An AP report by Rachel Zoll brought to our attention by a NewsBusters tipster headlines a truly weird assertion about GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum ("Santorum benefits from mistaken religious identity"), and submits as evidence an item in a Christian magazine which in turn has its own weird headline ("Catholic Politicians You Thought Were Evangelical").
It turns out that the Christianity Today item tells us that it's not evangelical Christians who misidentify Santorum, whose Roman Catholic faith is well-known. The entity which committed the misidentification by deliberately including the former Pennsylvania senator on a list of "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" while acknowledging that he is a Catholic was ... Time Magazine, in February 2005. Thus, there is no support for Zoll's headline claiming that many people "mistake" Santorum's "religious identity," and that he somehow "benefits." Zheesh.
Zoll's dispatch is similarly substance-free, and perpetuates a deliberately misstated meme which the establishment press has shamelessly pounded for the past week:
The former Pennsylvania senator's pointed rhetoric questioning the authenticity of other Christians can make him sound more like a preacher than a politician, but it draws support among many conservative Christians. He said recently that President Barack Obama, also a Christian, holds a "phony theology," then insisted he wasn't attacking the president's faith but his environmental views. The Obama campaign condemned his remark.
Oh (excuse the pun), for heaven's sake.
Here is exactly what Santorum said, as seen in the final 40 seconds of this video at Andrew Breitbart's place:
... to accomplish his (Obama's) political science goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This is what the President's agenda is. It's not about you. It's not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your jobs. It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.
Santorum was not, as Rachel Zoll asserts, "questioning the authenticity of other Christians." He was questioning the authenticity of what yours truly calls "globaloney," namely the zealous, virtually blind belief in human-caused global warming and the accompanying insistence that (for our own good, of course) comprehensive statist controls must be imposed over the minute details of everyday life to fight it -- a belief which persists despite mountains of contrary evidence, the utter lack of scientific consensus, and the unethical and authoritarian actions of its proponents including data destruction, data manipulation, avoidance of legitimate information requests, and intimidation and professional reprisals against skeptics.
Zoll's failure to cite the context of Santorum's "phony theology" remark is deliberate, and dishonestly misleads her readers. There's a reason why yours truly calls her employer the Administration's Press.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.