Thursday, May 5, 2011

Barton on Comedy Central

Update: Ed Brayton doesn't think Stewart hit hard enough.


Ray Soller said...

Great stuff.

Please notice that David Barton never answered the launchpad question about how come the founders did not ok a religious litmus test to hold office if they wanted to establish a christian or bible infused nation.

bpabbott said...

I was pleased by the exchange below.

Stewart: So we're a Christian nation?

Barton: Pick the right definition. Not the one that has been used in the last twenty years.

Stewart: Ahh.

Barton: The court definition is `a nation whose institutions and cultures have been shaped by the influence of Christianity'.

Not so pleased by Barton's framing of "reversing policy".

bpabbott said...

Barton insists that although John Adams was a Unitarian, that he still believed in the Trinity. I've not been able to find much on Adams' opinion, but I did find ...

"I wonder that Priestley has overlooked this, because it is the same philosophy with Plato's, and would have shown that the Pythagorean, as well as the Platonic philosophers, probably concurred in the fabrication of the Christian Trinity."

... which is part of a larger letter to Thomas Jefferson.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Transcript, please. It's all BS w/o one.

BTW, Mr. Brayton reports Stewart's staff contacted our old friend Chris Rodda, presumably to ambush Barton. Stewart did not use the material.

Daniel said...

bpabbot, Interesting letter. Usually I find 18th century (or 21st century) observations on the similarities between religions to be shallow and tendentious. But the notion that divinity is 3ish has a very interesting history dating at least to the Pythagoreans among the Greeks The Pythagoreans acknowledged the Egyptians for the idea.

Chris Rodda said...

To correct Tom, who has no clue what he's talking about (but, as usual needs to feed his apparent obsession with trying to make me look bad), there was one particular thing out of a number of things that I told them about that we were really hoping Stewart would use that he didn't use. He did use others, but didn't stand his ground as well as we hoped he would. That was what the disappointment was.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ah, so they did use you to sandbag Barton afterall, Ms. Rodda. I stand corrected.

Still, you concede it was an ambush, not an interview, which was my core point. This does not surprise me: it's how the game is played in some circles.

What is Barton right about? Who cares?

Chris Rodda said...

Tom ... obviously, your man crush on David Barton will never let you see that he's a chronic liar with no ethics or desire for truth. Who knows, if you keep going around the web defending him and trying to discredit me, you might land a job at WallBuilders, where I think you'd fit right in.

Tom Van Dyke said...

No, Chris, attacking my character will not do, nor does it make your work any more credible. You sometimes are 100% correct, other times you inflate a difference of opinion or interpretation into a "lie."

David Barton is not a hill I choose to die on, but even a guilty man deserves a defense, esp against illegitimate charges.

jimmiraybob said...


It's disappointing to see you use "sandbag" and "ambush" over and over again here and at other venues.

Chris Rodda, whether you like it or not, is well informed regarding Barton and her work is well researched, and I've never found factual errors in here work that haven't been already aired via her own revelation. If Stewart's team and she exchanged information to better inform Stewart and give him a chance to respond and probe in a well-informed manor that is not an ambush. That is what interviewers are supposed to be - well informed regarding their interviewies. And Chris is as good as they could hope to get.

As you would say, why not stick with the substance and the facts and not get into attacks against Barton's "enemies."

And, by enemy, your term not mine, I can only assume that you mean those who would use actual factual information against Barton's well-documented lies and deceptions.

Tom Van Dyke said...

JRB, your point would hold if Daily Show prep staff also consulted someone besides Barton's avowed enemy, one Chris Rodda.

Otherwise, it's an ambush, not an interview.

Did I use "sandbag" or "ambush" in other venues? I don't recall writing about Chris Rodda anywhere but here on this blog in any recent past---only whenever Jonathan Rowe or Brad Hart injects her onto our mainpage.

