Louisiana State Senators Mike Walsworth and Julie Quinn: Internet Celebrities

Louisiana State Senator Mike Walsworth may not understand evolutionary science, but after this week, he probably has a deeper appreciation of the ways in which a news story can evolve over the course of time. Senator Walsworth, a Republican from Monroe, is probably now the most well-known member of the Louisiana legislature. Last week, in a story about Zack Kopplin, Walsworth appeared on the front page of the website io9, and today, the rest of the media appears to have caught on.

MSN: Louisiana Senator Wonders, Out Loud, If E. Coli Can Evolve Into Humans

Slate: And These Are The People Making Laws In Louisiana

Gawker: Louisiana Senator Wants To Know If E. Coli Could Evolve Into Human

The New Civil Rights Movement: Video Of Creationist Republican Not Understanding Bacteria Can’t Evolve Into A Human Goes Viral

Upworthy: Senator Asks For Proof Of Evolution, Discovers He Doesn’t Actually Know What It Is

A couple of hours ago, the hacktivist group Anonymous posted this on their Twitter account:

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Way back in April, during a meeting of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Walsworth said this:

Although the media hasn’t picked up on it yet, Walsworth actually said something else almost as bone-headed:

At the time, Walsworth’s comments were completely unnoticed by the Louisiana media, though some of us did try to sound the alarm. Zack spent hours downloading the full committee meeting from the State’s website, parsing through the choice testimony and then uploading it onto YouTube. When the videos finally were live, I posted them here (though I completely buried the lede), and a few days later, Dambala of American Zombie followed suit.

To this day, though, no one in the Louisiana mainstream media has picked up on the story, despite the fact that the Walsworth’s comments have gone “viral” (more than 200,000 views and climbing) and, perhaps more importantly, despite the fact that Walsworth revealed himself to be uniquely unqualified to serve on the State Senate Education Committee. (To be sure, the great Walter Pierce, who writes for The Ind and The Gambit  has also covered these stories for his respective independent news publications).

In fairness to Senator Walsworth, it’s worth noting that, as a result of the new-found national attention on the video clips from April that Zack uploaded, former State Senator Julie Quinn has also become an Internet celebrity, thanks to this video (which, as of now, has actually received more views than Walsworth’s E. coli comments):

Both Senators Walsworth and Quinn now have a section on their Wikipedia pages referencing their support of creationism. Interestingly, a couple of days after Senator Quinn’s Wikipedia entry was augmented to include a section on her comments about creationism, someone attempted to scrub it completely:

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“Julie Quinn: Revision History” has a ring to it.