We have long hoped for a renegade creationist to write a book about the lies, dishonesty, hypocrisy, and outright malevolence that drives the creationist movement. One of these days that book will be published.
Until then we’ll have to be satisfied when we stumble upon an unintentional exposé — like that which appears today at the blog of the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. It’s written by one of their chief propagandists and lobbyists, Joshua Youngkin, whose job is euphemistically described as “Program Officer, Public Policy and Legal Affairs.”
Like Klinghoffer yesterday (see Discoveroids Freak Out over Zack Kopplin), Josh is concerned with the recent public relations disaster they suffered, caused by the appearance of Zack Kopplin on the Bill Moyers Show (that post has a video of Zack’s performance).
Before we get to the latest Discoveroid post, consider this bit of Curmudgeonly insight — there are three kinds of people. The first group know what they’re doing and have no problem telling you about it. Then there’s the second type who have no clue, but they think they know and they’ll try to tell you. For example, if you see some kids marching around in support of some exotic cause and ask them what they’re doing, they might babble that they’re “speaking truth to power” — whatever that means. They don’t know, but they’re proud of what they imagine is their courageous behavior.
Then there’s the third type — those who, like the Discoveroids, never tell us what they’re really up to, because if the truth were known it would be their undoing. Sometimes the truth slips out — see this about their wedge strategy — but they never deliberately tell you that their career is all about spreading lies, ignorance, and irrationality.
If the Discoveroids ever did honestly tell us what they’re up to, they’d say that they’re “teaching lies to power.” They’re providing a toolkit of lies, misinformation, and irrationality to every politician who is receptive — and many are. Why? Because the lies, misinformation, and irrationality of creationism (and all science denial) are the keys to the kingdom of absolute power over an ignorant population.
Teaching kids science is a way of teaching them to think, and a thinking population is exactly what tyrants and would-be tyrants hate. That’s why the appearance of someone like Zack on a popular TV show is a big problem for the Discoveroids. Okay, that ends the Curmudgeonly digression.
Now let’s see what Josh has to say about Zack’s performance. His propaganda piece is titled Dear Bill Moyers: An Open Letter. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Dear Mr. Moyers: Recently on Moyers & Company you interviewed science education activist Zack Kopplin. After watching the interview, which addressed the subject of academic freedom legislation in the states, I see why you picked Zack. He is young, articulate, and bold.
These qualities partly explain why in 2012 Zack won both the Friend of Darwin Award and the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award. The latter honor puts him in the company of Bill Maher (2003), Michael Moore (1999), the ACLU (1997), and Ed Asner (1981), to name a few.
Huh? Come on now! Maybe those people won the Hefner award — we don’t know or care about that one — but the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) can’t be giving awards to people like Michael Moore! Alarmed that we might be cheering for the wrong team, your Curmudgeon hunted down a list of everyone who has received NCSE’s Friend of Darwin Awards. We see some names we recognize, like Barbara Forrest, Victor Hutchison, Tammy Kitzmiller, Kenneth R. Miller, and many others we’ve written about — but there’s no mention of Maher, Moore, or Asner.
Nice smear job, Josh! It’s really a classic. But it won’t fly. Let’s continue reading his propaganda piece. After flinging filth as if he were a chimp in a zoo, Josh then begs Moyers to invite his side to appear on the Moyers show:
But why not have your producer now give Discovery Institute a call? Zack is a torchbearer for his cause. But he is also an outsider to the academic freedom lawmaking process, and so understandably missed the ball a few times, leaving your viewers in the dark.
Uh huh. Zack is an outsider — who somehow lined up over 70 Nobel laureates to support his most recent effort to repeal the Louisiana creationism law. Josh is now going to explain why the Discoveroids — his group in Seattle — are the insiders. Oh yeah — they’re the in-crowd, they’re what’s happening. Right! And this is where Josh lets slip a few items he should never have mentioned. It seems that Zack has pushed him over the edge.
Pay close attention, dear reader. So you don’t miss this, we’re going to put it in red font:
Discovery Institute, on the other hand, is on the inside, and ready to shed light from a privileged vantage point. We draft and amend academic freedom language, counsel lawmakers privately, testify publicly, and are otherwise intimately acquainted with the intentions behind and likely effects of academic freedom legislation.
That is the clearest, most straightforward description of what the Discoveroids do that we’ve ever seen — and it comes from one of them on the inside of their so-called think tank, who speaks from personal knowledge.
The rest of Josh’s article isn’t important. It’s also unimportant whether Moyers invites one of them on his show. Discoveroids appear here and there from time to time. It’s no big deal. What’s significant today is Josh’s admission of what the Discoveroids really do. You may be sure, dear reader, that we’ll be quoting those words in the future. Thanks, Josh!
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