Chris Mooney

Chris Mooney is a Prospect senior correspondent and, most recently, author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatened Our Future (with Sheril Kirshenbaum).

Recent Articles

Idea Log:

I t seems that Bill McKibben , the leading enviro author of The End of Nature , might have had Idea Log at least partly in mind when he wrote his latest New York Times op-ed " Unlikely Allies Against Cloning ." Defending what he calls a "broad coalition of environmentalists, feminists and other progressives" who have joined religious conservatives to oppose reproductive and therapeutic human cloning, McKibben closed by dissing the "scar[ed] border guards" who have criticized this unexpected political crossover act. These ideological protectionists, he wrote, include "voices on the left excoriating environmentalists and feminists for aligning themselves with conservatives in questioning the use of cloning and urging them to get back to fighting climate change and defending abortion clinics." As the articles here and here show, Idea Log has been quite a persistent "border guard." McKibben also notes that those on the right who have joined his side on cloning will be getting similar flak...

Editor's Desk:

D ear Readers, I just couldn't keep this one from you. As any liberal publication might, The American Prospect has had its bumpy times with the right's radio megastar Rush Limbaugh. In case you don't recall, Limbaugh "outlink">got his dander up last summer when I implicated him in a campaign to demonize Tom Daschle. There are numerous other examples. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that on a recent show , Rush read aloud from TAP executive editor Harold Meyerson's latest column about the political genius of Karl Rove -- and did so approvingly. Sometimes the links on Rush's Web site go out rather quickly, so for the record, here are some of the things he posted about Meyerson's column (for the time being you can also get audio at the link above). Limbaugh was assuring his followers that despite the recent defeat of the Pickering nomination, Karl Rove wouldn't sell them out on judicial appointments: Now, I want those of you conservatives -- who are so used to being betrayed...

Idea Log:

L ast weekend on CBS's Face the Nation , host Bob Schieffer asked Utah Senator Orrin Hatch -- the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- why liberal groups had so vehemently opposed the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It's the kind of question Hatch has been getting a lot lately, but his response on this occasion was rather puzzling. It's probably a bit much to ask Hatch, a Pickering supporter, to characterize his opponents' motives with pinpoint accuracy. (Among a number of prominent complaints, women's groups opposed Pickering's pro-life outlook; other activists claimed he had shown an unwillingness to follow judicial precedent.) Still, one might have expected something a bit more airtight than a sweeping -- and rather odd -- theory of regional antagonism. Pickering's appointment had been killed, Hatch submitted, because the judge's Mississippi background played into liberal activists' outdated fixation with Dixie (...

Editor's Desk:

D ear Readers, Last week I posted a note to all of you about the new look of TAP Online , and the new frequency of posts thereon. I said, among other things, that we were going to bring the site into the 24-hour news cycle. I also promised that we were well on our way to becoming an online clearinghouse of liberal opinion and perspective -- fresh and unpredictable -- that you were going to want to come back to and check every day. Little did I know that within a week of these changes, a wide range of TAP Online content would simultaneously provoke heated discussion on a number of of leading conservative and opinion Web sites. Robert Kuttner's March 13 Boston Globe column -- currently a focal point on Instapundit.com , AndrewSullivan.com (search for "Kuttner"), and The Wall Street Journal 's Best of the Web (search for "Kuttner" again) -- hasn't even been posted yet on our site and won't be there until Monday. Kausfiles.com just devoted an extended critical post to Natasha Berger's...

Idea Log:

T here's an odd moment in the latest Vietnam flick, We Were Soldiers , in which Mel Gibson's character prays with one of his young soldiers (Chris Klein) before shipping off to war. Kneeling at a pew with Klein, Gibson thoughtfully notes that their enemies in battle will be praying, too. He then implores God to "ignore their heathen prayers and help us blow those little bastards straight to hell." This is supposed to be funny, in an anti-P.C. sort of way. Director Randall Wallace also seems to want to use the moment to broadcast his ecumenical awareness: At the very least, he knows that God receives conflicting prayers. It might have worked, too, except for one complication: The North Vietnamese, as Communists, were doctrinally atheists. Most of them didn't pray. In its bone-headedness about faiths -- and atheisms -- that don't usually cross Americans' field of vision, We Were Soldiers neatly replicates many religious debates in this country. Idea Log is thinking in particular about...

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