journamalism

Congratulations To CNN’S Carol Costello For Shoddiest Interview Of The Day

Fox News is the fair and balanced one, after all.Get the plaquemaker on the phone — we’ve got an award to give out.

Thursday, sinister Kristen Wiig-lookalike Carol Costello did a short piece about the recent Pew study that found 68 percent of the millennial generation reports they have at some point never “doubted the existence of God.” That’s down from 76 percent three years ago, and you know what that means — MEDIA FREAKOUT TIME.

Talking Points Memo put up a blog post titled “Belief in God Plummets Among Youth,” which, if one actually spends more than half a second reading the article, you would know is ridiculous. To be fair, it’s a big improvement over their original headline, “Young Americans Abandon God in Droves (CHART).” But CNN would not be outdone in the “blowing things out of proportions” sweepstakes, no sir

CNN brought on Jesse Galef, spokesman for the Secular Student Alliance, a group well-known for its enthusiastic endorsement of a level of heathenry among youth that undermines Our Country’s Foundation by providing legal support to those who want to form student groups that question religion. Before you know it, somebody might be behaving well without the threat of eternal damnation.

But don’t be afraid, noble Christian brainwashers — Carol’s got your back. And she’s doing it, if the stained glass picture behind her is any indication, from a TV church.

While Galef spouted ridiculous things like people should “explore their beliefs fully” and “come to their own conclusions,” Costello called him out on his nonsense, saying, “Some Christians might argue that because such groups are in high schools, you’re sort of indoctrinating young people at a time when, you know, it’s not proper because they’re not really old enough to handle questions like that.”

There’s so much truth in that question that we’ve gotta break it down to fully appreciate the lofty level of journalism Costello has managed to achieve:

“Some Christians…”
—OK, we have fictional opposition to atheism from fictional Christians. No fictional Jews could be reached on deadline.

“…might argue…”
—Good. Now we have a fictional argument, too.

“…you’re sort of indoctrinating young people…”
—Saying “GOD IS AWESOME” is religion. Saying “Maybe God isn’t real” is indoctrination. Go get ‘em, Carol!

“…they’re not really old enough to handle questions like that.”
—How DARE you think a 17-year-old is old enough to evaluate his fundamental beliefs! He was old enough to hear about the origins of the universe at age 6, but he couldn’t possibly handle a discussion of these origins right before he goes to college. He’s IMPRESSIONABLE, Jesse! You’re going to wreck the impression we already worked so hard on!

He responded, in typical fascistic atheist fashion, by saying that “it’s not about forcing anybody to be nonreligious. It’s about giving them a safe place to discuss and live out their values.” THE NERVE OF THIS YOUNG MAN.

Don’t worry though — Costello has more fictional opposition in the holster.

“Some people accuse organizations like yours of trying to shape the beliefs of young people, and they say that that’s dangerous,” she said. “Because most religions, most religious people you know, religion helps you in your life, it’s not a bad thing.”

His answer was interrupted by footage of the Pope.

Anyway, congratulations, Ms. Costello. You can put this plaque on your shelf until the Peabody arrives.

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161 comments

    1. Serolf_Divad

      Oh, come on… the dinosaurs died in the flood, and Jesus was born waaay after that. Noah and his sons, however… the had a Dinosaur pet named Dino.

      Alas, for poor Dino (and his progeny) Noah strapped him to the top of the Ark when the rains came (claimed Dino loved it up there) and Dino was washed away somewhere between Vesuvius and Mt. Ararat.

      1. bureaucrap

        Didn't Noah and his wife put their children (pebbles and bam bam) on top of Dino's head so they could see the screen at the drive-in?

          1. Terry

            Most people over the age of 10 who love that song have strong childhood memories associated with it. My sister's godfather, a crochety old Irishman, used to teach us pub and drinking songs when he took us hiking. He always wore an old plaid wool sports coat hiking, except when the weather was really hot.

            One of my sister and my favorite songs had lyrics involving throwing a nickle on the Salvation Army drum to save "another drunken bum". Dad said we couldn't sing that around just anybody, though.

      1. ChrisM2011

        Whoops!

        The script is LOST (The show) worthy in the way it asks questions then completely ignores them.. But the film is awfully purty!

        If you do see it, I suggest an Imax.

    1. eggsacklywright

      Although, "Big tears mean nothing" isn't a question, some say it's still worth considering.

  1. MosesInvests

    It was a typical bogus poll. Respondents were asked if they had ever doubted God's existence-yes/no? More yes answers=ZOMG! Rampant heathenism! Yeesh-only the most benighted fanatics never, EVER question anything.

