A few weeks ago, David Barton was featured on a conference call promoting United In Purpose’s upcoming “One Nation Under God” event and, during the discussion, asserted that his work is “documented so well” that all his critics can do is attack him personally.
The idea that critics cannot challenge Barton’s “facts” is absurd. In fact, it was just last week that Barton was forced to admit that he misleadingly characterized the American College of Pediatricians, a small, right-wing splinter group, as “the leading pediatric association in America” … though, in typical Barton fashion, he did so by refusing to admit that he was wrong.
On yesterday’s program, where he and Sally Kern stoked fears of gay violence, Barton picked up on the idea that Kern was some sort of modern day Anita Bryant and, in recounting Bryant’s story, perfectly demonstrated his own lack of concern for getting his facts right:
Now most people don’t know Anita Bryant, especially in this generation. Anita Bryant goes back to 1977. She was Miss America runner-up … at that time, she was a spokeswoman for Florida orange juice and Florida oranges and what they did and she was, in ’77, getting a hundred thousand dollars a year on contact to be a spokesman and that’s a lot of money, that’s in the millions today.
Now, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, $100,000 in 1977 equals $373,836.63 today – not quite the “millions” that Barton claims.
You’d think that Barton, who attended Oral Roberts University on a math and science scholarship and actually taught math at a Christian school would be … well, a little bit better at math.
Now this instance is not a particularly egregious example of Barton’s misleading work, but it is another good example of just how fundamentally uninterested he is in making sure that anything he says is based in reality.