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"Breaking" News
by Jack Wellman
2008-11-29 10:19:35
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I hope you realize you can not believe everything you see on TV, including the cable news networks, National Geographic, but particularly the History Channel (called the Mis-History Channel now). Here’s a prime example: Towards the end of January (03), the History Channel started an evolutionist propaganda agenda which consist of four programs. Almost simultaneously, National Geographic and Discovery Channel began programming evolutionist propaganda programs as well.

It seems at least possible that these pro-evolution media were trying to talk of evolution as a matter of fact, while completely ignoring the enormous number of fossil hoaxes that have been uncovered. The inaugural first volley was fired by the History Channel and the program "Living History: The Ape-Man." Even while the History Channel was broadcasting these programs, some of the same fossils used as evidence were declared phonies. The History Channel has deliberately ignored these developments and has not hesitated to broadcast the old stories in re-runs that are no longer of any value at all in the face of the new findings. This is part of the reason why I have creditability issues with much of the media and in particular the History Channel, since it is obvious they have an axe to grind.
Example number one:

The Little Ice Age, a program presented by the History Channel (Sept. 27., 08), contained more than one mistake. But one mistake was enough to be brought to attention. The gravest error was when the show claimed that Pope Innocent VIII sanctioned harsh treatment of witches. Many Catholics feel that the History Channel owes them an apology. And many Catholics say this isn’t the only infraction. It is like they have an axe to grind against the Catholic Church and for many a Catholic, there is good reason not to trust the History Channel when it presents programs that portray Catholic historical events. When someone complained on their website about the mistake one irate viewer posted:

“Simply Google the pope and witches to see it was an error. Here's a sample of one from Nature:

Pope Innocent VIII. and Witchcraft


IN the issue of NATURE for April 11, p. 113, is an erratum which corrects a statement made in NATURE for April 4, p. 82, regarding Pope Innocent VII. and witchcraft. It is stated that Pope Innocent VIII. in 1484, gave the sanction of the Church to the popular beliefs concerning witches. In the cause of historical truth it must be stated that Pope Innocent VIII., by his Bull, Summis desiderantes affectibus (1484), must be considered to affirm the reality of the alleged phenomena of witchcraft. But the Bull pronounces no dogmatic decision, and the Pope does not wish anyone to believe more about the reality of witchcraft than is involved in the utterances of Holy Scripture. The immediate effects of the Bull have been greatly exaggerated. The expression, gave the sanction of the Church, is, therefore, inexact, and, being inexact, is unscientific; it needs much qualification.

I know it would be hard for the History Channel to correct this error, but a correction would be proper. The assertion made is serious and should not be allowed to stand.”


Incidentally, as their own history proves, the History Channel rarely responds to complaints.
Example number two:
Sometimes the most obvious things are missed. And what is termed at “perplexing” has absolutely obvious reasons. In the History Channel’s “Swords, Axes, and Knives” (Nov. 10, 08), one viewer posted on their website these remarks:

“I was watching the Swords, Axes, and Knives episode and one of the quick facts things that come on before the commercials said, "Many ancient swords were found in riverbeds. No one knows why," or something along those lines. In actuality, many scholars know exactly why that is. Many ancient polytheistic Europeans would break their enemies' weapons and throw them into rivers as an offering of thanks to their tribe's war god. This was especially popular among the continental Celts, Germans, and Slavs and this is why many of the swords from this time period are found in riverbeds. Modern Marvels should have asked any scholar whose specialty is this time period and those peoples this question and they would have known.”


Needless to say, no reply was ever received from the History Channel, confirming that even the History Channel repeats itself.

Example number three:

Another viewer who posted comments to complain about the History Channel’s accuracy in historical facts:

“I wanted to give this show a chance.

I tried watching the "guns" episode, it was simplistic sure, but i figured they would have a fact checker. I could be wrong. They asked a question of the gun "experts" - Is there a gun that can shoot around corners? Two said no and one said yes. I thought o good we get to see the German MP44's modification for tank use.…there was even a Russian knock-off.

