Ed Driscoll

God and Man at Pinch Avenue

“So here’s my theory,” Mollie Hemingway writes at Get Religion.com, “I think that Keller didn’t do this. I mean, he did, but only to make a point. I’m not entirely sure what that point is, but he’s clearly pulling everyone’s leg. Hear me out:”

If this weren’t satire, would he really say that the Christian relationship to the Bible is one of lord and servant? Would he really pretend that in order to be a good candidate for office you have to believe that the Constitution is a higher authority than the Bible? Would he really pretend that the laws of this country are inerrant?

Would he come up with laugh lines such as this?:

I care a lot if a candidate is going to be a Trojan horse for a sect that believes it has divine instructions on how we should be governed.

If this weren’t satire, would he really confuse inerrancy with literalism?

If this weren’t satire, would a respected news man really be pushing the threat of Dominionism? Would he call someone a Dominionist who explained just two weeks ago that she had to literally Google the term to learn what it meant? Someone who explained quite clearly why the slur is inaccurate when used against her? I mean, I know he’s biased, but he’s not a hack.

If this weren’t satire, would he pretend that his loaded gotcha questions were “respectful”? He knows readers aren’t stupid.

If this weren’t satire, would he believe no one notices that there sure seems to be a lot of emphasis on religion for a race that’s largely about an unemployment rate of 9.1%?

If this weren’t satire, would he really raise a question about whether the candidates have fealty to something above the Constitution, but then criticize squeamishness about appointing Muslim judges because of questions raised about some Muslims placing Islamic law above the constitution?

If this weren’t satire, would he really suggest that it’s only problematic if Republicans are endorsed by people Keller doesn’t like — and not mention, I don’t know, that Hamas officials endorsed President Obama? No!

There’s got to be more to this. There’s just no way that Keller would be blowing up his paper’s relationship with religious people on his way out from leading the paper. There’s no way. Not the man who wrote that famous call for improved, accurate, fair coverage of religious believers.

New York Times religion reporters have enough trouble of their own building up rapport and relationships with religious adherents. I can’t help but imagine they’ve been working hard to restore trust with some of the leaders who have given up even talking to them. That’s what reporters do. Something like this would make it so easy for religious people to dismiss the Times in perpetuity. There’s no way that an executive editor would do something like that to the pros in his newsroom.

Now, I did fall for the Krugman hoax earlier this week, to my shame, so perhaps I’m overreacting. But I am not going to be had twice.

Heh. Of course, the writer goofing on Krugman and the Broken Window Fallacy is the exception that proves the rule. Is there anyone at the New York Times that actually has enough of a sense of humor to write satire? Knowingly, that is. As Jill Abramson, soon to replace Keller as executive editor at the Times wrote in June, “In my house growing up, the Times substituted for religion. If the Times said it, it was the absolute truth.” Only to quickly find her absolutely truth absolutely disappeared down the Memory Hole when it proved to be a bit overeager sounding to everyone in else at the paper. So with that in mind, I think we need to combine Malcolm Muggeridge’s Law with Occam’s Razor: There is no way for any satirist to improve upon reality for its sheer absurdity; though there is no more skewed view of reality than The View of the World from Pinch Avenue.