    1. Serolf_Divad

      Yeesh-only the most benighted fanatics never, EVER question anything.

      Congratulations, you just described the Republican base to a "t."

    2. Katydid

      It's an ambiguous question. I'm a proud atheist, have been forever, and I would answer that question, "No," because I've never doubted that there is a God, I know there isn't.

    3. elbruces

      Then it's highly interesting that more young people say yes than older people. Either a lot more younger people have doubts than previous generations, or the older people have forgotten that they had ever doubted.

  2. usuhname

    What real proof do you have, dirty heathen? Aside from how dumb and rediculous everything we believe is? NOTHING, YEAH THOUGHT SO!!!

  3. hagajim

    Some people accuse organizations like yours of trying to shape the beliefs of young people"

    Why is she talking about the Christian Church like that?

    1. Serolf_Divad

      No, no, no… babies are born believing in Jesus. It's only the atheists and the mooslems who go around trying to change them.

  4. elviouslyqueer

    “Some Christians might argue that because such groups are in high schools, you’re sort of indoctrinating young people at a time when, you know, it’s not proper because they’re not really old enough to handle questions like that.”

    Right, Carol. Because forcing kids to go to Sunday School/Vacation Bible School/Bible Camp/"kids church" since birth isn't indoctrination AT ALL.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      Of course not. Teaching children infallible truths which may never be questioned is simply helping them learn about the world.

    2. WhatTheHeck

      Elvious, it wasn’t so bad. In Sunday school, I learnt that Santa flies through space with some pack animals pulling his corpulent ass and Jesus went on an Easter egg hunt to make Easter holy.

      1. HoytClagwell

        In Sunday School (or maybe it was VBS) I learned that it was God's will that brown-skinned people be subservient to whites. Something about Noah's smartass son Ham.

      2. elviouslyqueer

        That's true, and I'm being unfair. After all, VBS taught me everything I needed to know about turning water into wine, or how to make something fabulous out of macaroni, beans, and glitter.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          Which reminds me: Jesus Camp is one fine documentary. (link to free online streaming; pretty sure Netflix has it for insta-streaming too…)

        2. tessiee

          "how to make something fabulous out of macaroni, beans, and glitter"

          fabulous, perhaps — but not so tasty.

    3. Doktor Zoom

      It's a pretty good rationale for barring Campus Crusade for Christ and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from high schools, I'll grant you. Won't someone think of the children?

  5. bureaucrap

    All that stuff about education encouraging critical thinking and independent judgment? We were just joking. Now we call it "thoughtcrime."

  6. Generation[redacted]

    In related news, 68 percent of the nation's youth was struck down by lightning earlier today.

  7. freakishlywrong

    “Some people accuse organizations like yours of trying to shape the beliefs of young people, and they say that that’s dangerous,”
    Like, I dunno, fucking religions? Ferfuckssake, lady.

  8. StealthMuslin

    I am clearly too young and impressionable to have read this article because it is shaping my belief that Carol Costello is a moron.

  9. new_pic_for_NEWTer

    A seven foot tall albino transvestite Libertarian Communist will be president multiple times before an atheist. Fuck 'em all and the dinosaurs they rode in on.

    1. Serolf_Divad

      How did someone with such an awesome video-game boss-monster name end up being such a douche?

      Dude, I totally got to the end of level 17, but couldn't figure out how you kill Wulf Blitzkrieg. Gotta keep practicing (mom said I could play for 20 minutes after I've done my homework)

      1. eggsacklywright

        It was a mixup by a nurse at the birthing factory. The name was supposed to be Woof. As in barking cretin.

  10. HippieEsq

    If High School organizations are shaping young minds in dangerous ways, then CNN is certainly doing nothing to correct the situation. Bunch of vapid idiots….

  11. SoBeach

    People of all religions can agree on one thing: The non-religious are scary.

    Never underestimate the value of a unifying scapegoat.

  12. bureaucrap

    Isn't this the real issue?

    "The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions."

    – Some Old German Guy whose name we are no longer allowed to use in polite conversation.

    1. Guppy

      abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people

      Conditionals be damned, all socialists are atheists, and vice versa!

  13. Come here a minute

    I have faith that plagues will rain down upon CNN's Carol Costello, sent by our almighty creator, the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    1. tessiee

      This betrayal of His Al Dente Goodness is especially heinous in that she is among His Blessed Elect, as we can tell by her last name ending in a vowel.
      Banish her!
      Anathema Marinara!