It's Toy dept. stuff and culture war, with all the ugly hate and ad hom attached. As Ms. Rodda frequently puts it, I'm too busy. With Locke, Aquinas, Calvinist "resistance theory," trimming toenails, scrubbing the grout.

I don't want to be disingenuous and refer to you only in the 3rd person, Chris, since you're likely reading this---

It's bad enough when you impugn my character, Chris, but even worse when you insult my intelligence. You continue to take advantage of my civility and good cheer. Which, I guess, in for a penny, in for a pound. If you feel the need to attack me any further, the floor is yours. I do not stalk you across the internet. I post my objections to your work here at AC, and only when your work is thrown in our face.

And thx, JRB, you know, for whatever.

jimmiratbob said...

If Rodda is an enemy of anything it's Barton's unrelenting attack on historical facts that he bends and twists to sell his political and religious agenda. If she is as relentless in exposing his fraud as he is at spreading it, then good for her, history will be better off.

As to your insistence that his opponents should not be consulted for their input because that somehow taints the purity of the interview process, that is nonsense. Rodda's one of only a hand full of people that have done in depth and reliable analysis on Barton's work in an authoritative manner - all of whom you'd attempt to neuter by attacking them as "enemies," a tried and true ad hom attack designed to poison the well.

Too bad that Stewart's team didn't get in touch with a more reliable Barton team member, like say Huckabee, for objective input, eh?

Brad Hart said...

One of the things I detest most about American politics and the current culture wars is the fact that the extremist who yells and whines the loudest is usually given the microphone. And sadly, these are the same individuals who usually end up distorting history in order to make their extreme agenda look mainstream.

Such is the case with David Barton, and I think we all know it. I don't believe for a second that anyone here at AC would be stupid enough to recommend one of Barton's books to a novice student who is interested in the history of early American religion. On the flip side, which of us would be idiotic enough to recommend Howard Zinn's epic sewage pot, "A People's History"? I hope none of us.

It is likely that Barton won't be disappearing anytime soon, and as a result, I would imagine that we will be having this debate again. I simply hope that all parties will agree that extremist history really isn't history.

I for one think we all recognize this.

Chris Rodda said...

What jimmiratbob said about people preparing for an interview is absolutely correct. Of course Stewart's staff would contact people who they think are knowledgeable about the person he's going to be interviewing if the interviewee is someone that he quickly needs to become more familiar with. Everybody does this. And I have no idea if I was the only person they contacted. I actually doubt that I was, since someone else (an organization that has been debunking Barton's stuff) was mentioned in one of the emails with Stewart's staff, and the person I talked to also wanted the name of yet another person who I told her about who was recently on a radio show with Barton. Of course, if you're a supporter Barton, this homework done by Stewart's staff to get things that Stewart should question him about is an "ambush." To the rest of us, it's just the normal way that many TV and radio show hosts prepare for interviews.

Tom Van Dyke said...

And I have no idea if I was the only person they contacted. I actually doubt that I was, since someone else (an organization that has been debunking Barton's stuff) was mentioned in one of the emails with Stewart's staff, and the person I talked to also wanted the name of yet another person who I told her about who was recently on a radio show with Barton.

Oh, this gets better and better. A whole army of ambushers!

Chris Rodda said...

Who should they have contacted, Tom, you? So you could tell them that Barton is a great historian who's just made a few "honest" mistakes? They were looking for questions to ask Barton, so they would naturally contact the people who have raised questions about Barton and disputed what he's said.

jimmiraybob said...

Oh, this gets better and better. A whole army of ambushers!

This has just moved to the realm of theater production.

The King: Yea, verily, what darkens yon western horizon?

The Adviser: It is the Dark Lord's whole army of ambushers, polemicists, and assorted fact-wielding rogues and rapscallions.

The King: Oh whoa is my kingdom. Quick, to the fainting room.

The Adviser: But first my Lord, I will harken to the Guard to man the walls with hot boiling diversions and deadly arrows of ad Hominem.

The end.

Tom Van Dyke said...

The end.

I sure hope so.