Thursday, July 14, 2005


Dover ID Lawyers Want to Cross-Examine Reporters

Lauri Lebo of the York Daily Record, which has been covering the intelligent design controversy in Dover, Penn. reports that attorneys from the right-wing Christian fundamentalist Thomas More Law Center, who are defending the Dover area school board in a suit brought by 11 parents who oppose the intelligent design mandate issued by the board, have gone to court to force two reporters, Joe Moldonado and Heidi Bernhard-Bubb, to testify about articles they wrote in 2004:

The articles were regarding discussions on a proposed biology book during which board members discussed creationism. But in sworn depositions in January, board
members denied the remarks attributed to them in the newspaper articles. And in a motion filed earlier this summer, attorneys for the school board asked the court to require Maldonado and Bernhard-Bubb to appear for depositions in the First amendment lawsuit over intelligent design.

"Only the reporters possess information about their bias, prejudice,
interest and motive in their reporting," the motion states.

But Niles Benn, attorney for both newspapers, said the accusations aren't about reporter bias.

"We don't feel there was any bias at all," he said. "The statements were made by the persons quoted. They never asked for retraction, they never asked for a correction."

Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, said he also wants to be able to examine the reporters' notes from the meetings, in order to ascertain whether "they were fair in their stories and were presented in an even-handed manner.


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