No. That’s not what he said.

Is it just me, or does this appear to imply that forensic psychologist Dr. Brian Russell said that girls, as a function of their gender, are more likely to have hateful little minds than non-girls (AKA boys)?

fox news on Dr. Russell

I was all set to flay Dr. Russell for his sexist, misogynistic, inaccurate, unfounded accusations about little girls when mine eyes beheld the entirety of his quote and I stopped yearning to kick him in the … knees. What Dr. Russell actually said was:

“I think this is much more probably about immature [sic], hatred, jealousy, narcissism, and probably coupled with in sufficient parenting — probably what we have here are a couple morally underdeveloped, hateful, jealous, little minds with insufficient supervision and parenting. It’s probably a more run-of-the-mill attempted murder really.”

It turns out that Dr. Russell was talking about the event in Waukesha, Wisconsin, wherein two twelve-year-old girls named Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier stabbed a classmate at least 19 times in an attempt to sacrifice her to the “Slender Man”, a run-of-the-mill horror meme the assailants chose to fixate on. (Thankfully, their victim survived.) Dr. Russell was explaining that NO there was not some satanic Slender Man forcing kids to commit murder and that parents should NOT panic; it was just a murder attempt by two garden-variety homicidal psychopaths who just happened to be very young.

The chyron should have read, “DR RUSSELL: NOTHING TO FEAR FROM SLENDER MAN”. That would have been accurate.

I’m starting to think that I could devote this whole blog to calling out sensationalistic reporting misrepresenting science/scientists/medicine.

*stalks away in a didactic huff*

2 thoughts on “No. That’s not what he said.


  1. This was a terribly sad case. These kids are going to have an uphill battle to get to healthy. Unfortunately, From what I understand the juvenile justice system and the mental health systems are not well equipped to manage it. Burning Down the House is a new book about what happens to kids in the juvenile justice system. This is one view that made me cry. http://www.npr.org/2014/06/04/318801651/burning-down-the-house-makes-the-case-against-juvenile-incarceration.

    It is exhausting, but I try to remind myself to fact check beyond the news story when I post something on Facebook. I am clearly liberal, but I don’t want to be the reactionary who posts the liberal equivalent of “Obummer is a Muslim” and “They’re taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance”. The head shot with the quote are the worst for misleading info. I guess I am too much of a wuss to add fire to the flame.


    1. I didn’t really think of it as being political; I was going after the sensationalistic-journalism-misrepresenting-science angle. I’ve attacked misleading study quotes on almost all major news sites and didn’t *think* about the fact that Fox News is tied so tightly to the Right Wing that it would look like I was singling out conservative media for criticism.

      Honestly, I like to attack all sensationalistic journalism misrepresenting science. 😉

      I do not think you are a wuss for pouring oil on troubled waters. I believe that is known as a “peacemaker”, and I agree with the several world religions that are in favor of that kind of behavior.

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