Tuesday, February 16, 2021

#2441: Drew Zahn

Drew Zahn writes for the WND, and that tells you all you need to know about why he deserves an entry here – despite fierce competition, the WND remains one of the absolutely worst and most ridiculous promoters of incompetent, confused conspiracy theories, fundie bigotry and denialism in the US today. 

A former pastor turned “reporter” and columnist, Zahn is a creationist, and he promotes creationist talking points and misunderstandings for instance through his movie reviews (!): Men in Black III, according to Zahn, clearly supports creationism. How? “A miracle,” says one of the characters in the movie, “is what seems impossible but happens anyway.” You see, people who win the lottery will look back and say “what were the odds”, and if you look at the distribution of leaves on the ground you might ask “what are the chances that they would end up exactly that way” and realize that the chances are minuscule. And according to Zahn, that “is exactly the argument many creationists and advocates of intelligent design are making to describe the origins of life.” Of course, Zahn is right: that is the argument many of them are making, and it doesn’t reflect well on creationists or their understanding of probabilities or the difference between rolling a die ten times to get some random sequence (not a miracle) and getting the rolls to match a predetermined sequence (evidence that something interesting is going on). “Men in Black 3 plants a seed of an idea that apologists for creation could use – if they so choose – to point to the Creator,” concludes Zahn, though they would have to censor out the profanities and innuendo-laden jokes. He was also impressed by (the remake of) Red Dawn, apparently taking it to be a realistic and important reminder of the dangers of a North Korean invasion and communist takeovers in general (“It’s just that the threat of communism in the U.S. now comes from our own public universities, instead of Moscow,” added Zahn for good measure.


Indeed, Zahn has even used his movie reviews to promote geocentrism, under the pretense of being a report on a documentary by fundie pseudoscientist and geocentrist Rick DeLano (Zahn, of course, remains utterly uncritical and lets DeLano speak freely without any questions). He was less impressed with a “blasphemous” SNL spoof of Tarantino movies, and expressed deep fatwa envy in the process.


But Zahn is not only penning movie reviews. He has also been a major promoter of Obama citizenship denial, and written numerous articles about the more or less imagined disastrous effects of the Obama presidency – “Now many states want to secede” was the headline of one of his pieces of “investigative” reporting, for instance, in which he systematically went on to confuse handfuls of deluded militia-sympathizers with “states” because said paranoid wingnuts were really serious about the issue.


Diagnosis: Mostly just ridiculous, but he probably reflects the values, ideas and ignorance of a relatively large portion of Americans.

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