      PS. If she's one of those Costellos who is Irish, not Italian, FSM will send his little-known sidekick, the Flying Potato Monster.

    1. iburl

      You missed a couple of steps.

      - mess around awkwardly with a giant touchscreen
      - talk to a hologram
      - dress like a bunny
      - get tazered

      1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

        - pimp Piers fucking Morgan's interview with some halfwit that not a single person gives a flying fuck about

  14. didgen

    Hey I 'm willing to believe anyone with a brain will doubt something for which there is no evidence. Also there is that small problem of hate your neighbor.

  15. Beowoof

    Oh noes, the youth of America may be turning to science for answers rather than the Buybull.

  16. Fairtackle

    "…religion helps you in your life, it’s not a bad thing.”

    "Well unless it is one of the bad religions I mean, like Islam or Buddhism or Protestantism or something…"

  17. OneYieldRegular

    "…you’re sort of indoctrinating young people at a time when, you know, it’s not proper because they’re not really old enough to handle questions like that."

    What abject idiocy. I've known a 3-year-old better able to handle "questions like that" than most adults.

  18. WhatTheHeck

    God loves you Wanketters so much, s/he will kill you for your snark in a lake of fire to prove it.

  19. Bezoar

    What I think is that we are all just symbionts in some graduate student's thesis project in computer science, making him, therefor, God. I like to think of him as that fat naked guy at the keyboard they show a picture of here from time to time.

    1. tessiee

      Cartoon by Ed Subitsky:

      Student 1: Professor, what about the theory that we're all cartoons?
      Professor: While we can't DIS-prove it, that theory implies the existence of an Artist, which then leads you to the question, Who drew the Artist?
      Student 2: And who is reading this? And who drew *them*?
      Student 3: I don't believe in Ink!
      *everyone gasps*

  20. Fairtackle

    "… people that want to good in life without feeling like they are living a lie."

    what an asshole.

  21. JackDempsey1

    The set initiates CNN's entrance into the "Pay-per-Pew" market. They'll pay tuxedo-ed low-wage dudes to pass a tithing basket across the living rooms of America every Sunday morning.
    A crazy idea, but
    1. the "give us money, we mail you a mug" market is saturated.
    2. Billy Mays is still very much dead.

  22. Blueb4sunrise

    I blame Chick-Fil-Atheist™ .

    Also, I wanna start a group that worships the young lady at the pool in the $$$$thread.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          Do you believe in rock 'n roll?
          Can music save your mortal soul?

          OR

          if you believe they put a Man on the Moon…

  23. MacRaith

    Wait a minute. So only 68% admit to ever doubting the existence of God? Which means that 32% claim that they have never, ever had any doubts, at all? Then that 32% has never given the question any serious thought. Doubt is necessary to belief – you can't claim to honestly hold a belief (in anything) unless you've at least considered the alternatives. So I'm going to make the argument that the 32% who admit to no doubt don't actually believe in God. No doubt = no thought = no belief.

  24. dijetlo

    if you've never doubted, you've never thought about it.
    That's why it's called faith.
    Of course, faith without works……
    That's the problem with Christianity. We lure you in with a belief system based on peace love and Universal brotherhood and the next thing you know your sweating your ass off in some dusty village in Africa trying to figure out where God put that fucking aquifer.
    Is it any wonder some choose the dark side?

      1. bumfug

        Yeah, I noticed that but I figured they must have transposed the figures considering the way they were shitting their pants over it.

  25. Lascauxcaveman

    "Some" Wonkette readers, "may" be inclined to "possibly" believe that certain "reporters" like this Costello person are "Bumbling, hapless tools." Maybe.

      1. scvirginia

        That link should come with a warning label not to drink beverages while viewing… S'okay- my keyboard's cleaner now.

  26. mavenmaven

    The GOP will now pass an amendment mandating an increase in the minimum legal age at which children are allowed to first be told about the non-reality of Santa Claus.

  27. Arken

    TPM uses a tabloid style headline that doesn't reflect the actual content of the article?!

    You could knock me over with a feather.

  28. sullivanst

    Parentally compelled attendance at Vacation Bible Camp = perfectly fine

    Daily group recital of the Pledge, including "under God" = perfectly fine

    Voluntary participation in a High School discussion group = indoctrination.

    I see. I see clearly. Fuck you very much, Carol Costello, and the weasel words you rode in on (all of them, Katie).

