Sunday, May 08, 2011


BARony = BAR Irony. In the current issue (May/June 2011, vol. 37, #3) Hershel Shanks, the editor, appropriately accuses a popular demonic TV show of "unethical & irresponsible reporting." (Like as if it's a shocking revelation that liberal journalists lack objective standards.) He asked the show's demonic producers for an unpublished transcript of an Egyptian jeweler who allegedly forged artifacts for Oded Golan (p. 6 in his First Person editorial entitled "The Lion & the Flea", currently available online).

He at least received a reply from the demonic producers denying his request.

Ironically, on p. 12 of the same issue, the following request/denial appeared under the title "No Deal!":

"I would be pleased to make a generous donation after you publish my letter of November 30, 2010.
Richard C. Gern
St. Germain, Wisconsin

"Sorry. You cannot buy your way into our pages.--Ed."

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote to BAR, requesting Gern's letter (i.e., his "unpublished transcript"), offering to publish it for free online. After all, I understand the problem of not being able to publish every letter a magazine dept. receives in response to its content.

Although I hold out hope that I might eventually receive a courtesy reply at least acknowledging my request even if it is formally denied, I could no longer resist the urge to counter the editor's claim that people cannot buy their way into BAR, if for no other reason simply to inform potential advertisers who might want to boost BAR's budget.

I call as my first of three witnesses the same issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Opposite the obituary of esteemed scholar (& LMLK VIP), Anson Rainey on p. 16 appears a half-page color ad for a lawn mower. My 2nd witness is a full-page color ad for a cell phone (p. 18). My 3rd witness is another full-page color ad for shoes (p. 21).

"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."--Deuteronomy 19:15

For those not acquainted with the publishing industry, these types of non-Biblical, non-archeological advertisers regularly buy their way into every single issue of BAR. I know this firsthand, because in 2003 I bought my way into BAR, placing ads containing Biblical & archaeological content (p. 14 of vol. 29, #6; p. 62 of vol. 30, #1; you can see both plus a 3rd, unpublished one at LMLK dotcom).

So I'd like to now extend the offer to Richard Gern publicly, or if anybody knows him, I'd be glad to publish his letter for the benefit of those who are interested in what he wanted to say in BAR. It must've been important to him to have offered to pay for it to be published, & it must've been disturbing enough for BAR's editor to reject the donation. That makes me curious.

I suspect that Gern's proposed donation was substantially beneath the minimum level for small ads in BAR.

G.M. Grena