Category Archives: journalism

Beyond belief: The Werleman mess is worse than you can imagine

The Werleman Mess, involving an atheist journalist’s repeated plagiarism in pieces in both Salon and Alternet, seems to have reached its conclusion. I’ll  briefly give the upshot, as I’m soon off to walk around Plovdiv. The Werleman story is not pretty. I think the following is an accurate summary; if there are errors or corrections, please put them in the […]

Seven more cases of apparent plagiarism by C. J. Werleman

Yesterday I reported on the blogger Godless Spellchecker‘s report that the atheist journalist C. J. Werleman had apparently plagiarized some of his prose from at least half a dozen sources. Werleman’s purloined wording was, to my mind, quite blatant.  In response, Werleman first argued that he’d done nothing wrong: that he was just citing “facts” (which happened […]

C. J. Werleman accused of plagiarism

C. J. Werleman (b. 1973, Wikipedia bio here) is a writer, commentator, and atheist who has lately used the pages of Salon to attack Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, and Sam Harris for Islamophobia, misogyny, and other sins. These old privileged white males (Sam has been accused recently of “aging”) apparently don’t understand, as Werleman does, that the perfidies […]

Guest post: journalist Faye Flam tells scientists how to talk to reporters

UPDATE: If you have any questions you want to ask Faye about science reporting, especially on this topic, feel free to do so in the comments. She’ll drop by and answer some later. __________ I was recently talking to my friend Faye Flam, a science reporter, about how I’d just been interviewed by another science […]

My piece on “true faith” in The New Republic

My post from three days ago on what is a “true religion” has been condensed, edited, and now appears in The New Republic with the title, “If ISIS is not Islamic, then the Inquisition was not Catholic”  (subtitle: “There is no such thing as ‘true’ religion.”). Please go over and at least give them a […]

Dreadful, dreadful journalism

Well, I never! Click the screenshot below to go to the shoddy piece at The Raw Story. I think they got the names reversed. Pot, kettle, anyone? The article is about a book, probably also worthless, by Tom Roston, called The Quantum Prophets: Richard Dawkins, Deepak Chopra and the Spooky Truth about their Battle Over God. The article […]

NYT on ISIS: a disgrace to “true fundamentalism”

Every time I read a new column in the New York Times’s “Opinionator” section, I marvel at how obtuse and dumb it is, and always think that it can’t possibly get worse. But it always does. This week’s piece, by Slavoj Zizek, described as “a Slovenian philosopher, psychoanalyst and social theorist at the Birkbeck School of […]

Meanwhile, back in Muncie. . .

Home of Ball State University (BSU), the Midwest’s outpost of the Discovery Institute, Muncie, Indiana also harbors a newspaper, the Muncie Star Press. That paper always refused to take a stand on the controversy about BSU’s intelligent-design (ID) Astronomy and Physics course of Professor Eric Hedin, a course that was finally deep-sixed when the Freedom from Religion Foundation […]

An important New York Times correction about bird poop

I can’t resist posting this tw**t from Nick Bilton, a columnist for the New York Times (sent by reader Barry): And a screenshot of the correction in situ: And here’s the original error, appearing in a column called “My life in bicycles,” by Jennifer Finney Boylan: I prefer exercising at least two miles away from any […]

When did people become “souls”?

While listening to NBC News report last night on the crash of another Malaysian Airlines plane—this time caused by a missile strike—I noticed that newscaster Brian Williams said that the plane went down and “all 295 souls were lost.”  He used the word “souls” to refer to people at least twice more in the one-hour broadcast. This is […]

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