Monday, April 07, 2008

Left Behind: Waaaah!

-- by Dave

Dude: Did you know that the Rapture has already happened?
When House Majority Leader Tom DeLay delivered a moving speech from the halls of Congress last week, in which he argued that his political enemies are persecuting him because of his religious faith, there was just one problem: he wasn't supposed to be there. Earlier this month, say observers, the 'Rapture,' the much-anticipated event in which God summons his faithful to the heavens, finally happened.

But instead of Mr. DeLay and millions of other believers making the skyward trek, the biblical bash appears to have been an exclusive, invitation-only affair. As of today, fewer than three dozen Christians are confirmed to have been 'raptured,' leaving their rejected brethren to deal with seven years of Tribulation, a turbulent period marked by the return of the anti-Christ.

For those who had hoped to be cashing in on their heavenly rewards, these are days of soul searching and regret. From Capitol Hill to the mega-churches of the south, disappointed travelers are asking the same questions: 'Why not me?' 'What did I do wrong?' and 'Was it something I said?'

Ooops, well, maybe not:
Saying that it can no longer stand by its story that the Rapture may have happened earlier this month, the Swift Report, a popular conservative weblog, is officially retracting its account of the much-anticipated event in which God summons his faithful to the heavens. After receiving hundreds of complaints from outraged readers who'd been 'left behind,' an editorial investigation determined that the Swift Report had failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece.

One of the more important of these principles, of course, was to check and see whether the persons they reported as having been "raptured" even existed in the first place:
"As the current pastor of Spring Hill Baptist Church for the past three years, I hate to tell you but we have never had a Pastor DeLong here, not even as a visitor and we do not know anything about a Mr. Dumé. If we find any evidence of the rapture occurring we will let you know. I am going to ask the janitor if she found any jewelry or clothing."

But of course, when called on the carpet, the author of the piece retreated to the good ol' right-wing way of accepting responsibility for her shoddy work -- blame it on a subordinate:
While Ms. Swift initially stood by her reporting, she has since acknowledged that the story was flawed, attributing its many errors and inaccuracies to a Swift Report intern who was responsible for researching the article. "This has been a difficult but important period for us. It represents a unique opportunity for all of us at the Swift Report to learn from the mistakes surrounding the flawed Rapture article and reaffirm our commitment to the American public to practice journalism of the highest standard,'' said Ms. Swift.

You may also want to note that "The Swift Report" is in fact named for Deanna Swift, whose bio describes her as a "season professional journalist" who "found herself all but blacklisted during the Clinton years." This is hard to imagine, since Swift's standards of journalism are obviously the kind that, during the Clinton years, would have guaranteed her success.

Maybe she was too busy getting ready for the Rapture herself.

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