MSNBC.com has done it again. Just a few weeks after turning over their site to a vengeful UFO author, Leslie Kean, looking to trash skeptical reviews of her book on government cover-ups of UFO sightings, MSNBC.com has now run a credulous interview with the authors of a new book claiming that ancient people witnessed the arrival of alien spacecraft and recorded their observations of the beings and their transportation in their art and literature.
The book is called Wonders in the Sky and deserves no serious discussion since its major claims have been around since Morning of the Magicians and Eric von Daniken half a century ago. What does deserve mention is the fact that another major news site provides free promotion to this pseudoscientific nonsense without any challenge or questioning of the outrageous claims. In fact, the MSNBC correspondent, Alan Boyle, actually asks the authors for their recommendations for ways the media could better report on alien sightings!
The article was obviously a fluff piece from a correspondent usually associated with strong science writing, and in places it's clear that Boyle doubts the alien explanation. However, even fluff interviews ought to try to probe for the truth and challenge outrageous claims rather than simply serve as a stenographic service for publishing houses' PR departments.
At least last time, MSNBC simply eliminated the pretense of doing journalism and just let the a UFO-monger writer her own article. It was much more honest.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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