Friday, March 21, 2008


Gray Lady Down

PZ Myearshertz has made the New York Times. But the paper has a funny spelling of his name ...

Even funnier is the utterly lame excuses of the producers of the of the utterly lame Expelled for the utterly lame denial of admission of PZ to the screening:

Mark Mathis, a producer of the film who attended the screening, said that "of course" he had recognized Dr. Dawkins, but allowed him to attend because "he has handled himself fairly honorably, he is a guest in our country and I had to presume he had flown a long way to see the film."
Oh, riiight! Dawkins would fly all the way from England to see this excrement? His showing up had nothing to do with Dawkins' heavily publicized lecture tour of the United States or the 34th Annual National Conference of American Atheists right there in Minneapolis?

That Mathis might even for a moment entertain such a "thought" is all of a piece with Mathis' ego, though:

Mr. Mathis said in an interview that he had confronted Dr. Dawkins in the question and answer period after the screening and that Dr. Dawkins withered. "These people who own the academic establishment and who have great friends in the media — they are not accustomed to having a level, open playing field," Mr. Mathis said. "I watched a man who has been a large figure, an imposing figure, I watched this man shrink in front of my eyes."

That is not how Dr. Dawkins recalls it. He said Mr. Mathis said "enemies" were attempting to interfere with the film.

"It is impossible to imagine what Mathis is afraid of," Dr. Dawkins said. "It is impossible to credit such bungling and inept public relations."
After expending so much effort in packing the audience with ideological soul mates, to call it "a level, open playing field" is, I suppose, no more delusional than mistaking their applause and laughter for something other than an empty echo.

I can't get over how stupid this expulsion was. What a PR disaster. Then again, would one really expect a more intelligent level of reasoning from the people associated with this movie?
The funny thing is that their biggest ally is the average American's sense of "fair play" and "hearing out both sides." That's why they've gotten this far in the PR war. To try to exclude your critics in such bufoonish fashion is like painting targets on your shoes and yelling "fire!"
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