Peabody Award for PBS NOVA “Judgment Day”

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Congratulations go out to PBS and Nova for winning the Peabody Award for “Judgment Day”, the episode documenting the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case.

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation, Vulcan Productions Inc., The Big Table Film Company

The centerpiece of this thoughtful, topical edition of NOVA was the recreation, verbatim, of key testimony and argument from a six-week trial in Pennsylvania that served as a crash course in modern evolutionary theory, the evidence for evolution and the nature of science.

We had most of the plaintiffs’ side of the case on hand to view the broadcast last November. We gathered together at Lauri Lebo and Jeff Pepper’s beer can museum near York, Pennsylvania. We were companionably squeezed in there for the broadcast. (Note Prof. Steve Steve near center…)

(Original and two more pics at the Austringer.)

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So Panda’s Thumb is pleased that Judgement Day won a Peabody award. Judgement day is a documentary about the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District court case. Let’s rain on the parade, and juxtapose certain facts (some of which are just... Read More

Wesley R. Elsberry apparently couldn’t stand being proved wrong about the propaganda film Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, so he just deleted a comment of mine that illustrated exactly how he was wrong. He claimed to have moved them &... Read More

68 Comments

When a billionaire such as Paul Allen wants a movie made, you can be assured that it will be well done.

And, as propaganda, it was well done.

What, an event that PZ didn’t crash?

“WW” has confused the NOVA segment with the forthcoming Ben Stein flick on that “propaganda” bit, though indications from early reviewers indicate that “Expelled” is propaganda poorly done.

“Propaganda” doesn’t apply to re-enacting verbatim sections of the trial transcript. Nor does it apply to scientists discussing their fields of research or specific research findings, as Neil Shubin and Kevin Padian did. But I guess some people, like “WW”, have to kvetch no matter how nonsensical what they say sounds.

Well said, Wesley. Congratulations to the “Judgment Day” team!

William Wallace:

When a billionaire such as Paul Allen wants a movie made, you can be assured that it will be well done.

And, as the truth, it was well done.

Fixed.

dpr

Like I wrote on Talkorigins, this was well-deserved because it was well-done, but even more so because it was done at all.

The IDiots do try to intimidate PBS into not making programs about their frauds (there’s your suppression), and reportedly one of the key figures at PBS initially was not going to do it, partly because of the intimidation. Yet they went ahead and made it, doing a great job of exposing the vacuity, and dishonest machinations, of the IDists.

And indeed, it was respectful of religious folk, of the various types of creationists, and of the science side (religious and otherwise).

By contrast, Expelled tries to win primarily by being disrespectful and dismissive of everything and everybody (including Xians like Collins) who disagrees with them. Then too, how could it be otherwise, since they don’t have a case that ID is science, nor that ID has been unfairly treated.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

I thought NOVA did a remarkable job of being even-handed considering the highly one-sided material they were presenting. How would it be possible to do an informative and accurate documentary without showing that Buckingham lied about the meetings, about his own statements, about his deposition, about the source of the money for the books, etc.? When the testimony of the defendents clearly shows consistent misrepresentation and duplicity and you’re supposed to document that testimony accurately, but NOT supposed to make them look duplicitous, what are you supposed to do?

NOVA did it very carefully and very well. I admit if I were doing the show, I’d have drawn a few more conclusions rather than trusting the audience to do it for themselves. But as WW demonstrates, even creationists noticed that the facts painted them as lying dummies, and so the facts must be propaganda.

When a billionaire such as Paul Allen wants a movie made, you can be assured that it will be well done.

And, as propaganda, it was well done.

Okay, hands up, who didn’t see this coming?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Nobody.

Willy Wally, please pinpoint the inaccurate portions of the program, or shut the hell up.

Dear Wes,

Thanks for a great post. The Peabody Award was well-earned for the “Judgement Day” team. Especially when some may recall how much the PBS “NOVA” “Evolution” miniseries led to more federal government scrutiny of PBS’ programming (As someone who regards himself as a conservative with a strong libertarian bias, that was a serious mistake by the Bush administration. Am glad “Judgement Day” was made at all, and especially with such superb production values.).

