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New York Times Reporter Did Put Her Own Words in Ohio Board Member’s Mouth

John G. West

Earlier today, Rob Crowther speculated that wording attributed by New York Times reporter Cornelia Dean to Ohio State Board of Education member Dr. Deborah Owens Fink was in fact wording that came from Ms. Dean, not from Dr. Owens Fink. We have just received confirmation of that fact from Dr. Owens Fink herself.

According to Dean’s article, “Dr. Owens Fink…said the [Ohio] curriculum standards she supported did not advocate teaching intelligent design, an ideological cousin of creationism.” But Dr. Owens Fink did not call intelligent design “an ideological cousin of creationism,” even though Dean’s misleading wording makes this appear to be the case. Those words represent Dean’s own biased editorializing (in what was supposed to be a news article, not an editorial). According to Dr. Owens Fink, “the reporter… put words in the article that may represent her view but not mine.”

This is not the first time a Times’ reporter has invented a comment by someone critical of Darwinism. For an amusing example from last year involving Dr. Stephen Meyer, read here and here.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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