The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
[SCENE: Interior, hyper-modern newsroom for a giant media company. Sights and sounds of typing on keyboards, phone calls, smartphone notifications, several television sets with news programming, bustle of a busy office.]
[Cut to elevator doors opening, where in walks PAUL, impresario of Morning Heresy Media, Inc., jacket draped over one arm, looking groggy.]
[As PAUL walks through the newsroom, he is joined in mid-stride by his assistant, let’s call him LUAP, pronounced “LOO-op,” for lack of anything better. LUAP carries an iPad in one hand, coffee cup in another. He matches walking speed with PAUL as he hands him the coffee cup.]
PAUL: Thank you, Luap.
LUAP: Good morning, sir.
PAUL: Anything interesting going on?
LUAP: Quite a bit, sir. [Looks to iPad.] You probably already know about Matt Lauer.
PAUL: Matt who?
LUAP: The co-host of the Today Show?
LUAP: Did that abysmal pair of town hall interviews with Trump and Clinton last year?
PAUL: Oh, christ, right. Gah. So what’s the deal there?
LUAP: Well, NBC just fired him for sexual misconduct.
PAUL: Wow. What’d he do?
LUAP: No details yet, sir.
PAUL: Oof. Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer…you think Stephanopoulos is crapping his pants?
PAUL: Never mind. What else?
LUAP: The Silicon Valley company Essential just put its CEO Andy Rubin on leave due to similar concerns–
PAUL: Andy Rubin? Creator of the Android operating system? The mind behind the original T-Mobile Sidekick phone?? The robotics maven??? The founder of the super-hot-yet-troubled new tech company Essential????
LUAP: So you know who that is.
PAUL: Nothing makes sense anymore.
LUAP: Correct. NPR also just fired its Chief News Editor over–
PAUL: Yeah I dunno what that is. What else?
Also, President Trump tweeted–
PAUL: Oh god.
LUAP: President Trump tweeted out some terrible anti-Muslim propaganda this morning, sharing content from a British far-right extremist group purporting to show Muslims beating up Christian boys.
PAUL: Are the videos legit?
LUAP: Unclear, but get this – even a guy from InfoWars is telling Trump that it’s garbage.
PAUL: What a world.
LUAP: Indeed. The president also seems to be telling people that the Access Hollywood recording of his own sexual assault admission is fake.
PAUL: Of course he is. This is just what he does, makes his own reality, and his people eat it up. We really are doomed. I don’t know why I bother coming to work. Or even getting up in the morning.
PAUL: Forget it.
LUAP: Forgotten, sir. Also, Leigh Corfman, the woman who accused Roy Moore of molesting her when she was 14 is speaking out, pushing back against Moore’s attempts to discredit her.
PAUL: Good for her.
LUAP: There is a lot of talk about the president’s attacks on the press. CNN just disinvited itself from the White House holiday party, and Julia Ioffe–
PAUL: Oh, is that how you pronounce that name? “Ioffe?”
LUAP: Obviously, sir. Anyway, she wrote that Trump’s attacks on the potential AT&T-Time Warner merger mirrors the way Putin’s Russia terrorizes the press.
PAUL: Yowza. Luap?
LUAP: Yes, sir?
PAUL: Why are we still walking?
LUAP: It’s a very big newsroom, sir.
PAUL: Too true. Carry on.
LUAP: Well, you know that new Museum of the Bible?
PAUL: Snigger snigger.
PAUL: I’m sniggering. You know, like a wry chortle. A derisive giggle.
LUAP: Sure. Anyway, former Center for Inquiry president Ronald Lindsay–
PAUL: Hey! How’s Ron doing these days?
LUAP: Well, I can’t say I know, sir…
PAUL: Hell of a guy. Anyway, what are we talking about?
LUAP: Mr. Lindsay? He’s written a piece about the museum from a secular perspective, writing, “In some places the mask slips, and the museum tosses aside the role of curator to don the robes of the evangelist,” having just visited.
PAUL: He visited this office and no one told me??
LUAP: No. Sir. He visited the Museum of the Bible.
PAUL: Ugh. Why?
LUAP: Never mind.
LUAP: Moving on, Religion News Service reports that many churches are providing sanctuary to immigrants threatened with deportation, and Religion & Politics reports on the New Poor People’s Campaign launched by religious progressives, while the DC Catholic Archdiocese is suing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for rejecting its promotion of a specific religion with a transit ad.
PAUL: Gimme something fun.
LUAP: Well, NBC News has a cool, short little video explaining the near-impossibility of attaining light speed.
PAUL: Did you understand it?
PAUL: What else?
LUAP: Stuart Vyse has a profile of Dan Q. Posin, a kind of proto-Carl Sagan, a pioneer of science communication from the 50s.
PAUL: The 50s?? Yeesh, what is this, Masterpiece Theatre? Come on, keep me current here.
LUAP: Well, scientists have discovered an exoplanet that may be a better candidate for life than Proxima B, called “Ross 128 b,” only 11 light-years away.
PAUL: Call me when they actually catch sight of some Klingons or something.
LUAP: On your cell or office line?
PAUL: Office. I’m not a slave to my job.
LUAP: That you are not, sir.
PAUL: What’s that?
LUAP: Nothing, sir. Here, you might be interested in this. Long-disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker has launched a 24-hour shopping network devoted to surviving the End Times.
PAUL: Holy crap.
LUAP: Thought you might like that.
PAUL: Holy moly.
PAUL: That’s a great idea!
PAUL: Well, whether its biblical or climatological or even nuclear, the world is ending soon.
LUAP: Uh, it is?
PAUL: And almost none of us are prepared for it.
LUAP: I suppose not.
PAUL: Except for them Silicon Valley billionaires.
PAUL: Like Andy Rubin! They all have these super-secure, stocked-up bunkers in places like New Zealand for when the shit hits the fan.
LUAP: New Zealand?
PAUL: I’m so goddamned jealous. I’d go live in one of those things right now if I could. It’s not like things are getting any better. Everything is dying. Even me. Did you know I turn 40 on Friday, Luap?
LUAP: I didn’t, sir. Happy early birthday.
PAUL: Oh please. What’s happy about it? Didn’t I just get finished saying that the world is ending?
LUAP: Yes, but I think it best we end this conversation now, sir.
LUAP: We’ve finally reached your office, so you can go and write The Morning Heresy, sir.
PAUL: Oh. Damn, this is a big newsroom.
Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.
Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry
Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net!
News items that mention political candidates are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances are to be interpreted as statements of endorsement or opposition to any political candidate. CFI is a nonpartisan nonprofit.
The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” – Hemant Mehta