As for someone who’s obviously intellectually-impaired like William Wallace, I can only note this. I know propaganda when I see it, and “Judgement Day” doesn’t even remotely qualify as such. Instead, I trust that Mr. Wallace - as he enjoys his Disco Tute IDiot Borg Collective membership - will be watching some of the rather blatant examples of Disco Tute-sponsored Kremlinesque agitprop propaganda, like, for example, “EXPELLED”.

Appreciatively yours,

John

Nope, I checked. There is a Peabody award for the Category “Documentary”. There is no award category for “Propaganda”. Guess WW got is wrong again.

Wonder if Expelled will win this award? Now that was propaganda.

The Peabodys are controlled by the Evil Darwinist Atheist Child-Eaters! They’re everywhere! And they look just like us!

Wesley R. Elsberry:

“WW” has confused the NOVA segment with the forthcoming Ben Stein flick on that “propaganda” bit, though indications from early reviewers indicate that “Expelled” is propaganda poorly done.

“Propaganda” doesn’t apply to re-enacting verbatim sections of the trial transcript. Nor does it apply to scientists discussing their fields of research or specific research findings, as Neil Shubin and Kevin Padian did. But I guess some people, like “WW”, have to kvetch no matter how nonsensical what they say sounds.

Portraying Judge Jones as a renaissance man instead of the ACLU cut-and-paste-artist he was is propaganda.

Using footage from the motion picture Inherit the wind, and only subsequently mentioning that it was “loosely” based on the facts of the scopes trial (Indeed, very loosely based on the facts of the scopes trial, as anybody who has ever read Edward J. Larson’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Summer for the Gods knows) qualifies as propaganda–just not at Panda’s thumb.

What’s next? DNA co-discoverer James Watson, in consultation with the NCSE, makes documentary that uses footage from Gone with the Wind to further their premise that African Americans liked slavery?

Couldn’t the Peabody people have waited until April 18 to announce this award? Oh well–it’s probably close enough to still be news when “Expelled” opens.…

John,

Can you give me more information? I hadn’t heard that W punished PBS for airing the Evolution miniseries.

Allow me to preemptively summarize all the trolls:

<sarcasm> Well, of course, this whole thing is obviously the left-wing MSM congratulating itself for religion bashing. </sarcasm>

I always thought William Wallace got off too easy in Braveheart.

This has to be good news for PBS and Nova.

One can always tell how good the news is by the loudness and bitterness of the squealing barometers of bad news for ID/Creationists. William Wallace’s bitterness tells it all.

The harder he tries to bad-mouth the award, the worse he makes himself and his heroes at the Discover Institute look.

William Wallace:

Portraying Judge Jones as a renaissance man instead of the ACLU cut-and-paste-artist he was is propaganda.

Using footage from the motion picture Inherit the wind, and only subsequently mentioning that it was “loosely” based on the facts of the scopes trial (Indeed, very loosely based on the facts of the scopes trial, as anybody who has ever read Edward J. Larson’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Summer for the Gods knows) qualifies as propaganda–just not at Panda’s thumb.

What’s next? DNA co-discoverer James Watson, in consultation with the NCSE, makes documentary that uses footage from Gone with the Wind to further their premise that African Americans liked slavery?

WW, this is not a comedy club, so take your lame jokes elsewhere.

Reed,

Didn’t I read somewhere - I think it was here - that PBS received more scrutiny from the Bush administration due to protests from creationists for having funded the NOVA “Evolution” miniseries? It sounds about right, in light of increased government oversight of PBS programming. But if I’m mistaken, I’ll admit it - unlike our resident Disco Tute IDiot Borg drones like William Wallace who still insist that “Judgement Day” is propaganda - and do so here at Panda’s Thumb.

Best regards,

John

PBS/Nova have won their “Peabody Award”, and nothing can be done about that, but…

…ARN, Discovery Institute, Ideacenter, Evolution News and Views, and various individual leaders/spokesmen of the Intelligent Design movement, have done an utterly professional and very thorough job, of answering and refuting the various claims presented in PBS’s Judgment Day and the Dover trial/decision.

I think I’ve printed off nearly every single response, every single article, every single Expert Report and analysis, and every single refutation, for use whenever opportunity (eiter offline or online) presents itself to discuss the issues raised in the PBS program.

It’s “Judgment Day” for Intelligent Design, thou sayeth? Well, Peabody or no Peabody, ye evolutionists had better NOT bet the farm on that!!