Nope. Not even a mention rather he presented the Israeli's pistol mods [basically a camera and eyepiece viewer] called "the Corner Shot". And then the host said it wasn't REALLY shooting around the corner so ‘THERE ARE NO GUNS THAT CAN SHOOT AROUND CORNERS’ Anyone who looks could find it. It's been common knowledge since WW2 (even Googled - I looked it's there}”


Google showed thousands upon thousands of such complaints from the History Channel alone, but even actual Historians have noticed sloppiness in the facts” (or should they be deemed as lazy?). I have yet to receive even ONE reply to my complaints on what are clearly wrong reports.

Example number four:

On their November 20th (06) show called Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Eve. It was actually not Constance (Dudley) Hopkins who gave birth to Oceanus, but Stephen’s 2nd wife, Elizabeth Fisher. And didn’t Constance die before 1617 or -18? We can safely assume that a deceased Constance did not give birth to Oceanus.

Don’t think that there aren’t other blatant mistakes on other such cable channels. One short example is from the National Geographic, which magazine is no less apt to error, and some very blatant. In a 1999 National Geographic article about the discovery of what was thought to be a feathered dinosaur (Archaeoraptor), they pictured a model of a T-Rex covered in feathers. When the Smithsonian Institution Curator of the Birds complained that they have “…reached an all time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated tabloid journalism!”, particularly relevant since the fossil was a fraud anyway. The trunk and tail were from two different organisms. There has never been any fossil evidence found where feathers were developing from scales. Incidentally, the curator never received a response nor did National Geographic every make a printed or broadcast apology or retraction.

There is no end, I have found, to the many mistakes and errors made by the media, cable news networks, and in particular, the History Channel (I had easily found nearly two dozen!). It is dollar-driven sensationalism more than factualism. But more so, an ideologically-driven, agenda-pushing consortium that has an axe to grind. And when they are confronted with error, their history is in mute responses, being unapologetic to those who beg to differ and no retractions on their programs; even when the program content has been shown to be conclusively wrong. I find that sad yet astounding, since we are taught that if we fail to remember history, we are doomed to repeat it.

Where do we draw the line as to what and what not to believe, especially with a history of programming misinformation? These evening news programs on Fox, CNN, and news talk radio, etc. should be labeled “Editorial News” since they frequently insert their own thoughts with little in the way of unbiased reporting. Bill O’Reily, Nancy Grace, and Rush Limbaugh, are prime examples. You better believe that they have agenda’s and reporting the news is not part of it. Any news is given in such a light and perspective that the listener has little choice in how to receive it.

One thing for certain; you can not believe everything you hear. My cousin Terry once said about the news media that, “Yeah, you can trust them all right, about as far as you can throw a CNN News truck”. Even if they act like they wrote the book, don’t trust the author. Like the Da Vinci Code, the first page might say "fact" but in actuality it is fiction. Apparently you can not grind an axe while holding a pen. The days of un-biased news reporting seems to have gone the way of black and white television…replaced by the in-living-color, tabloid-sensationalism of “Breaking News”. The news is broke alright, and no one seems to be able to or willing to fix it.

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Sand2008-11-29 13:29:55
That the TV historical exposition of how and where swords are found should be moved by evil and surreptitious motivations strikes me as rather unlikely and very curious as to why they should consciously do so.

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-29 14:38:12
Indeed, Jack, as amply displayed on the comments under the article on Walter Benjamin’s concept of art where everything including defecation was discussed except art and we were both duly analyzed and put in our place by the self-appointed Grand Inquisitor of political correctness, authoritarian and bully personalities are always ironically curious about issues which they either cannot understand or refuse to study or simply disagree with, while never taking the trouble to understand the opposite view. At best, they will consult a dictionary or encyclopedia. Their disagreement invariably turns into the disagreeable. Anything and anybody that cannot be pigeonholed within their biased neatly rational, godless and deterministic universe is soon shut down and given the usual vituperative and foul-mouthed treatment. The irony is that those types would not last long in a totalitarian society intolerant of free speech unless they themselves were the biggest bully. The most bizarre aspect of this social phenomenon is that they also manage to persuade themselves that somehow they have won the debate because they have managed to cower those who don’t agree with their false assumptions and self-deception. I think it is a mistake to appease bullies or even engage them in a serious debate. One sure sign of that self-deception is that for those sophistic narcissistic types having the last word is very important; for indeed winning the debate rather than searching for truth is their ultimate aim. The knee-jerk reaction to this comment is now quite predictable. It is bound to come fast and furious and in the blink of an eye, as soon as Mr. S. is finished with his coffee and chocolate cake and other bodily functions.

