Dana has a post about my report that Dawkins asked me to tell people not to spread the “libellous allegation that Michael Shermer is a rapist or a sexual predator.”
Keep in mind, this was about a year after various unconnected sources came forward and said that Shermer had harassed and/or assaulted them. And he’s still busy covering Shermer’s ass.
Even after so many women have come forward under their own names, he still won’t admit there may be something to this. And the little hyperskeptic lickspittles he’s got crowded round his feet are happy to help out, demanding evidence well beyond what they’d require to denounce a homeopath.
I still puzzle about that. These are real people, not just examples in some article by Christina Hoff Sommers. They’re people he may have met himself on the atheist / skeptic circuit. It’s odd that he’s so willing to trash them for the sake of defending Shermer.
There are good comments on the post – like the one by A Hermit:
Dawkins asked me to dissuade people from spreading the “libellous allegation that Michael Shermer is a rapist or a sexual predator.”
Now that’s a pretty strong allegation you’re making yourself Richard; I mean libel is a serious legal no-no. If Shermer is really being libeled why didn’t he immediately go to the authorities, huh? I mean if he can prove he’s being libeled he should be suing everyone who’s libeling him or it’s not really libel amirite?
I bet he’s just playing the libel victim to get publicity for his new book or something…
It almost seems as if trying to protect Shermer is the main reason Dawkins issued the joint statement with Ophelia. Almost immediately after the statement was issued, Dawkins tweeted to imply that date rape wasn’t as bad as being raped by a stranger, and if you disagreed, “go away and learn how to think.” Those aren’t the words of someone trying to heal rifts that were directly exacerbated by his own words. But they are an emotional, poorly-reasoned argument that Michael Shermer isn’t a “real” rapist.
And I’m still confused as to what Dawkins was asking Ophelia to do. PZ posted the rape allegation about a year ago, so that couldn’t be undone. There were several women making accusations of predatory behavior against Shermer. Was Dawkins proposing that Ophelia contact each one to try to gain her silence? Was he hoping for a blog post that attacked their claims? I don’t understand what he was asking.
No, I don’t either, really. Maybe just spread the word, on the libelous allegers’ grapevine? I don’t know. I didn’t parse it very much because there was no chance I was going to do that. With several people telling similar stories…how could I do that?