Citizenlink Quietly Rewrites Debunked Article
Not content with predicting the future, Citizenlink now wants to change history by rewriting a controversial article – and saying nothing.
In 2007, Citizenlink, the official news service of Focus on the Family, suffered embarrassment after reporting attendance figures for an ex-gay survivor conference before they could possibly be known. Associate Editor Jennifer Mesko protested her innocence (in an article that has since disappeared from the web), but failed to explain why she felt able to accurately forecast the future.
At that time, Mesko wrote:
As Christian journalists, we adhere as best we can to truth and accuracy. But many of those on the other side of the issues we fight – particularly bloggers – aren’t guided by those principles.
Bloggers can post whatever they want, whenever they want. I admit, it often seems credible. They seem like real journalists. Only without the degree. Without the editors. Without the accountability.
Now it appears the ideals of truth, accuracy and accountability have been discarded once again, as it is revealed that an article written in early March was totally rewritten over 10 days later, without explanation. Although the views expressed were attributed to FotF’s Glenn Stanton, neither version credited the writer of the article, a curious omission that appears to be standard on Citizenlink.
The original article (top, click to enlarge) made the bold claim that anthropologists were agreed on the “traditional definition of marriage.” Box Turtle Bulletin did an excellent job of gathering the views of two anthropologists (including XGW contributor Patrick Chapman), as well as those of the American Anthropological Association – all of whom sharply disputed the claim.
There was no response from Citizenlink; yet by March 14th, an entirely different article (bottom) had appeared, retaining the same date, and available at the same URL, yet softening the original claims in what was, frankly, a very weasely manner.
For the record, we maintain high journalistic standards at Ex-Gay Watch. We will always make it clear when text has been significantly altered, and we will never make a major change without indicating so. Contrary to Ms Mesko’s dismissal, we at XGW submit everything we post to a thorough process of review and edit before it becomes public. There is nothing amateur about the standard we maintain.
Citizenlink shames itself with such unprofessional practices, and makes a mockery of its claims to accuracy and accountability.
Of course they take a stab at you, you’ve got them on the ropes. The best way to distract from their misdeeds is to go after you guys personally.
It’s funny, by suggesting their degrees make a difference, they only hurt their own case. They don’t name the author of an article? How do you get through journalism school without learning that one?
From the second rendition of the article:
First of all, that “research report” says © 2008, and more specifically “Published, March 10, 2008,” I take it that it was prepared specifically in response to the rebukes of the first rendition of the article?
Secondly, especially regarding that “past century” remark, one of those rebukes of the original article was from the American Anthropological Association itself — which quotes itself from 2004.
Thirdly, I’m not an anthropologist, but even if this report was just lying around, it still strikes me as a rather hasty compilation of cherry picked quotes.
Title and intent:
So first we get a hint that The American Anthropological Association is part of “Emerging Same-Sex Marriage Advocates,” and are no longer actual anthropologists.
“Real” anthropologists it would seem, are those deemed by Glenn Stanton and ilk as “classic” and “traditional.”
So now, the same-sex marriage advocating members of The American Anthropological Association are no longer even “professional.”
Second paragraph of Glenn Stanton’s intro (read this one closely):
Stanton then Quotes Ellis’ quote of Westermarck, and provides these footnotes:
So off the bat, Glenn Stanton cites Ellis’ 1952 book to give credence to a 1922 compilation, to conclude it as: “The most ambitious and complete effort to explain what marriage has been in human history.”
We then take a several minute trip through time (depending on how fast you read) to discover what was said about historical marriage, from: 1949, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1970, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1991, and 1994. (All pre-internet days)
Then we come to section B: “B. Recent definitions offered by same-sex marriage proponents,” Which contain a list of no-doubt cherry picked sound-bite quotes, intended to make marriage equality proponents sound not only anti-marriage, but also anti-anthropological.
Got that all you “leading voices?” That’s firstname.lastname@example.org
An inquiring mind, with the support of a $100 million organization behind him, yet devoid of access to Google.
“1952 book to give credence to a 1922 ” Did any form of samesex marriage exist back then?
Really, it’s not about being truthful or factual.
It’s not about bearing a true witness as our God instructed.
It’s really only about supplying tendentious and meretricious talking points to your culture warriors, so they can sound as if they have the gravitas of truth and reason on their side as they spew forth their carefully crafted bile and vitriol.
And of course about the money and the power that comes with the money: the power to dictate how people you will never meet (or really care about) may live their lives. And, to find smug contentment in doing so.
[…] that the original article didn’t link to the whitepaper that the article itself was about. Ex-Gay Watch insinuated that the paper was cobbled together quickly to answer the complaints generated from the first […]
[…] this week, XGW detailed how Citizenlink, the official news service of Focus on the Family, rewrote an entire article following a storm of controversy in which anthropologists, including the American […]
[…] also said this: Ex-Gay Watch insinuated that the paper was cobbled together quickly to answer the complaints generated from the first […]