Telling Time


Ed Brayton has a request. It’s more than reasonable. It may even be something you’ve already considered doing on your own:

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Joe Klein’s awful cover story in Time magazine last week, which took an entirely inaccurate and gratuitous cheap shot at the atheist and humanist community. His article focused on Team Rubicon, a wonderful organization of veterans that does crisis relief work after natural disasters.

[…]

You may also have seen Klein’s sad and absurd response to criticism he received for it, which Hemant thoroughly dismantled, and the editors of the magazine, when faced with the opportunity to make up for it, instead making it even worse. And I hope you’ve seen Dale McGowan’s eloquent rebuttal in the Washington Post.

But as Dale suggests, this really isn’t about Joe Klein. Frankly, Klein has been a tired hack for most of my adult life, so I’m not at all surprised by either his initial absurdity or his equally inane response to criticism. It isn’t even really about Time magazine, though their response has been pretty appalling. It’s about how ignorant statements like the one Klein made are perfectly in sync with the larger culture, which tends to treat the entire secular community with indifference, at best, or outright hostility. And as long as the mainstream media continues to view us with either dismissal or derision, the situation is not going to change.

This is where you come in. On behalf of Foundation Beyond Belief, which has been so successful in channeling the compassion of the humanist community that it is about to go over the $1 million mark in funds raised and distributed in less than four years of operation, I’d like to ask you to email the editors of Time magazine at letters@time.com. Please be polite rather than angry when you do so.

If you need them, Ed has a number of things Time really should know about Foundation Beyond Belief. Those are good, particularly if you helped contribute to those efforts. Or since many of you are members of local atheist or humanist groups that do the kind of work Klein is claiming doesn’t happen, you can tell them about that too.

Tell them about the donations collected. Tell them about the blood drives. Tell them about the trash picked up. Tell them about those hot meals that have been handed out.

If there is also a letter sent by the leaders of the organization you belong to, all the better, but don’t neglect to write to them yourself.

Comments

  1. cotton says

    I sent my letter. That article is some of the hackiest of hack writing I’ve had the displeasure of being introduced to. His dissembling response sans apology was absolutely laughable. It’s boggling how he ended up in the eminent position he currently maintains.

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