Creationist NBC TV Station in Texas

The major news organizations in the US often have a somewhat left-of-center outlook (he said with remarkable restraint), and although journalist types may not know much about science, they can usually be counted on to oppose the far-right, who are all too often opposed to science. But today we have an exception.

We found an editorial at the website of KCBD-TV, an NBC affiliate seen on Channel 11 in Lubbock, Texas. It was written by Dan Jackson, described as: “KCBD Vice-President and General Manager.” Here’s his headline: Consider This…Both sides belong in our textbooks.

“Both sides” of what? Oh, come now, dear reader! You know all about the creationist madness in Texas. Our last post on that topic was Tempestuous Texas Textbook Trouble. Now it seems that the anti-science advocates of Oogity Boogity, who long for a restoration of the Dark Ages — people like former State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist — have a powerful ally in the media. Here are some excerpts from Dan Jackson’s editorial, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The debate over evolution vs. creationism is once again heating up in Austin. Specifically, whether or not textbooks should include facts about creationism.

Ah yes, the debate about whether textbooks should include the “facts about creationism.” So what does Dan Jackson think of the controversy? Here it comes:

Both ideas have been debated since Darwin first published his theory over 150 years ago, and evolution is the only one currently taught in Texas classrooms. They are both based on facts and both come with bias and assumptions.

Creationism is based on facts? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What would those be? And science has bias and assumptions? Well, that’s true. Science is definitely biased in favor of verifiable observations and logical thinking. Let’s read on:

But consider this: I am not going to argue the merits of why I believe God created the earth and man in it. The majority of people already believe that.

Dan’s right. There’s no need to explain the obvious. He continues:

This is not a debate of science vs. religion. This debate is about what are we going to teach our children in public schools.

Uh, but Dan — the Supreme Court has already decided that creationism is religion. See Edwards v. Aguillard. Therefore it can’t be given “equal time” in the public schools, as a Louisiana law had then required.

Here’s the brilliant conclusion of Dan’s opinion piece:

The theory of evolution is already in the textbooks. Creationism is widely accepted across the globe. It’s time the public school system in Texas accept that and include it in the classroom.

Way to go, Danny boy! Great editorial!

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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29 responses to “Creationist NBC TV Station in Texas

  1. Aw, c’mon, Curmudg!

    Really? “The major news organizations in the US often have a somewhat left-of-center outlook (he said with remarkable restraint), and although journalist types may not know much about science, they can usually be counted on to oppose the far-right, who are all too often opposed to science.”

    Our corporate owned and operated media are “left-of-center”? This is the old “left wing media” or “liberal media” trope. It isn’t true. It was never true. Extensive studies of media coverage has never exposed such a bias. It was made up out of whole cloth as a cudgel to beat news organizations into being more conservative. And it worked. If you don’t think that all media are more conservative now than they have ever been, you haven’t been paying attention (just compare pre-Fox (sic) News to post-Fox (sic) News eras for example).

    So, you take someone’s stance favoring “science” over “anti-science” and paint that Left v. Right? The only reason you can do that is the squirrels on the right who keep insisting that reality isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

    I have come to expect better thinking from you.

  2. I don’t think it is as simple as that. Look at the Trayvon Martin case and see how the media exploited it to hammer the Stand Your Ground law, even though that law was never invoked. The media abuses stories sometimes to sell papers, but sometimes they do it as a crusade against what they consider to be social ills. Maybe not as a conspiracy against the Republicans, but they do try to “help” society go in the right direction sometimes.

  3. Perhaps local journalists tend to mirror the same political beliefs of their audience. After all, they are in the business of selling advertising; not necessarily enlightenment.

  4. Fortunately, again, the vast majority of comments on the KCBD site are quite rational and see right through Dan’s argument.
    I particularly ‘liked’ his goal-post shift, from belief in creationism in the US to belief in creationism across the world!
    As one commenter pointed out, in the US creationism is accepted by 46% of those polled – Not a majority (although still a disturbing number).

    (Changed my ID to Jim_S as there is another Jim here)

  5. Dan Jackson blathers:

    “Creationism is widely accepted across the globe.”

