Here’s a correction in today’s Washington Post:
A Feb. 6 story incorrectly quoted James G. Watt, interior secretary under President Ronald Reagan, as telling Congress in 1981: “After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.” Although that statement has been widely attributed to Watt, there is no historical record that he made it.
A wildly inaccurate quote which was largely the basis of the whole article. The article was based on a widely read commentary by retired “journalist” Bill Moyers in which he accused conservatives of opposing environmental regulations because they’re all Christian wingnuts who think the Judgment Day is imminent.
Moyers attributed the quote to James Watt, so this Washington Post figured it was as good as gold. Unfortunately, Bill Moyers was wrong.
Now, no one even pretends anymore that Moyers is — or was — objective. Most acknowledge that he practiced journalism with a liberal bent.
That said, perhaps news reporters using his material for news articles should double check his facts. If Karl Rove had made an equally ridiculous claim, I’m sure it would have been vetted. The problem at the Post is likely that the reporter, the editor, and the copy editors who read the story actually do believe that conservatives oppose environmental regulations because they’re all Christian wingnuts who think the Judgment Day is imminent. A little diversity of thought would help tremendously.
By the way, does anyone else find the title of his PBS show amusing.