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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
WND Buries the Lead on Hitler-Darwin Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily article -- the second WND article to promote an upcoming video issued by evangelical activist D. James Kennedy "linking Darwin to Hitler and the contemporary abortion industry" -- focuses mostly on "attacks" on the video by bloggers. But WND buries the actual news to come out of this: that one person who appears in the video not only doesn't ascribe to that theory, he was inserted without his permission.

The article claims that Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, was "targeted" by bloggers for appearing in the video. The article offers only one link to such criticism, the blog Pharyngula. The article noted that Collins is a "theistic evolutionist" who "explained that he had been interviewed by Coral Ridge [Kennedy's ministry] about his book, and the taping was inserted into the program without his advance knowledge," and quoted Coral Ridge as saying that "Collins' comments weren't sought in an advocacy role" and "is not presented as an advocate of the Darwin-Hitler thesis." But that's buried further down in the article, obscuring the apparent deception of Collins being used in the video without his consent.

The article also notes that "blog criticism attacked him for appearing on the special, then offered a half-hearted apology," but the Pharyngula link the article supplies offers a much more straightforward apology from the blog's PZ Myers than the article suggests: "I apologize to Dr Collins for assuming he was a party to this creationist video, and I hope he sues those frauds."

Interestingly, the article treats the Darwin-Hitler link as incontrovertible fact rather than a provocative, partisan thesis promoted by right-wing Christians. An accompanying photo of a emaciated prisoners at a World War II concentration camp carries the caption: "The results of Darwin's theories."

This video is not the first time that WND has promoted a Darwin-Hitler link. In a March 23 column, WND editor Joseph Farah called evolution "a malodorous, filthy, contemptuous lie from the pit of hell" and cited an article purporting to illustrate "how the genocidal mania of Hitler could only be built on a foundation of evolution." (That may explain why WND is treating the Darwin-Hitler claim as fact.) And a July 1 column by Tom Flannery claimed, "The idea of a superior race eliminating all 'inferiors' on the basis of evolutionary dogma originated not with Hitler, but with Darwin. Not surprisingly, this was an idea also enthusiastically embraced by the racist and eugenicist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood."

(A follow-up post by Myers notes: "I've been linked to by WorldNetDaily. Hoo-weee, you should see the sewage in my mailbox now.")

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT

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