The Washington Post, one of the most well-respected papers in the English language:
About the size of a small cat, the animal has four legs and a long tail. Nobody is claiming that it's a direct ancestor of monkeys and humans, but it provides a good indication of what a long-ago ancestor may have looked like, researchers said at a news conference.
In an evolutionary sense, the fossil is like an aunt from several generations ago, said Jens Franzen of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.
The fossil is the best preserved ever found for a primate, said Jorn Hurum, of the University of Oslo Natural History Museum, one of the scientists introducing the specimen. It's about 95 percent complete, even including fingertips with nails, and lacks only the lower portion of one leg, Hurum said. It also includes gut contents, showing the creature ate leaves and fruit in its rainforest environment.
Experts not connected with the discovery said the finding was remarkably complete because of features like stomach contents. But they questioned the conclusions of Hurum and his colleagues about how closely it is related to ancestors of monkeys and humans.
"I actually don't think it's terribly close to the common ancestral line of monkeys, apes and people," said K. Christopher Beard of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. "I would say it's about as far away as you can get from that line and still be a primate."
Rather than a long-ago aunt, "I would say it's more like a third cousin twice removed," he said. So it probably resembles ancestral creatures "only in a very peripheral way," he said.
Beard said scientists already have a fossil from China of about the same age that is widely accepted as coming from monkey-ape-human ancestral line, and it's much smaller than the new-found fossil and ate a different diet. "They are radically different animals," he said.
John Fleagle of the State University of New York at Stony Brook said the scientists' analysis provides only "a pretty weak link" between the new creature and higher primates, called anthropoids, that includes monkeys and man.
"It doesn't really tell us much about anthropoid origins, quite frankly," Fleagle said.
The Washington Times, favored by Republicans (Reagan endorsed it early on) and owned by cult leader (seriously) Sun Myung Moon:
But not everyone shares in the Ida adulation.
"This is an incredible piece of hype to popularize a movie and a book. It's hard to believe that this story took off, but the media picked up on very emotional claims about the 'missing link.' It's created good publicity," said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum.
"What was wrong with all the other fossils over the years? Why get so excited with this one?" he asked.
"This is a noteworthy fossil find because it's so complete. But comparing it to the Rosetta Stone is quite an exaggeration," said David DeWitt, director of Creation Studies at Liberty University.
"They say 'we have proof' of the missing link. A few years later, they'll claim they have proof all over again. The important question is this: Where did the genetic information come from that produced that skeleton in the first place? It's not random chance," Mr. DeWitt said.
A 2006 Gallup poll found that eight out of 10 Americans believe God guided creation in "some capacity" - with 46 percent thinking God created man in his present form sometime in the past 10,000 years, while 36 percent say man developed over millions of years from lesser life forms, but God guided the process.
Thirteen percent of Americans think mankind evolved with no divine intervention. [Emphasis added.]
LOL. Now that's "fair and balanced."