FL :)

Portraying Judge Jones as a renaissance man instead of the ACLU cut-and-paste-artist he was is propaganda.

Ooooh, and what was the Uncommonly Dense crowd saying before Waterloo?

Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. Of course the ACLU will appeal. This won’t be over until it gets to the Supreme Court. But now we own that too.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inte[…]after-dover/

The assumption that judges don’t care about the law and will ignore it if it conflicts with their ideology is not reliable.

Quidam Wrote:

The assumption that judges don’t care about the law and will ignore it if it conflicts with their ideology is not reliable.

Historically this has also been a tactic of organized crime. Get the judges, cops, and politicians into their pocket and have them clear the way for criminal activity.

There is much about DI thinking and tactics that reflect the thinking and tactics of the criminal mind.

…have done an utterly professional and very thorough job, of answering and refuting the various claims presented in PBS’s Judgment Day and the Dover trial/decision.

Along these lines, it was gratifying to notice that Judge Otero cited Kitzmiller in his decision that the University of California can legally set academic standards for admission. I imagine FL’s selected “professionals” will waste no time “answering and refuting” Otero’s decision. Until the creationists every win a single legal battle, the system is rigged and FL’s creationists will “professionally” kvetch about it forever.

It’s “Judgment Day” for Intelligent Design, thou sayeth? Well, Peabody or no Peabody, ye evolutionists had better NOT bet the farm on that!!

you clowns ALREADY bet the farm on that.

and lost (though I don’t recall Dembski ever ponying up the whiskey he wagered).

that was the point, numbwit.

you’re just ghosts, rattling chains and moaning without realizing you’re dead.

Portraying Judge Jones as a renaissance man instead of the ACLU cut-and-paste-artist he was is propaganda.

You mean the same Judge Jones that was recommended as a Bush appointed federal judge by Rick Santorum?

THAT Judge Jones?

moron.

FL: It’s “Judgment Day” for Intelligent Design, thou sayeth? Well, Peabody or no Peabody, ye evolutionists had better NOT bet the farm on that!!

FL :)

umm…ok. I’m still only an *aspiring* scientist who can’t speak for others, but…I don’t think they’re really worried about an ID takeover anytime soon.

Good night, people have been declaring the imminent demise of evolution ever since 1859. And what happens? Rather then crumbling to the ground, the theory grows stronger and stronger, even convincing former young-earthers over. And yes, I include myself in that (I was raised in a young-earther environment, but my parents encouraged me to think for myself and have subsequently changed their own minds).

Speaking of the imminent rise of ID, how are things goin’ on the timetables in the Wedge Battle Plan?

Back to the subject at hand though, mega kudos to NOVA and PBS for an outstanding documentary; it’s a classic. I’m also glad they put it online. What more could we have asked for.

Quidam Wrote:

Ooooh, and what was the Uncommonly Dense crowd saying before Waterloo?

Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. Of course the ACLU will appeal. This won’t be over until it gets to the Supreme Court. But now we own that too.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inte[…]after-dover/

The assumption that judges don’t care about the law and will ignore it if it conflicts with their ideology is not reliable.

The correct link is here, and the comment was made by DaveScot, and it was rather unfortunate on a number of levels.

the comment was made by DaveScot, and it was rather unfortunate on a number of levels.

heh, that’s Davey the auto-didact for ya.

but what about what Dembksi said?

he bet a bottle of scotch on the outcome, IIRC.

I’m sure before I can dig up the exact reference, someone will beat me to it.

you lost, and you whiny bitches just can’t stop rattling your chains, can ya?

…and you morons have the gall to claim liberals are still mad about Gore losing to W.

pathetic.

The correct link is here, and the comment was made by DaveScot, and it was rather unfortunate on a number of levels.

More to the point, Phillip Johnson explained why ID had to lose at Dover:

“I considered [Dover] a loser from the start,” Johnson begins. “Where you have a board writing a statement and telling the teachers to repeat it to the class, I thought that was a very bad idea.” The jaw drops further when he continues:

I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world.

sciencereview.berkeley.edu/articles.php?issue=10&article=evolution

There’s still a lot of nonsense in there, but at least Phillip Johnson has enough of a legal mind to understand why Dover was bound to lose.

