Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wrong question

Sunday's big story on the Creation Museum makes this big pronouncement:

The museum also puts our region at the center of one of the most enduring questions of all time: Who created Heaven and Earth -- and when?
Ryan Clark's reporting doesn't begin to try to answer that, and that's good, because it's the wrong question. That question assumes there is a "who" to be credited with the universe's creation, and that's far from a foregone conclusion.

The real question is, should the Bible be taken literally? Clark's reporting sticks more to this question. But the posing of that other question just muddies the story's presentation. The Enquirer isn't actually brave enough to tell readers up front that the story's might actually challenge one's reading of the Bible. Instead, the editor (Lee Ann Hamilton, maybe) makes up this other question, and then fails to answer it.

This just shows that the Enquirer believes if its pronouncements are big enough, that makes the stories big. Clark's reporting isn't bad, but it's clear from the presentation that the editor in charge wasn't smart enough to really frame the story well.

I also don't understand the headlines. The front page headline reads, "Did man walk among dinosaurs?" Does the Enquirer pose this as an unsettled question? This question has an answer, and the answer in absolutely not. Man and dinosaurs never met, so why did the Enquirer put that question on the front page? On the Forum front page is the headline, "What the Lord made". I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. Did God build the museum? In the story, one man interviewed calls the museum a miracle. It's not.

So there's a remaining question: Does a newspaper have to respect all opinions? No it doesn't. At least part of a newspaper's job is to debunk myths, to challenge conventional wisdom and poke holes into widely known "truths." I don't expect any newspaper to take on or be able to answer the question, is there a God? But the evidence behind evolution and against the Genesis story as the origin of life on earth is overwhelming., and Clark's stories essentially say that. So why does the Enquirer posture this way?

To top it off, the editorial board skips the issue entirely, instead weighing in on last week's immigration deal. Compare that to today's editorial in the New York Times, and see which paper has the better grasp of the issue.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al you are getting so deep no one can keep up with you thus 0 comments. But keep the pressure cooking.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure that nutjob Ken Ham is glad to be getting so much free coverage from the Enquirer. For the record, I believe that here in the USA, everyone should be free to build whatever crazy museums they want to build. But I resent the fact that this Australian wacko decided to build his crazy museum here in Northern Kentucky. I can see the press coverage now... "Reporting live from the crazy museum in Northern Kentucky, you're watching CNN."

Kentucky has enough stigmata to overcome as it is. We don't need to give the world any more reasons to think that Kentuckians are ignorant.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It struck me that the powers that be think, if people are coming from national news orgs to cover this, we'd better have it all over the place. But then they do this lame, embarrassing take on whether Genesis is factually correct, as though a few wackjobs and the overwhelming majority of the scientific community are pretty much equal. All that crap about, what the Lord made and, Did man walk with dinosaurs? are not issues that belong in a serious newspaper.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is another quality Enquirer title: "GM SUV gets 300 mpg"

Yet when you read the article, you find that the vehicle gets about 40 MPG and 300 miles on a tank. Did the Enquirer staff just cut and paste this article?

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The headline on A9 of Monday's paper said:
goes 300
miles on

The online headline says:
"GM SUV goes 300 miles on one tank"

It seems both headlines are OK.

7:01 PM  

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