Mooney on Hovind Article In my entry for May 2, I reported on this article from The New York Times about a creationist theme park. I objected that the article was not nearly negative enough. Pharyngula had an even stronger negative reaction here, in an entry for May 1.
Chris Mooney weighs in here (scroll down) with a somewhat different reaction:
I disagree with Pharyngula, who slams the New York Times for kissing up to this theme park. I actually thought the writer was trying to deadpan it. After all, it's so obvious how ridiculous this thing is--especially to the readers of the New York Times--that the reporter probably felt she didn't have to spell it out any more than she actually did.
Indeed, she pretty much lets the theme-park goers hang themselves. The story ends, for example, with this passage:
“We've been to museums, discovery centers, where you have to sit there and take the evolutionary stuff,” Mr. Passmore said. “It feels good for them [the children] to finally hear it in a public place, something that reinforces their beliefs.”
That's a very damning quote, and even if Mr. Passmore may not realize it, I think the Times writer did.
In my original essay on this subject, I described the reporter's tone as “bemused”. Unfortunatly, I don't have Mooney's confidence that the Times readership will interpret the article as deadpan. I fear that all too many people will think Hovind's park sound's like a pretty nifty place.