Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oops: Skeptic Magazine Hoaxed

How Skeptic Magazine Was Duped by an Environmental Activist Group

Unfortunately, seems Micheal Shermer was taken-in by the Grand Canyon Hoax. PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) embellished (to put it politely) a story about Fundies Vs tour guides at the Grand Canyon:

Mr Shermer states:

PEER is an anti-Bush, anti-religion liberal activist watchdog group in search of demons to exorcise and dragons to slay. On one level, that's how the system works in a free society, and there are plenty of pro-Bush, pro-religion conservative activist watchdog groups who do the same thing on the other side. Maybe in a Hegelian process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis we find truth that way; at least at the level of talk radio. But journalistic standards and scholarly ethics still hold sway at all levels of discourse that matter, and to that end I believe we were duped by an activist group who at the very least exaggerated a claim and published it in order to gain notoriety for itself, or worse, simply made it up.

To that end, shame on me for not fact checking this story before publishing it on eSkeptic and But shame on you too, Mr. Ruch, and shame on PEER, for this egregious display of poor judgment and unethical behavior.

I like the line about dragons and demons. I forgot who first said it (but Joe Campbell quoted it), "When you hunt and slay dragons for too long, you become a dragon." All I can say is Bravo! to you Mr. Shermer. I wish others had your journalistic standards. There's enough baloney out there to deal with, without people having to go around inventing it.

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