WW can’t even understand that much.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

…the ACLU cut-and-paste-artist [Judge Jones] was

Personally I love that they keep making this idiotic argument. It exposes them as fools and liars to all but the most legally ignorant.

…ARN, Discovery Institute, Ideacenter, Evolution News and Views, and various individual leaders/spokesmen of the Intelligent Design movement, have done an utterly professional and very thorough job, of answering and refuting the various claims presented in PBS’s Judgment Day and the Dover trial/decision.

Riiiight, that’s why they constantly refer to each other, with a giant vacuum where independent legal and scientific references should be. Fact is 99% of lawyers find creationist law about as convincing as 99% of scientists find creationist science.

Exhibit B: Judge Otero. Ider/creationist slander of this conservative Bush appointee who dared disagree with them in 5, 4, 3…

umm…ok. I’m still only an *aspiring* scientist who can’t speak for others, but…I don’t think they’re really worried about an ID takeover anytime soon.

Don’t be so sure. Creationism and ID lost in the arenas of science and well educated people 50-100 years ago. They have only fallen further and further behind as mountains of evidence continue to support and extend evolution. Darwin didn’t have a whole lot of DNA sequence data, for example.

However, dictators have a way of dealing with scientists and theories they don’t like. They just kill them or exile them. What Stalin did to the Mendel-Darwin fellow travelers during the 1940’s. The creos just lie and harass and threaten and beat up and fire whoever they can. These are just thugs by now and lies and violence are all they have left.

If the fundies ever manage to seize power, creationism will win, temporarily at least. They are close, controlling the congress from 2000 to 2006 and owning the president.

Re: the ethics of the use of re-enactments, documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (who I believe has an M.A. in Philosophy of Science) has a thoughtful piece in the New York Times regarding his and others’ uses of reinactments. I recommend reading it for anyone interested in the subject.

Nice article, Kristine. IIRC, all the re-enactments in “Judgment Day” were explicitly labeled as such.

Good article there. Nice contrast between problem 1 (whether or not the film maker set out with the intent to deceive the audience into thinking the re-enactment was actual footage of the event itself) and problem 2 (that even when there’s no intent to deceive and the re-enactment is clearly labeled as such, people persist in perceiving it as original).

In watching “judgment day”, it was easy (at least for me) to start thinking I was watching footage taken at the actual event. Unlike the Adams case (who would seriously think the film maker just happened to be out on some highway at night with full crew and equipment filming a random shooting?), the Dover trial was a staged event like any other trial, fully planned out long in advance. The notion that someone was in the courtroom filming it is entirely plausible. Furthermore, it was recognized at the time to be a significantly newsworthy event, so meticulous care was taken to record every word.

And this means that Errol Morris’ Thin Blue Line really occupies a gray area between the Birmingham film (clearly fraudulent) and the Dover trial. Morris did more than a re-enactment, he did a speculative recreation of what he thought most likely happened, in the face of insufficient evidence and conflicting testimony. Morris was constructing a story, not repeating one. Maybe he got it right; maybe not. But there’s no question the Dover re-enactment got it right, and you can look it up.

Last night I met a Christian family visiting from Dover who hadn’t realized that their town was the subject of national attention. I reminded them of the trial and the teenagers vaguely remembered it. I mentioned that I’m a friend of the lead witness for the Kitzmiller side, and encouraged them to read his book “Finding Darwin’s God”. I also noted that my high school - which is noted for its many distinguished scientific alumni including 4 Nobel Prize laureates (I mentioned that fact as well as that there are a couple of famous actors too like Tim Robbins and Lucy Liu.) - doesn’t teach ID there, since the school’s principal has vowed that it will never be taught there while he remains its principal (I also said that the high school served as the recovery center immediately after 9/11.).

I think the father wasn’t thrilled that I, being a New Yorker of Asian-American descent and a “Darwinist” - was trying to be helpful, but I was. They had seen the UN earlier in the day and were on the subway en route to see “Phantom of the Opera” (I was off to a panel discussion at AMNH after having a quick dinner at home after work.). So I told them how to get to the theater from the nearest subway exit at Times Square.

On the other hand, the son stated that he thought religious ideas should be taught only in religion classes, and agreed with me that those pertaining to science should be taught only in science classes.

