Pants on fire

This is an old item (December 2) but it’s only now been drawn to my attention, and I want to say about it because it’s so remarkably and revealingly malicious and inaccurate. You won’t be surprised to learn that it comes from someone who presents himself as of The Party of Nice. It is Mark Vernon, smearing Richard Dawkins, in a post ostensibly about Christmas frenzy.

(It seemed appropriate that the Guardian should launch it’s [sic] Advent calendar with a piece from that now most hysterical of writers, Richard Dawkins. Ostensibly it celebrated the moral courage of Christopher Hitchens, which I don’t doubt is worth admiring, only 50% of the piece was against the Pope, and 25% of the piece was about himself.)

Ostensibly yourself, bub.

If you look at the linked Dawkins piece, you will see for yourselves how shamelessly wide of the mark that announcement is. Two sentences are about a pope or popes. The first paragraph is partly about himself, but it’s also about newspapers, headlines, spoiling jokes, irony and hero-worship, and more. In short, it’s an introductory paragraph, which touches on various things to draw the reader in and set the scene. It’s just standard practice – it’s far from being a grotesque display of egotism, as Mark Vernon more than implies.

The entire rest of the piece – the second half of para 2 through paras 3, 4 and 5, all the way to the end – is about Hitchens.

So that’s Mark Vernon’s way with the truth.

Well of course this is an attack on gnu atheism. The rules are suspended.

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