Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AOL News gives mentally challenged man reporting gig!

The article Stanton Friedman: A Scientist Searches for the Truth of UFOs - AOL News was written by Lee Speigel The article itself is a testament to shoddy, incompetent reporting. Instead of actually asking any challenging questions, Lee Speigel bends over backwards to lend creditability to the wild, unsupported claims of a well known UFO crank. Instead of actually asking for evidence, Lee Speigel bends over backwards to make his subject seem more reliable. This is known as an "Argument for Authority" and its a common, and shoddy form of argument used primarily by people who have no actual evidence to back up their assertions.

Fascinated by the extreme incompetence of Lee Speigel's "reporting" I decided to see what else he had written for AOL News. His bio says:

Lee Speigel

Writer, reporter, and paranormal expert Lee Speigel is the former host of NBC Radio's "The Edge of Reality." He's hosted nearly 1,500 programs on unexplained phenomena, and previously worked at Westwood One Radio and He is the only person to produce a presentation at the United Nations on the subject of UFOs.

This explains a lot. Lee Speigel is happy to ignore the lack of evidence not for a single interview, but as a fundamental, core facet of his very existence. Let's look at some of his other stories:

Netherlands Town Claims Tallest Lego Tower
Nuclear Physicist Describes Vast UFO Cover-Up
Octopus Tree: Ancient Indian Burial Ground or ... Just a Tree?
No Sea Serpents Here, Says UK's Royal Navy
Russian Governor Says He Made Friends With ETs
Science Embraces Time Travel, Once Stuff of Sci-Fi
Jersey Devil: Horrific Fantasy or Genetic Mutant?
Police Tried to Protect 'Nessie' From Hunters
ET Debate: To Speak or Not to Speak?
Mr. Spock Beams Into Retirement

Lee Speigel's publication history seems to contain mostly nonsense like this. The most hard-hitting, fact based articles I saw was the one about the Leggo tower and Leonard Nimoy's retirement. Most of his writing deals with fringe nonsense with no real evidence to support it.

Lee Speigel would benefit from an introduction to the Skeptoid Podcast. Perhaps he'll learn a thing or two about critical thinking skills.

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