Of Facts and Fictions

William Harwood

Bullspotting: Finding Facts in the Age of Misinformation, by Loren Collins (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2012, ISBN 978-1-61614-634-4) 267 pp. Softcover, $19.00.


President Ronald Reagan’s first secretary of the Interior, James Watt, “told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.” Until I opened Loren Collins’s book, Bullspotting: Finding Facts in the Age of Misinformation, I had believed that Watt really said that. Now I learn that he denied ever saying anything of the sort, and there is no evidence to the contrary. Because I consider myself quite scrupulous in verifying questionable information before repeating it, I have to concede that even scholars on the right side of history can be sloppy about information that conforms to their preconceived mind-set.

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