    Yea and amen, so it must be TRVE! If it helps any, just ignore the palpable disparities in the details among the plethora of creation accounts across different cultures and various times.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Regardless of his leaning, as VP he certainly has a vested interest in having a story to attract readers, and suppression of creationism brings lots of eyeballs from both sides.

  7. Perhaps journalism is about those who are independently engaged in dissemination via media factual events and items of public concern as negative feedback on elements of society’s foibles. See fourth estate and 1st Amendment.

    Perhaps FOX, and indeed all enterprises of men such as Rupert Murdoch, serve other than independent, factual, or even the public, interests.

    Those who espouse ‘non reality’ based opinions/goals simply find facts abhorrent to their goals – and the embracing by the conservative wing, along with its war on government of “we the people” since Reagan, of Purism and Profit serving a small subclass has been very efficient at undermining the Enlightenment values this nation was founded upon. If Truth has a liberal bias, perhaps because facts and reality are significant components…

  8. So just what are the facts of creationism that he speaks of?

  9. And why does today’s Republican Party embrace non reality, eschew facts, turn its back on our Enlightenment heritage?

  10. Cogito Sum asks: “And why does today’s Republican Party embrace non reality, eschew facts, turn its back on our Enlightenment heritage?”

    I’ve discussed that a few times. It’s because Nixon invited the formerly Democrat “social conservatives” into the GOP, over Goldwater’s objections. See A Blast from the Past — Jerry Falwell.

  11. @Cogito Sum: I think the Liberal Bias goes a bit beyond a passion for truth, which is poison to the majority of today’s Republicans. I will again point to the Trayvon Martin case as being one of the best examples. Look at how the media kept bringing up Trayvon’s baby pictures (or at least pictures of him as a small child) when ever speaking of him. Look at how long it took for them to let go of the “racist white man” label of Zimmerman who was only half white, identified as a Latino, and was part African. Then look at how they covered the Duke Rape Hoax as another glaring example of the media making the facts fit the story as opposed to the other way around. The media may be a lot closer to the TRUTH than the Republicans of today, but they have made it all too easy for the Republicans to cast doubt on the press whenever the media reports on something they don’t want the ordinary person to take to seriously.

  12. Justin: “I will again point to the Trayvon Martin case as being one of the best examples. Look at how the media kept bringing up Trayvon’s baby pictures”

    I have to dispute that. IMHO the so-called “mainstream media” turned 180 degrees and proceeded to vindicate the shooter.

    Is CNN “mainstream”? It sure as hell doesn’t have left-wing bias. I watched part of the Zimmerman trial on CNN. Some blonde woman, dunno her name, was bubbling with joy when the forensic scientist spoke.

    Let’s recall his testimony. His only scientific conclusion was that Zimmerman fired his bullet, IIRC, about 2 inches from Trayvon’s chest. From this the forensic scientist claimed the only possibility was that Trayvon must have been on top of the shooter with his shirt hanging down.

    This blonde woman on CNN was ecstatic. She stretched her imagination most marvelously, announcing that “science” (reified as if it were a person) had proven that Trayvon initiated the assault on Zimmerman. She did not even bother to summarize the witness’ evidence, his method, his logic, or how he arrived at that conclusion, or all the assumptions that went into it. CNN lady announced “Science”, as a person, had proven Zimmerman shot in self-defense.

    I really thought I was watching the blondofascists on Fox News. But in truth, even Fox News would be more sober than that.

    Left-wing media bias? I don’t believe it.

  13. Diogenes says: “Left-wing media bias? I don’t believe it.”

    Have you forgotten the early accounts of the incident, in which the 911 call was edited to make it appear that Trayvon was profiled?

  14. That the GOP absorbed social conservatives during their southern strategy period is perhaps inadequate to address the seeking to continue that relationship – and their failure to clean house this century, or their spiral into the Purity abyss as is demonstrable in Texas and so much of that southern territory.

    Bad media decisions with the absence of journalistic integrity does not serve the public interests, regardless of source. Perhaps one should examine the reasons and how we arrived here (consider deregulation, the concentration of media since the Reagan administration, the dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine)?

