Who Holds the Media Accountable?

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Another anti-AiG article full of misinformation and untruths told by a secular media source (this time in my native Australia) has made me once again think about who holds the media accountable. It seems they are often a law unto themselves. And it also appears that for much of the media, freedom of speech includes making up whatever reporters want, and they can spread untruths to the public without much or any accountability. Using lies to disparage the integrity of those ministries the reporter and editors disagree with is an acceptable practice in some newsrooms. (Praise the Lord though for the many Christian news media sources that do report accurately on AiG)

Here is a case in point. On May 1 our Creation Museum website posted a blog about some dinosaur bones that had just been donated to Answers in Genesis. Actually, I was away speaking at conferences at the time the donation of bones was made, and so I didn’t even get to see the bones until a couple of weeks after the museum post was written. Here is the actual text of that blog post:

These bones were brought to us by a rancher and his wife from the area of Lemmon, South Dakota. All of the fossils were excavated on their ranch, in the Hell Creek formation. What’s really interesting about these bones is the fact that in a cross-section of the tibia, the bone has what looks like bone marrow present. Needless to say, our very own Dr. David Menton is excited about taking pictures and looking at samples under his microscope. Dr. Menton’s great sense of humor came through in his comment about how these bones are thought to be “63 million years old, give or take a week or two in one direction or the other.” If Dr. David Menton finds what he is looking for, you can count on a big write-up for Answers in Genesis in the near future!”

Note that my name is not even mentioned in then museum blog. Read the full post here.

So how did the secular media report on this blog? Well, below is how the blog item was translated on the news.com.au website in a May 25 article in the “science evolution” section. Now, when I first read this Australian article, I thought it was posted to a satirical site. But apparently it’s considered a legitimate popular news website in Australia. For instance, Wikipedia states,

News.com.au is an Australian news and entertainment website owned by News Corp Australia. It specialises in breaking national and international news as well as entertainment, sport, lifestyle, travel, technology and sport news. News.com.au is Australia's most popular news website as of January 2015, according to Nielsen Online Ratings.

News.com.au reaches an estimated 3.7 million Australians. It is similar in some ways to the Fox News website. It was founded by Sir Keith Murdoch, and is largely directed by media giant Rupert Murdoch and family, who own many of the major Australian newspapers.

Now, please read the actual wording about the donated dinosaur bones at the Creation Museum blog quoted above. Let’s see what news.com.au did with that.

First of all, look at the headline: “Creationist preacher Ken Ham to ‘prove’ dinosaurs roamed with Adam and Eve.” Hmm—and I wasn’t even mentioned in the blog. And then here is some of the text of this ridiculous article:

OUTSPOKEN creationist Ken Ham is once again raising the hackles of scientists, claiming he is on the verge of proving dinosaurs were roaming the earth only a few thousand years ago. The former Queensland science teacher, who took on celebrated American scientist Bill Nye in a notorious public debate on creationism last year, who opened the $40m Creation Museum in America and is currently building a Noah’s ark in Kentucky, says he will soon unveil evidence that dinosaurs once lived peacefully alongside Adam and Eve. Together with creation scientist Dr. David Menton, Mr Ham says he will soon publish findings that he suggests will be world-changing—and dispel current evidence that dinosaurs roamed the earth over 65 million years ago.

It is understood Mr Ham will claim that a bunch of donated Edmontosaurus bones are only a few thousand years old, based on the fact that they still contain remnants of bone marrow … Bafflingly, in a new post on the pro-creationism website Answers In Genesis, Ken Ham now asserts that Dr. David Menton can indeed look at fossilised dinosaur bones and determine things that happened before either of them was born—as long as it supports his own ideas.

So again: who does hold the secular media accountable for such dishonesty? What gives them the right to make up whatever they want, and disseminate misinformation and downright untruths because of a blatant anti-Christian agenda? Except for very few reporters I have worked with, I can never fully trust the secular media when they are reporting on anything we teach. Where is journalistic integrity today?

Let’s hope the average Australian has more integrity and common sense than the writer of this article, who should be fired for writing such nonsense! The article should have been labelled “satire” or “fiction.” Shame on News Corp Australia.

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