The fine folks at the Discovery Institute aren’t happy with tomorrow’s PBS documentary on the Dover Intelligent Design case, and they’re doing their best to make sure that everyone knows just how unhappy they are. They’ve been frantically tossing articles up on their Media Complaints Division Blog trying to make sure that their version of reality gets some exposure. I’m not going to bother going through all of their complaints right now. Most of their new material consists of a rehashing of discredited arguments from when the ruling came out. There’s one post that caught my eye, though, mostly because it’s such a fantastic exemplar of the level of honesty and academic discourse that makes Discovery what it is.
Near the beginning of a post entitled, “Was Justice Denied to Foundation for Thought and Ethics during the Kitzmiller Intelligent Design Trial?” Rob Crowther lavishes praise on a legal analysis of one of Judge Jones’s pretrial rulings:
Last year attorneys Seth Cooper and Leonard Brown published an article entitled, “A Textbook Case of Judicial Activism: How a Pro-ID Publisher Was Denied its Day in Court,” which describes how the publisher of the textbook Of Pandas and People, Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), was denied the right to become a party to the Kitzmiller trial, despite the fact that its intellectual property rights were implicated in the lawsuit.
Crowther mentions the Cooper & Brown article again later in the post, calling it an “excellent article” that his readers should take a look at.
I’m certainly not opposed to blog writers referring their readers to other material. I’m all for encouraging people to go and read more about interesting subjects. It’s just that I’m also a fan of full disclosure, and there are a couple of relevant facts that Crowther didn’t bother bringing up.
The authors of the article that he’s recommending as if it’s an independent resource are not actually independent legal scholars. At the time that they wrote the piece, Brown was one of the lawyers who had represented FTE in their failed attempt to intervene and Cooper worked at the Discovery Institute and had provided legal advice to the Dover school district folks when they were putting their project together. Their “article” was “published” in that legendary forum for legal analysis, The Discovery Institute Website.
Full and open disclosure – gotta love it.