Sunday, July 10, 2005

What exactly was the New York Times thinking?

It's not like there haven't been enough folks commenting on this latest idiocy from the Catholic Church (or, at least, one of its more ignorant emissaries):

EVER since 1996, when Pope John Paul II said that evolution (a term he did not define) was "more than just a hypothesis," defenders of neo-Darwinian dogma have often invoked the supposed acceptance - or at least acquiescence - of the Roman Catholic Church when they defend their theory as somehow compatible with Christian faith...

Consider the real teaching of our beloved John Paul. While his rather vague and unimportant 1996 letter about evolution is always and everywhere cited, we see no one discussing these comments from a 1985 general audience that represents his robust teaching on nature...

Now, others have already bitch-slapped this stupidity more than adequately, so there's not much point in my piling on. I mean, come on, this is the Catholic Church -- of course they're going to be assholes. What were you expecting?

What's not getting asked, however (as far as I can tell), is why the New York Times gave this imbecile an entire op-ed piece to promote this scientifically illiterate rubbish.

Now, let's be clear -- a highly-placed member of the Catholic Church dissing biological evolution is certainly news, and most certainly should be covered as such. It's probably even front-page news, even at the Times. But that doesn't mean that it deserves an op-ed piece.

If the Catholic Church suddenly decided that the only proper role for women was to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, that would also obviously be news, but it's hard to imagine anyone at the Times giving some cardinal a full op-ed piece to defend his misogyny.

So what's the deal at the Times? Who made the decision to run that piece, and how are they defending it? And, to put a Canadian spin on this, if anyone out there is involved in the Canadian mainstream media, can you elaborate on whether that op-ed piece would have been accepted by any major Canadian newspaper? (I mean, besides the National Post. Or the Western Stunned Herd.)

Perhaps I'm just over-reacting, but I would have thought that there had to be some minimal journalistic standards for op-ed pieces, even at a paper as currently trashy as the Times.

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