A curious association

| 16 Comments

The Discovery Institute is touting their new book that they purport "shows [the] influence of Darwinian principles on Hitler's Nazi regime" (I think you'll be hearing more about this book here soon). I'm wondering about something, though. If they so deplore Hitler's racism, why have they been using a publisher whose main claim to fame is the publication of right-wing anti-Clinton diatribes, and whose heir the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a "prime mover and shaker in white nationalism publishing" and supporter of "white-supremacist luminaries"?

16 Comments

It’s simple: they didn’t do the research. Again.

Isn’t most of the ‘research’ we have come to expect from the Discovery Institute self defeating?

Another ID volume, Phillip E. Johnson’s “Darwin on Trial”, was published by Regnery Gateway.

Tom Bethell, antievolution advocate writing for Harper’s, published his autobiography through Regnery Gateway.

The SPLC link describes William Regnery II as a white supremacist. What is the connection between this Regnery and Regnery Publishing, the publisher that DI uses? Unless William Regnery II is the owner of Regnery Publishing (unlikely, since it’s a subsidiary of another company) or its president (which he isn’t), describing him as the publisher that DI uses is wrong.

William Regnery II is the heir to the publisher. The SPLC ties the family to a history of unsavory far right-wing politics.

Promoting white nationalism is nothing new for Regnery — or his family. His grandfather, William I, signed incorporation papers for the America First Committee, an organization that opposed fighting Nazi Germany in World War II. His father, Henry, created Regnery Publishing, one of the major purveyors of books by right-wing attack dogs like Anne Coulter and G. Gordon Liddy.

Their sympathies are pretty clear, and that’s the point: that the DI has some strange bedfellows.

Come on, Paul, this is beneath you. If the DI wrote stuff like this, you would tear it to shreds. “Their sympathies are pretty clear”? Whose sympathies? Where is the evidence that the current managers or owners of Regnery Publishing are racists? That was your statement – that the DI uses a publisher who’s a white supremacist. For all I know they are racists, but you haven’t provided any evidence for it. Your original statement was simply wrong: the SPLC has not identified the DI’s publisher as a leading light of white supremacism. Trying to support your claim by invoking guilt by common descent does not improve matters.

I can see your point. Henry Regnery may be ‘merely’ a right-wing crackpot and may not have anything to do with fascism or racism; it’s his son and heir William who’s been haring off, using the Regnery fortune to fund nasty little ventures like the Occidental Quarterly. I’ve revised it to clarify the distinction.

However, the main point is unchanged. I’m not trying to argue that Adolph Hitler runs Regnery; it’s that this is a marginal publishing house with absolutely no association with good science of any kind, that specializes in hit-and-run political hackery of a very low quality. That they are also associated with some very ugly American crypto-fascism is just another piece of the puzzle, rather like the DI’s willingness to accept funding from Howard Ahmanson. These are the kinds of seamy characters I would be anxious to dissociate myself from, were I in their position, yet somehow they keep ‘accidentally’ stumbling into business relationships with them.

PZ Myers Wrote:

…rather like the DI’s willingness to accept funding from Howard Ahmanson

Nothing wrong with that.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, or publishing through a bottom-of-the-barrel right wing house…as long as you’re willing to be associated with theocrats and hacks.

Actually, Robert may have a point. Howard Ahmanson, Sr. wasn’t a wingnut. It’s Jr. who has the history of association with Christian Reconstructionism.

Actually, Robert may have a point. Howard Ahmanson, Sr. wasn’t a wingnut. It’s Jr. who has the history of association with Christian Reconstructionism.

It sounds like we need a deck of playing cards with the names and faces of the most annoying Christians and creationists on them.

Just to be clear, the DI’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture got a big chunk of change from Howard Ahmanson, Jr., the one with the history of association with Christian Reconstructionism.

To be fair, PZ, you really should have mentioned the DI books which detail the influence christian ideas have had on slaughter, domination, and enslavement.

Promoting white nationalism is nothing new for Regnery — or his family. His grandfather, William I, signed incorporation papers for the America First Committee, an organization that opposed fighting Nazi Germany in World War II. His father, Henry, created Regnery Publishing, one of the major purveyors of books by right-wing attack dogs like Anne Coulter and G. Gordon Liddy.

1) The America First group included left wingers like Sargent Shriver:

In 1939, a group of 6 Yale law students formed a campus organization to oppose American intervention in the war then raging in Europe. They called their group The America First Committee. (Although many people assume that The America First Committee was formed in the mid-west by poorly educated rednecks, in fact, The America First Committee was formed on the Yale campus by some very smart and well educated guys.)

4 of the 6 founding members of The American First Committee went on to become very powerful people: Potter Stewart (later a Supreme Court judge), Sargent Shriver (later a member of the Kennedy family and JFK administration), Gerald R. Ford (later President of the U.S.), and Kingman Brewster, Jr. (later a professor of law at Harvard, U.S. ambassador to England, and President of Yale University itself.)

2) “white nationalism” = “books by the right-wing”? Please. That’s like saying “communism” = “books by the left-wing”.

All in all, this post was a pathetic smear worthy of a creationist. The glib equivalence between “white nationalism” and “right-wing attack dogs”, the doctrine of inherited guilt…I wonder if someday someone will denounce your son because you opposed the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban.

I wonder if someday someone will denounce your son because you opposed the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban.

“Someday”? Are you serious? There are hundreds of right-wing freeps who would line up today to denounce any member of such a traitor’s family.

I took a look at the supposed America First/white-nationalism link in a bit more detail on my blog.

Sean

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on August 17, 2004 9:48 AM.

Reinventing the wheel - a personal report was the previous entry in this blog.

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