Bil Browning

Laura sends her love

Filed By Bil Browning | March 14, 2007 8:38 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Advance America, Advance Indiana, Eric Miller, Gary Welsh, Laura McPhee, Nuvo

After last week's terrific Nuvo article focusing on Eric Miller, author Laura McPhee took considerable heat for not crediting Advance Indiana's Gary Welsh for a lot of the research and blogging he's done on the topic. While AI focuses on Hoosier politics, his knowledge of all things Eric Miller is extra-ordinary.

In this week's Nuvo, McPhee responds to the criticism. The letter is rather long, but the pertinent part says:

Locally, no one has done a better job of chronicling the political agenda and influence of Advance America than Gary Welsh at With his education, experience and insight as a lawyer, lobbyist and Republican, Welsh has astutely pointed out the similarities between the KKK and local Evangelical leaders like Miller and Micah Clark of the Indiana Family Institute for several years, as well as push for an investigation into Advance America's finances and possible violations or abuses of lobbying regulations. In addition, Bil Browning's does an excellent job of representing the variety of voices within the city's GLBT community and the growing dissatisfaction with Indiana politics as usual.

Given the number of times I've written about Miller in the past and the prevalence of the analogy between Evangelicals and the KKK in public discourse, I mistakenly thought readers would share my presumption that I was joining an ongoing and increasing number of others in pointing out the parallels between Evangelical and KKK influence as it relates to national and state politics, and that my examination included ideas and evidence publicly presented elsewhere.

So to NUVO readers who wrote claiming I am an isolated and extremist voice with an anti-God agenda, those who wrote claiming I am delusional and making this shit up, as well as those who wrote claiming I am trying to pass off the ideas of others as my own, I humbly and loudly admit an unoriginal thesis and openly recommend the work of these predecessors, and in some cases superiors, that also detail the ways in which those who now embrace the agenda of groups like Advance America are following in the footsteps of those who once embraced the Ku Klux Klan.

While I'm honored to have been included with Gary in Laura's apology letter, I honestly believe that Gary deserves 99.99% of the Eric Miller credit. I will, however, accept her very kind comments on behalf of all of the bilerico contributors who do their best to keep our readers informed and entertained. We appreciate the notice Laura gave to our blog and we join her in saying that "no one has done a better job of chronicling the political agenda and influence of Advance America than Gary Welsh."

Raise a glass to Gary tonight, folks. And give a good shout for Laura McPhee too. It takes a movement to bring down the status quo. Together we can move mountains!

UPDATE: Advance Indiana has responded to Laura's apology.

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Ernie Pyle woulda been aghast | March 15, 2007 8:01 AM

You're too kind here, Bil.

Laura's writing (and editing?) leave much to be desired. Failure to accurately quote sources is one thing. By failing to do so, she claimed all the gray area as her own. Kinda like the ever-creeping city limit line of's mine, it's mine, it's mine...

Weeklies can only apologize to readers 52 times a year. I'm unclear whether this apology was only a letter directed toward Gary, or in the newspaper itself.

Either way, it's lame. Actually, dead on arrival.
Gary was also gracious to accept it.

Flagrant foul. Two shots and the ball out.
One more and she's ejected.

She should buy and read Posner's The Little Book of Plagiarism

Now, now, folks. We all have to admit that the article was spectacularly written. She did an excellent job of exposing Eric Miller for the hater that he is.

On Gary's blog he mentions that McPhee called him and told him he was originally sourced in the article, but an editing decision removed the reference to him. McPhee took from her sources and added on that. As far as I know there was no direct plagiarism of Gary's site (and absolutely none of mine!).

Again, I thank Laura for her mention of - but the true source of most things Eric Miller goes to Gary.

Marla R. Stevens | March 16, 2007 2:03 PM

Credit is a good thing but there's also truth about how much we could get done if we didn't care about getting it. In this case, I wish the emphasis had been on Ms. McPhee's great service to the truth which, as truth is on our side, is also great service to the cause.