One of the things that has allowed David Barton to so successfully peddle his pseudo-history for so long is that he tends only to appear in friendly venues where the hosts and audience eat up his bunk and never challenge him on his claims.
In all our years of tracking him, we have never seen him appear in a situation where he might actually be questioned about the assertions that he makes by someone who actually knows what they are talking about.
For the last week or so, Warren Throckmorton, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College, has been writing a series of blog posts about Barton and some of the claims that he has made about Thomas Jefferson. Not surprisingly, most of Barton’s claims have turned out to be utterly misleading if not outright false.
Yesterday, radio host Paul Edwards sought to bring Barton and Throckmorton together on his radio program to debate these issues but, as Edwards revealed, Barton was willing to appear but unwilling to debate and insisted on talking only to Edwards:
This is why I wanted to have the two of you on together but, in the interest of full disclosure, Mr. Barton – at least his Administrative Assistant told us that he would not do that. And it would be better to have the two of you having this conversation instead of me being mediator … because it’s very difficult for me to mediate between these two opinions.
Barton knew that Throckmorton was also going to be on the program and that Throckmorton was well-informed enough to push back against Barton’s misinformation, so if he is so confident that his history is accurate, why would Barton refuse to debate the person challenging his claims?
Why would Barton insist on talking only to Edwards, who admits that he does not know enough about these issue to adequately challenge Barton’s claims … oh wait, that is exactly why Barton insisted on structuring it this way.
To Edwards’ credit, he did push back on Barton’s assertions and take issue when Barton tried to claim the differences between his claims and Throckmorton’s were largely semantic. For what it is worth, we managed to record the entire section, so you can listen to both Barton and Throckmorton and judge for yourself:
UPDATE: Throckmorton has put up a new post responding to some of the claims Barton made during the program.