The Normalization of Deviance, part 9,430

Is there any reason to read the NY Times? From Digby:

In case the recent Trumpmania didn’t convince you, here’s the latest example of how the media helps to mainstream the craziest wingnuts in the land. Check out today’s front page NY Times article on Glen Beck’s personal historian, the leader of his Black Robed Regiment, pseudo-historian David Barton. You’ll find that he’s quite a nice fellow who is influential in the GOP. You’ll also find that some “liberal groups” like People for the American Way and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are alarmed because he’s one of those …zzzzzzzz. (Aren’t they always upset about something???)

What you won’t find is any serious discussion of his alleged scholarship, politics or theocratic vision for America. Instead you get this mealy mouthed nonsense:

[M]any professional historians dismiss Mr. Barton, whose academic degree is in Christian education from Oral Roberts University, as a biased amateur who cherry-picks quotes from history and the Bible.

“The problem with David Barton is that there’s a lot of truth in what he says,” said Derek H. Davis, director of church-state studies at Baylor University, a Baptist institution in Waco, Tex. “But the end product is a lot of distortions, half-truths and twisted history.”

Mr. Barton says it is his critics who cherry-pick history by underplaying the religious dimension. Over the years, he has only dug more deeply into his documents, filling out books like “Original Intent” (published by WallBuilders, his organization here).

No need to go into that any further, I guess. It’s just an academic disagreement. And there were only ten paragraphs left and it was important to talk about his sleeping habits and horse back riding hobby. Besides, I’m sure that that everyone who reads the NY Times can read between the lines and “get” that Barton is saying something silly. There’s no need to rile up the right wingers by coming right out and saying it. They’ll send a bunch of nasty emails and who needs that?

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