  29. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Ha ha. Look what happens when you let a bunch of hypocritical hateful fucks run your religion. People eventually figure out that it's all shit. This gives me a small amount of hope for the future.

  30. Doktor Zoom

    If you really want someone to question their faith, encourage them to read–really READ–their sect's foundational texts very carefully. Bonus points if you ask them to imagine they were reading it as a novel or a screenplay.

  31. proudgrampa

    Why are people so afraid of others thinking for themselves?

    I departed from this bullshit long ago (though I still consider myself a recovering baptist).

    For me, it's a choice: if religion gives you some comfort, go for it; If you decide that it's not for you, you shouldn't be ostracized or pressured in any way. Why can't people get this???

    1. Dashboard Buddha

      "Why are people so afraid of others thinking for themselves?"

      If someone doesn't think they way you want them to think, it diminishes his perceived power.

  32. CapnRadio

    Respectfully, Jr., you mean that "68 percent of the millennial generation reports they have never 'doubted the existence of God.'"

    From the survey:

    In the current survey, 68% of Millennials say they never doubt the existence of God, a decline of 15 points since 2007.

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Thank you. I was trying to figure out how a drop from 76% to 68% could be considered an atheist threat.

    2. gurukalehuru

      Oh, there is a world of difference between have never doubted and never doubt. It's like the difference between I never had sex with her and I'm not having sex with her.

      Nice catch.

  33. ThundercatHo

    If more young people are able to engage in critical thinking perhaps there is hope for this country after all. Now, I need to go out and feed my unicorn and figure out where those pesky Leprechauns hid that pot of gold.

      1. tessiee

        "The importance of the biblical unicorn is not so much its specific identity—much as we would like to know—but its reality. The Bible is clearly describing a real animal."

        I love that the author of this article thinks that the significance of the bible mentioning unicorns in the context of other animals is that it "proves" the bible is scientific fact, not fantasy. Yeah, and Red Riding Hood is a true story because wolves exist.

  34. ph7

    because such groups are in high schools, you’re sort of indoctrinating young people at a time when, you know, it’s not proper because they’re not really old enough to handle questions like that.

    Exactly. Now, off to Sunday School with your circumcised penis we go!

  35. poorgradstudent

    How do you pick the worst CNN interview? It's like choosing the most braindead reality TV show character.

  36. barto

    Nobody expects the Costellian Inquisition!

    That kid sounds suspiciously like a Unitarian. KILL HIM!

  37. lulzmonger

    "…religion helps you in your life, it’s not a bad thing.”

    Sounds to me like maybe someone needs to Google "Cathars" … or "Huegenots" … or even "Beothuks" for that matter. Shit, I'm pretty sure "European History 1400-1945" would do the trick.

    Don't think these good upstanding "Traditional Values" atavistic scumfucks won't do it all again the second they get the chance, either – after all, SIMON GOD SAYS is all the reason they need to do anything ever, Amen.

  38. eggsacklywright

    Dear Ms. Costello – in the course of human history, much blood has been shed because someone thought their imaginary friend was better than their neighbor's imaginary friend. That does make it a "bad thing."

  39. tessiee

    "study that found 68 percent of the millennial generation reports they have at some point “doubted the existence of God.” That’s down from 76 percent three years ago, and you know what that means — MEDIA FREAKOUT TIME.
    Talking Points Memo put up a blog post titled “Belief in God Plummets Among Youth,” "

    Wait…
    If 68 percent of the study cohort doubts the existence of god…
    And three years ago, 76 percent of the study cohort doubted the existence of god…
    Then, unless something is wrong with my reading comprehension and/or my math, what's actually "plummeting" is doubt, or agnosticism, or something.

    WTF, is the media now so addicted to creating panics (not that most people would panic over this, but you know what I mean) that they'll create one even when things are going the way they want them to?

    1. Dashboard Buddha

      I bet the fundies are in a lather. I'm guessing this will be on the lips of a majority of preachers/pastors/priests and associated charlatans this Sunday.

    2. fuflans

      it's the double negative: 68% of young american cretins have never doubted down from 76% of young americans who never doubted.

      so it's only a quarter to a third who HAVE doubted.

      fucking sampling.

  40. ttommyunger

    Ummmm, in case you're wavering about the woman in question, I think she is the one who "dated" Rush Limpbaugh for a time. I rest my case.

  41. anniegetyerfun

    My first exposure to Richard Dawkins was on an NPR interview in which the host (probably Michele Noris) kept indignantly telling Dawkins that he HAD TO RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE'S BELIEFS. And he was all, "The hell I do." It was pretty awesome.

