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Talk about a war on reality...

I used to like Doonesbury. I really did. It had a good mix of characters, had interesting plotlines, and had some link to reality. I even liked the art. But that was quite a while ago. Now it seems Gary Trudeau seems to get his story ideas by taking the talking points of the worst enemies of the Bush administration and exaggerating them for comic effect. The result is a strip that really only belongs in a college newspaper.

A strip this week is a good example.

Trouble is, none of it is true. Blogger Christopher Taylor (not our Chris Taylor) actually went to the heroic lengths of calling the Park Service for confirmation of the story.

But even to think that it could be true strains the mind. No matter how diabolical and anti-science one might think the 'Bush Regime' is, it's hard to imagine them being so concerned with how the Parks Service describes the Grand Canyon that they would personally intervene. And even if they did care, they simply don't have the power to dictate the day-to-day policy of any branch of government.

To believe this story upon first hearing it is perhaps understandable. But surely any rational person would have a few questions about its veracity after a few moment's thought. But to take the time to put it into a comic strip to be seen by millions of people (creating an undestroyable urban myth) indicates Gary Trudeau is either a willing liar, or lives in a penthouse apartment in cloud-cuckoo land.

UPDATE: The skeptics at eSkeptic were insufficiently skeptical when they first heard this story and promptly flew off the handle. But since then they have regained their composure, admitted their error, and tried to track down the feeble story to its source.


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I think you'd have to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic to even imagine that the stuff about the Grand Canyon was true! Not to mention actually calling the park to ask.

Well the way I saw it was I can write a definitive, absolute, and rock-solid refutation of an annoying rumor going around the internet (not to mention clear up the AP's erroneous story about the books in the park bookstores). If I called, I'd have hard evidence, and would have taken the simple expedient that apparently Gary Trudeau (and Terry Lane of Australia, who got the blog entry started) never bothered to do - nor PEER, from whom this idiot meme began.

I wasn't calling because I thought it might be true, but because I knew it wasn't and wanted to refute it effectively. Plus it was fun and interesting, the park folks were very friendly and helpful.

I didn't mean to suggest you thought it was true. I could see that your goal was simply to set the record straight, which you did very thoroughly.

It always amazes me what people will believe, and unfortunately the only thing that will bring them to their senses is a few indisputable facts. And even that doesn't always work.

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