This is a classic.
Self-styled historian David Barton (with the fake PhD he won’t explain) now comes forward with criticism of the accuracy of Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly’s history books. Lack of self-awareness, thy name is Barton.
The context is Barton’s daily Wallbuilders Live (which is recorded) radio show. Barton responds to a question from a listener about the accuracy of O’Reilly’s books, especially Killing Reagan. Now actual historians have ripped O’Reilly’s book on Reagan so I am not quarreling with the fact that Barton jumped on that bandwagon. What sends the irony meter into paroxysms is his statements about what historians should do when faced with mistakes in their work. Barton criticizes O’Reilly for sensationalizing General Patton’s death and says Patton’s “toe tag” reveals his actual cause of death. He claims O’Reilly knew his book was wrong on the matter but published the false information anyway.
Listen to a segment of the broadcast and wait for the punch line about three minutes into this clip.
At 3:01 into this clip, Barton says:
If you have something that’s factually shown to be wrong, you need to go back and make the correction on it.
Now, for certain, those are words to live by. I now expect Barton to admit the following:
- His PhD from Life Christian University was not earned via actual academic work at the school.
- He never played basketball for Oral Roberts University.
- He was not an official Russian interpreter for the Russian national gymnastics team.
- Progress has been made on an HIV vaccine.
- The Constitution doesn’t quote the Bible verbatim.
- His Christian critics were not recruited by secular activists.
- Violent crime has not risen almost 700% since the 1960s.
- The Obama administration prosecuted child pornography cases.
- Thomas Jefferson did not personally see to it that the Bible was taught in DC schools.
- The University of Virginia did not have chaplains while Thomas Jefferson was alive.
- Moravian missionaries were not in New England until the 1740s.
- Thomas Jefferson did not include all the words of Jesus in his Gospel extraction.
- Thomas Jefferson was legally allowed to free his slaves in Virginia after 1782.
- John Locke did not include in his two Treatises 1500 Bible verses on how government should run.
That would be a good start. There are more where those came from. Let’s see if Barton takes his own admonition.