    There is, of course, a difference between respecting someone's right to believe what they want, and respecting the actual content of what they believe. Some people fail to recognize that.

  42. tessiee

    “Because most religions, most religious people you know, religion helps you in your life, it’s not a bad thing.”

    You know, like alcoholism, or heroin addiction.

  43. Doktor Zoom

    Yeah, rationalism is really spreading.

    And last night, all the women at my workplace were talking about their horoscopes.

  44. tessiee

    "because they’re not really old enough to handle questions like that.”

    Somewhere around my 14th birthday, I was moseying along, doing whatever kid things you do at that age, when it dawned on me that the whole church/god thing was silly, that everyone *knew* it was silly, and that, for some reason, they were all pretending to believe something that they knew full well was made up.

    I was, as I said, moseying along. Nobody walked up to me and said, "Hey kid; god is a made up being!", and I wasn't distraught from some traumatic incident. I just realized, in the way you realize something you've sort of known for awhile but haven't consciously acknowledged, that god and religion are a silly made-up game that everyone agrees to conspire in.

    Now anecdotal evidence blah blah, and I'm aware that I'm just one person and don't claim that my experience speaks for anybody else… but the fact that it happened even once, at the very least, suggests that her statement about a person that age being too young to contemplate such things is false at least some of the time.

    1. bureaucrap

      Au contraire, tessiee. The fact that you were corrupted into agnosticism at 14 and are now a reader of Wonkette proves that you are non-conforming and must be sent to "Glenn & Rush's Happy Fun Time Traitor's Re-Education Camp and Gulag" post-haste.

    2. GregComlish

      Tessiee's comment is a great opportunity for everyone to tell their own falling from grace stories. I'll go next in the spirit of sharing.

      For a long time I was a practical Catholic. I've been aware of the psychological benefits of faith for a long time. I never had any doubt that faith can help people endure difficult times or triumph over long odds. (I still don't, btw). I also knew that prayer was for me extremely therapeutic. And I've also had valuable experiences with intimacy that were modulated by spirituality. And I got to say, I've been in a lot of jams in my life, but I prayed to God, worked hard, and managed to pull through some bad spots. And I wanted to keep all that.

      But early on there were some problems and conflicts between practicality and religion. Sex was the most obvious one. Masturbation was explicitly condemned. At times I was able to abstain from sexual pleasure for months at a time which in retrospect seems both Herculean and stupid.

      So somewhere in the back of my mind I'm trying to balance all this out. I want to keep God on my side (on some level I may have conceded that he may have just been a handy psychological device, but whatever, if it works it works) but part of keeping God on my side means believing in Him and that means following rules, some of which are incredibly stupid like "No Oral Sex" (yeah rite). So for a while I try to privately reinterpret what are in my mind contentious issues of religious significance, trying to devise a sound theological justification for cunnilingus and what have you.

      This edifice became unwieldy and eventually I just started ignoring all the things I didn't like about my religion, thinking maybe I would resolve those contradictions at some undetermined later date.

      Several years later I returned to a church for Mass. The priest was going off against gays, which is something I had never heard growing up. He even said, from the altar (which by church tradition ostensibly has a sliver of the Cross of Christ) that God made "Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve". And I just slumped. The guy was supposed to be a representative of God on Earth and he sounded like a dipshit 3rd-grader. So I had to tell myself that whatever psychological benefits there were in believing in God, I guess I was going to have to live without them because I wasn't fooling anybody anymore, not even myself.

      Probably would have benefited me a lot if I just ditched God on my 14th birthday like Tessiee, but that's my story.

    3. Dashboard Buddha

      It was about that same age that my uncle gave me a pile of Heinlein novels. My mom was all, [titter] "oh, science fiction. Nothing there that could change a Catholic upbringing."

      Lazarus Long – 1
      Catholic church – 0

      Sorry mom.

  45. Smithboy

    Costello called him out on his nonsense, saying, “Some Christians might argue that because such groups are in high schools, you’re sort of indoctrinating young people at a time when, you know, it’s not proper because they’re not really old enough to handle questions like that.”

    Ms. Costello omits the fact that religions begin their indoctrinations at birth by making parents pledge to raise their children within the religion. Sunday school, church camps, the jewish bar and bat mitzvahs all are indoctrinations and powerful sources of manipulation, but free thinkers are not allowed to plant seeds that allow a young person to ask questions about doctrines established several thousand years ago. That's not, as Fox News would say, fair and balanced reporting..

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