    As for the cultural issues surrounding policies of intimidation, exploitation, disenfranchisement, equality before the law – that is certainly grist for the public mill. Now if only real journalism were as prevalent today as formerly.

  15. Curm writes: “I’ve discussed that a few times. It’s because Nixon invited the formerly Democrat “social conservatives” into the GOP, over Goldwater’s objections.”

    I’ve pointed out to Curm before that this is pure BS. As I have pointed out many times, the leaders of the creationist movement were almost all Republican from at least the 1930’s, so Curm is off by at least three decades.

    Curm has only one data point: W. J. Bryan, who died in 1925, was a democrat. From this Curm projects that all creationists in the 1920’s must have been democrats too; and from that, he just skips ahead 4-5 decades to the early 1970’s, assuming that in all the intervening decades, the creationists then must have been democrats too.

    Swamp gas. To point to one obvious data point, in the 1930’s the creationist movement was led by anti-Semites who supported Nazism and hated F. D. Roosevelt and the New Deal with a purple passion. The Republicans were the party of “prosperity” and, in those days, under Sen. Robert Taft, isolationism. The things the creationists said about Roosevelt and the New Deal are the same as what they say about Obama today: end of freedom, tyranny, blah blah. Hitler they didn’t worry about, FDR was the tyrant anti-Christ.

    The Republican Party, for better or worse, were always on the side of the rich– excuse me, I meant “prosperity.” Even in the anti-slavery days, they were the party of “prosperity.”

    In 1938, creationist Gerald Burton Winrod ran for the Republican nomination for United States Senator from Kansas.

    Creationist Gerald L. K. Smith ran for the United States Senate as a Republican from Michigan but lost in the primary. In 1944, on the eve of war, he ran for president as the candidate of the the America First Party (not to be confused with the America First Comittee.)

    And then there’s racist, anti-Darwinist Bob Jones University. Wikipedia: From the inception [1927] of Bob Jones College, a majority of students and faculty were northerners, and therefore many were already Republicans living in the “Solid South.” [113] After South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond switched his allegiance to the Republican Party in 1964, BJU faculty members became increasingly influential in the new state Republican party, and BJU alumni were elected to local political and party offices. In 1976, candidates supported by BJU faculty and alumni captured the local Republican party with unfortunate short-term political consequences, but by 1980 the religious right and the “country club” Republicans had joined forces.[114]

    Most creationists have always been Republicans because they’re on the side of the rich. A big part of conservative Christianity is the idea that poverty is caused by immorality, and immorality is caused by lack of faith. So most were Republican long before the 1960’s, and they always will be.

    I am sure Curm will repeat this nonsense in the future.

  16. As for the Southern Strategy: let’s never forget that one of the chief architects of the racist Southern Strategy was Chuck Colson, creationist, wannabe-terrorist bomber, Nixon thug and founder of CREEP, convicted felon. Colson had close ties to the Discovery Institute.

    When he died, Casey Luskin wrote a grovelling, one his knees encomium to the old terrorist that was practically pornographic.

  17. Curm: “Have you forgotten the early accounts of the incident, in which the 911 call was edited to make it appear that Trayvon was profiled?”

    First, the unedited call shows Trayvon was profiled, because he was. DUH. Even Fox News admits Trayvon was racially profiled– they’ve just taken to arguing that racial profiling is rational.

    At best, you’ve shown that the media does not have a consistent or universal right-wing bias, which I’d agree with, in the sense that someone with a peanut allergy doesn’t always have a head the size of a pumpkin.

  18. And yet MSNBC still did something unbelievable when they deliberately edited the damn tapes to make it seem that Zimmerman was saying one thing when he said another. Let’s forget just what trial they were reporting on, the fact is they lied. Big time. A major news network went out of its way to deceive its audience to make sure that they would agree with them.

    I respect CNN, but my own local news services won’t post a picture of Trayvon unless it is a picture from when he was smaller and much more innocent.

