delicate flower, that’s not inconsistent with being generally oblivious to the world around him. Moving along:
Every time we come back from a break and Coppedge gets back up on the stand, Becker has to ask him if he feels well enough to proceed.
Good grief! A rape victim might understandably agonize over telling what happened, but this is an employment dispute, not a rape trial. What’s going on here? Anyway, we’ll leave it at that. If you’re a fan of Klinghoffer’s prose, click over there to read it all.
So what facts do we learn from this? Only two. First, that Coppedge suffers from headaches. And second, that he’s not a very good witness even when testifying for his own lawyer. We can’t wait for the cross-examination.
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