Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Lex has a one-month update on the N&R's public square which the blogged letters to the editor have quickly become a must-read. New names in the comments, too, beyond the original core group of bloggers who started frequenting the editor blogs...

All of which we can discuss this evening at the N&R...for which I must now depart.

6:44:56 PM    comment [] recommends: the lunch buffet at Saffron. Because man does not live by the spicy tuna bowl at Sushi 101 alone.

6:35:44 PM    comment []

Virginia is for lovers, just not for gay lovers who wish to formalize their commitment with the blessing of the state.

Virginia is for lovers, but it's no place to be displaying your underpants if you want to avoid a $50 fine. (via Southern Rants)

Virginia is for North Carolinians to feel better about ourselves.

3:14:01 PM    comment []

ACC Hoops has a roundup of pregame quotes. If you have to ask which game, you probably won't care about the quotes.

3:02:42 PM    comment []

The strange but true story of untrue but strange "newsman" "Jeff Gannon." This White House really ought to consider making Propaganda Secretary a cabinet-level post.

3:00:52 PM    comment []

Tonight: Dave Winer leads a discussion about blogging at the News & Record.

Saturday: Chapel Hill blog conference.

Sunday: Dan Gillmor speaks at the N&R.

Throw in that Duke-Carolina game tonight and a quick trip to NY tomorrow, and it's a pretty action-packed few days...

9:10:56 AM    comment []

You misspelled  "I got caught in a widespread error and regret using the phony quote."

That's what I emailed to Charles Davenport Jr. after he responded to my query about the false quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson in yesterday's N&R column. 

He came back with a 1,300 word essay (to be posted at his website) that ducks the authenticity question and spends the balance of its verbiage presenting credible evidence that Jefferson was not an out-and-out atheist (duh), and making the non-credible leap to Jefferson as devout Christian who didn't believe in a strong separation of church and state.

Never mind that Jefferson used that very phrase, or the copious evidence of his enlightenment mindset: there is political hackwork to be done, and Davenport is up to the task.

Davenport ignores the actual origins of the quote, as explained in the comments to yesterday's post, and instead cites its inclusion in a booklet from the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit he wrote about. The booklet says the prayer was dated March 4, 1804. As noted yesterday, the prayer is widely misreported to have been spoken by Jefferson at his second inaugural, on March 4, 1805, but he spoke no such words on that occasion.

So, what about this "historical" exhibition that led Davenport and perhaps others down the garden path?

The show is curated by Craig Lampe, who is described as "owner and operator of the largest Bible Museum in the country." Yet the Bible Museum seems to be a bible store, not a museum, a commercial venture and not a scholarly one. Nothing wrong with the rare-book business, but there is a difference between a store and a museum.

From the exhibition site: "Please note that all charges to your credit card will show up on your credit card statement as the following: The Bible Museum."

The rest of the curators seem to approach their material from a variety of faith-based and commercial points of view. Again, that's just fine, but it doesn't necessarily make for a dispassionate scholarly exhibition, much less one that would serve as a trusted source on US history or Thomas Jefferson.

Review by a Catholic visitor.

There seems to be a lot of interesting and important stuff in the show, I would enjoy seeing it myself. But to view it as any kind of reliable guide to American history would appear to be wishful thinking. Which, for all his bluster about the rigor of the conservative mind, seems to be Davenport's fallback position in this particular debate.

8:55:39 AM    comment []