Joe Klein knows how to sling the link bait. In his world, hits matter and integrity does not. In his latest, the inexplicably successful columnist gets the warm fuzzies for religious relief orgs in Moore, OK, the community hit by devastating tornadoes. Had he stopped there and continued on talking about post traumatic stress syndrome and how well military-trained personnel do disaster relief, he might have slid under the decency bar.
But Klein had to add “funny how you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals”. Hermant Mehta blogging at Patheos points out not only is this offensive and just plain mean, it’s flatly untrue and Mr DC Journalism utterly failed to perform basic reporting procedure in his Time Magazine cover story.
Friendly Atheist — Klein is simply lying out of his ass. A simple Google search would’ve turned up a number of ways atheists helped in the wake of the Oklahoma tornadoes. But since Klein was too lazy to do it, I’ll do it for him:
- More than 4,300 people donated more than $120,000 for the family of Rebecca Vitsmun (she promised to donate to charity whatever money she doesn’t need).
- Foundation Beyond Belief raised over $45,000 for Operation USA and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
- Atheists Giving Aid raised over $18,000 that will be given to local relief groups in Moore, Oklahoma and directly to families that need help.
- Members of the FreeOK atheist group helped families who needed wreckage removed from their property:
Klein just spun a bald-faced whopper in the pages of one of the most prestigious mainstream magazines around. A false claim made all the worse because atheists in the US have the same kind of political influence over our media and government that poor black kids in wheelchairs have over the Teaparty wing in the House of Representatives. Prsumably to draw in hits and make nice with the elite of Fox News and the religious right. And what might we think of a wealthy adult who punched a poor, handicapped kid in the stomach to get a few adoring pats on the back from his fellow bullies, simply because the kid was an easy target?
I think a retraction and heartfelt apology are in order.