Hitchcock: Heedless Historian Of Hokum Still Hiding

Historian James Hitchcock, Ph.D.

True Detective was the title of a magazine, then of a television series. I doubt there was a competing entertainment endeavor named Fake Detective, but there’s so much media fakery going around that there’s ample opportunity for a detective specializing in exposing falsehoods to find a full-time job. Let’s peep in the keyhole at just a few cases.

On May 23 author Naomi Wolf, promoting her upcoming book Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love, was informed by a BBC interviewer that an important premise she asserted simply was incorrect. People who Wolf wrote had been executed for sodomy in Britain in the 19th century were in fact pardoned. A discomfited Wolf, to her credit, replied that she’d look into this and make necessary corrections.

On May 26 foreign-affairs specialist and Time columnist Ian Bremmer falsely tweeted that while on his Japanese visit, President Donald Trump said, “Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better president than Sleepy Joe Biden.” After familiar outrage erupted against Trump, Bremmer admitted his claim was just “made in jest” — although it had looked dead serious. “I should have been clearer… My apologies,” Bremmer tweeted on May 27.

 

These two prominent folks in media had tripped themselves up, but at least, when challenged, were quick to confess their errors.

I was a victim of outright falsehoods myself, including an attack on my religious practice by a longtime Catholic university and seminary professor in St. Louis, Mo. However, after two long years, professional historian James Hitchcock, Ph.D., has not replied to me once, and certainly has not apologized for or corrected even one word of his shameful errors in his overbroadly titled book Abortion, Religious Freedom, and Catholic Politics.

Almost a full year ago, the June 22, 2018, ADI ran my article reporting that neither Hitchcock, his publisher, nor the big Catholic electronic network EWTN had corrected his inexplicable tales (“Anti-Trump Historian Peddling Fake News Retreats Into Silence Over His Bold Errors”). He turned my published articles upside down and inside out. Unfortunately, hard as it may be to believe, another long year has passed without my obtaining redress.

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This wasn’t a matter of author Hitchcock hearing spoken statements incorrectly, or relying on unverified secret memos. Instead, he took my published articles in The Wanderer (www.thewandererpress.com), the oldest national weekly Catholic paper in the U.S., founded in 1867, and asserted that they said things they didn’t. He misattributed other people’s statements directly to me, and even invented “facts.”

I still have no explanation from Hitchcock of why he stumbled so badly, although I would have thought he’d want to spare himself further embarrassment and rush to make corrections. Did he ask some incompetent intern to toss together “research” against me back in 2015 or 2016? Was Hitchcock’s advancing age making it harder on his ability to comprehend? Was it some other factor? He never has told me.

About Dexter Duggan Religion & Politics 15 Articles
Dexter Duggan has been a weekly writer for The Wanderer, a Catholic newspaper, since 1997.