  19. Diogenes predicts: “I am sure Curm will repeat this nonsense in the future.”

    No doubt I will. Although there are creationists everywhere, in both parties, they are particularly thick in the South — a region that was, as you recall, solidly Democrat until Nixon’s Southern Strategy, devised after Johnson “betrayed” the South by supporting Civil Rights legislation. That region, along with much of the Midwest, was also solidly behind Bryan. It was his base. Thus my conclusion that much of the Southern creationist population poured into the GOP after Nixon invited them in. Of course there were already some creationists in the GOP (as I said, they’re everywhere), but that doesn’t change the fact that a very large number of them moved into the GOP, thanks to Nixon, where they seem to predominate today.

  20. So Johnson pursued a moral path, the GOP conspired and in so doing embraced religious zealots whose bigotry dominated politics – and for half a century the republican party has willingly become increasingly radicalized on the road to Purity with nary a thought to do otherwise?

    It’s been profitable for some, for a while…

  21. Unfortunately, Big Business and sheeple are a very powerful combination in some cases.

  22. “facts about creationism.”
    The only fact about creationism that is firmly established is that is pseudoscientific BS. I agree that this fact may be included in textbooks on science. With an explanation why.

  23. “The major news organizations in the US often have a somewhat left-of-center outlook”
    This is correct. The point is that the political centre in the US is so far right wing (which also helps to explain why the USA is the modern country with the highest popularity of creacrap) that even somewhat left-of center means solidly right wing.

  24. We’re getting overly political here. Who gives a $#it whether a creationist is R or D? It’s the creationist idea that is wrong; political leaning is immaterial unless you have an axe to grind.

  25. Perhaps it is the active enabling for political purposes that allowed a previously irrelevant creationist / Cdesign proponentists movement undue influence? Creationism is not the problem, political influence in the public forum is.

  26. Creationism is widely accepted across the globe? Not as far as I can tell, down here in Oz. And, if it is “widely accepted”, one would imagine that it is not alway the Christian version. After all, our indigenous people have their own creation stories – should the Rainbow Serpent stories also be taught in Texan schools?

  27. What Pope RSG said. Only louder.

  28. What Cardinal Gary said. Our Pope RSG is displaying the sort of infallibility we have come to expect from our Supreme Pontiff.

    I’m generally obliged to recuse myself from discussions of American politics, on the grounds that:

    [1] it is decades since I grew up there
    [2] I have been thoroughly corrupted by having lived those intervening decades in Europe
    [3] American politics are utterly baffling to me (like, why on earth did you guys ever end up associating the colour red with the political right, and the colour blue with the political left? Are you just messing with the rest of the world with that one?)

    So FWIW (which ain’t much): pretty much all parties–e.g. birthday, office, political–should never be taken too seriously. I agree with Diogenes’ points about whacky Republicans long, long before Nixon’s courtship of the whacky Dixiecrats, but grant our Curmudgeon’s finger-pointing at Nixon over his ‘Southern Strategy’ is significant. But (and here I will doubtless bring a load of flying brickbats in my direction) I don’t think the religious right really got any purchase on the national political agenda until the 1980’s. Singling out Nixon’s Southern Strategy smacks a tad of a “no TRUE Republican” sort of argument.

    But however it arose, what matters is that the RR still exerts a deleterious influence on the parameters of American political discourse (as Pope RSG declared in his above encyclical). Whatever their antecedents (and the roots are multiple, I think), the issue is what the GOP is going to do about the wing of the party that would happily trample the Establishment clause by stealth means. Their agenda should not be countenanced by any party that is committed to the Constitution.

  29. Megalonyx very sagaciously states, “Their [the Religious Right’s] agenda should not be countenanced by any party that is committed to the Constitution.”

    And here in Indiana, the ruling GOP is trampling all over both the state and U.S. Constitutions. State money going to religious institutions in the form of educational vouchers? How is that constitutional? The GOP generally prides itself on defending the Constitution. Except when it serves their interests not to.

    And since Cardinal Gary seconded my post, only wants it louder, I shall oblige:
    IT’S THE CREATIONIST IDEA THAT IS WRONG; POLITICAL LEANING IS IMMATERIAL UNLESS YOU HAVE AN AXE TO GRIND.
    That’s about as loud as we can make it.