I realized that they were from Pennsylvania when one of the teenagers mentioned Harrisburg, and I asked them if they were from Pennsylvania. The mom volunteered that they were from York, and then, I asked if they were from Dover. Much to my surprise they answered yes. The mom said that her husband has strong opinions, which is why there kids attend Christian schools, but agreed to take a look at “Finding Darwin’s God”. I also mentioned Lauri Lebo and her upcoming book on the trial itself.

What a small world.

Cheers,

John

So how is Expelled doing?

Now the journalist showings have started.

Dave Mosher, LiveScience Staff Writer:

“Expelled” is smattered with gloomy scenes of the Berlin Wall’s construction, the Holocaust and other World War II-era footage, with Stein arguing during the course of it that a handful of academics have been persecuted for their beliefs that run counter to the scientific establishment.

Many of the ID supporters and sympathizers Stein interviews in the movie, however, were let go, not offered tenure or other career incentives because of expired contracts, improper publishing ethics and other conduct unrelated to their religious views, according to university and institution spokespeople who appeared in “Expelled.”

Stein claims he “encountered many more [academics] who didn’t want to appear on film,” because of their fear of being persecuted.

But among the millions of scientists currently working in schools and institutions across the world, thousands of whom are trained evolutionary biologists, the overwhelming consensus is that evolution is a well-supported theory backed by observations in several fields using multiple lines of evidence.

In a press release issued by Premise Media, which has also helped finance “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” movies, film producer Walt Ruloff claims the makers avoided distorting interviews.

“The incredible thing about ‘Expelled’ is that we don’t resort to manipulating our interviews for the purpose of achieving the ‘shock effect,’” Ruloff said.

But Michael Schermer, editor of “Skeptic Magazine” and an on-screen interview in the movie, said Stein and Mathis asked him the same question a dozen times during his interview for the film to extract an answer they were looking for.

“In frustration I finally said something like ‘Do you have any other questions to ask me or do you keep asking me this question in hopes that I’ll give a different answer?’” according to a statement by Schermer on richarddawkins.net.

During a March 20 screening of “Expelled” at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, which Myers registered to attend via a public Web site with his family, he was asked to leave by security while standing in line.

The security guard said a film producer gave the orders to remove Myers from the theater.

According to various news reports, producers accused Myers of being a “gatecrasher” — someone trying to attend an event uninvited — but he was registered for the event via the open, online registration process. Dawkins, who also registered to attend the screening, saw the documentary without incident along with Myers’ family.

“It’s an incredible piece of inept public relations to expel somebody … from a film about expelling people for their opinions,” Dawkins said during a videotaped discussion with Myers, “a film in which [Myers is] present, and acknowledged and thanked in the acknowledgements at the end of the film.”

“Expelled” opens in theaters nationwide starting on April 18.

Damn, PZ is becoming as famous for where he is not as for where he stands.

Hilarious. What is it about Phillip E Johnson that irresistably reminds me of The Brain, from “Pinky and the Brain”, a cartoon about a mouse who is forever plotting to take over the world?

They’re Dembski and The Brain

Yes, Dembski and The Brain

One is a lawyer, the other’s insane!

@William Wallace

Portraying Judge Jones as a renaissance man instead of the ACLU cut-and-paste-artist he was is propaganda.

Hold on for a second. Judge Jones is a conservative Christian, and was appointed to office by George W. Bush on recommendation from creationist Senator Rick Santorum. When the creationists heard who was to be the judge of the case, they cheered, thinking they had the victory in the bag already. That’s how much of an “ACLU cut-and-paste-artist” Judge Jones was known as.

Please, William, tell me that you are just mocking moronic creationists, and that you aren’t serious in what you are writing.

I mean, either you are joking, or you are a lying scumbag, desperate enough to say anything to “win”.

the comment was made by DaveScot, and it was rather unfortunate on a number of levels

Yes, how “unfortunate” it is when it turns out that creationists are desperate enough to lie and deceive. All the time. His comment just proves what creationists are like: Lying, deceiving scumbags.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on April 2, 2008 2:32 PM.

Summary Judgment in California Creationist Case: Behe Shoots, Scores, We Get Point (Part 3 of 3) was the previous entry in this blog.

Is it always April Fool’s at UCD? is the next entry in this blog.

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