Sand2008-11-29 16:15:09
Amusing and ineffectual attempt to attack me, Mr. P. You must be hurting.

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-29 16:21:14
Point confirmed!

Sand2008-11-29 16:31:56
If you really feel bullied by my comments then it is a confession that your arguments are too weak to confront mine.

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-29 16:38:21
Now we have a redundancy of confirmation. Might makes right and the biggest bully wins. Indeed, nobody will ever convince a born and nurtured bully that such is not the case with human beings worthy of that name.

Sand2008-11-29 17:20:07
Poor, poor little Paparella being pushed around by an atheist monster. Have you no solid ground on which to defend yourself?

Jack2008-11-29 17:38:45
Sand, as to your comment about where the swords are found could be "...moved by evil and surreptitious motivations"

It is not that they are moved by evil and being surreptitious in this example but, as I explained in the last sentence in the example about the sword, it is exactly as I said (no motivation, just laziness or oversight with my explanation for this stated "Modern Marvels should have asked any scholar whose specialty is this time period and those peoples this question and they would have known.”

I fail to see how you interpret this example as me accusing them of being surreptitious or moved by evil. The last part of this example made clear that did not go out of their way to find the facts but only used conjecture.

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-29 17:38:49
Delighted that you agree.

Jack2008-11-29 17:41:12
Incidentally, most of the examples are not from me, but hundreds and hundreds of viewers who have contacted the History Channel and received no satisfaction. I doubt rather seriously that these readers are redering such things as "evil", but just plain wrong!

Sand2008-11-29 17:46:52
I apologize, Jack, if I misinterpreted your statements. The fact that you said there was no acknowledgment of your corrections implied to me that there was some motivation to making the mistakes. Evidently you were offended by the lack of recognition of your catch of their error and you felt they should have made a correction. I don't doubt that some scientific programs do make some errors but I assume it is unintentional.

Jack2008-11-29 17:56:20
I was not offended my friend. You were exactly right in saying "you felt they should have made a correction. I don't doubt that some scientific programs do make some errors but I assume it is unintentional." Your point is well taken.

I do believe that much of it is unintentional. But ignorance of the laws as in facts, is not excuse, particularly since they are in the business of producing such programming. However I continue to believe that the media in general does have an agenda and sometimes an axe to grind and that scientific peer-pressure inhibits many from deviating from the masses broadly accept.

Sand2008-11-29 18:08:38
I cannot comment on the agendas in general but obviously, from your other comments on other issues both you and I have very strong agendas in conflicting directions. In those areas I frankly think you are slightly nuts and I am sure you feel the same about me. It's genuinely pleasurable to encounter someone in a mutually dotty atmosphere who answers directly to queries and behaves in a civil manner.

Jack2008-11-29 19:11:11
Even though, yes, we do have different philosophies, we can be civil about it. Your comment: " It's genuinely pleasurable to encounter someone in a mutually dotty atmosphere who answers directly to queries and behaves in a civil manner." is a tribute to your responses and general attitude with those who "beg to differ". Well said Sand. I rather enjoy our addressing different issues and agreeing to dissagree.

Of course, I do not think any less of you or more of you for not agreeing with me. Actually it is quite enjoyable conversing with you, since I think you do a nice job directly addressing what particular issues we discuss and not necessarily the person themself.

My respect for you remains, even though we may dissagree about certain, volatile issues, since in these you truly seem to "answer directly to queries and behave in a civil manner." For that, I am especially greatful and more respectful of your comments. You are obviously well educated and versed in many things and this is what makes this website and it's writers/ readers/commentors most interesting.

As for Ovi, there is not hidden agenda...it is what it is. How refreshing from the norms of the media in general. Ovi, the open door vs. much of the media's agenda's behind closed doors.

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-29 21:42:27

To the reader who may be wondering what happened to the original theme of this article (the theory of evolution)within so much personal stuff, the above link may to a book review of the latest edition of Darwin's theory by Asa Gray may be of some interest. The conclusions are of particular interest...

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-29 22:09:37

Moreover, the reader who may be interested in the nexus between the spiritual and the material, usually given short shrifts my materialists and rationalists, the above link will take him/her to an enlightening article on the subject by an eminent scientist.

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