Medved is the new ‘scientist’ at the Discovery Institute

It’s a measure of the DI’s intellectual bankruptcy that they are pleased to have recruited Michael Medved to their cause. He’s wingnut who loves Sasquatch; I don’t even care for his movie reviews, which seem to consist of nothing but sanctimonious assessments of movies in the light of his reactionary social agenda.

One thing he’s not, is any kind of scientist.

I guess it’s not surprising. They’ve got HIV denialists, climate change denialists, Bush boosters, war and torture fans, and of course, a whole mob of creationists…tossing Bigfoot believer in the nut mix at the DI is a perfect fit.


  1. Paul Hands says

    Interesting. I see some signs of desperation setting in. The ID / religion wingnuts seem to have stepped up the spam flood over the last few days. I even got spammed by the jacksprat idiot : “KARYOTYPES REFUTE EVOLUTION” in a giant font size and all caps today. I think (hope) they may be seeing the end for their idiocy looming, and are flailing wildly. Hopefully, they will fall silent soon.

  2. says

    Are they finally dropping the pretense that they are are in any way scientific? I really hope so.

    I wonder who they’ll hire next. Maybe Paris Hilton?

  3. Jack says

    Maybe the Discovery Institute plans to get out of pretending to know anything about science and have recruited Medved to refute the evolution of motion pictures. I can see the headline now: “Medved versus Coppola, Eastwood, and Spielberg; argues that all movie scripts are created de novo by an intelligent design agent.” Of course the current writers’ strike is going to give Medved some problems…..

  4. jpf says

    Isn’t he a mediocre movie critic or something?

    He’s a mediocre movie critic who went on to become a mediocre right-wing talk radio demagogue, based largely on his denunciations of the godless liberals in Hollyweird and their anti-Christian movies.

    Having read the various blog posts announcing Medved’s recruitment, what I want to know is: why all the casual hate for poor, innocent sasquatch? Belief in sasquatch is vastly more scientifically defendable than creationism — it at least proposes something you could poke with a stick (at your own risk, of course). If anything, the cryptozoologists should be distancing themselves from Medved now that they’ve learned he’s a creationist.

  5. CalGeorge says

    Oh, that Michael Medved, apologist for slavery!


    Good choice, DI!

  6. Jim Lund says

    The Discovery Institute is the Chex Mix of pseudoscience. A few nuts, some pretzels, add chex, mix and bake together.

  7. Master Mahan says

    At this point, I would not be surprised to learn that the Discovery Institute is being run by Stephen Colbert.

  8. Duff says

    Micky Medved is a really good guy !! Damnit. He is a good christian, or maybe jewish, believing fellow, full of goodness and christianness/jewishbelievingness and I don’t want any of you nasty people to belittle him. He’s a believer, and as such. is an idio…I didn’t mean that, I really didn’t. He’s a good boy who believes in Jesus/abraham and all the good saints/murderers of non-believers, and wouldn’t hurt a flea, unless it was an unchristian/non-abrahamic flea. But, what’s so bad about that???

  9. says

    Micky Medved is a really good guy !! Damnit. He is a good christian, or maybe jewish

    He’s one of those rare conservative breeds (like Dennis Prager or Virgin Ben), Jews for Christians, not to be conflated with Jews for Jesus.

  10. Robin says

    In his early books, like the mean-spirited “The Golden Turkey Awards”, Medved proved his disdainful attitude for movies that didn’t meet his own criteria for “quality”. In other words, if they weren’t big-budgeted and properly reverent, fuck ’em.

    And predictably enough, his cinematic tastes echo his real-life tastes. Republicans tend to be stupidly reverent, and they’ve got lots of cash (which is so helpful in getting people to vote against their own best interests come election day), so it’s no wonder Medved breaks out the conservative kneepads around them.

    So now, he’s a member of the Discovery Institute…why am I NOT surprised?

  11. says

    Yowza! Only at the DI would a belief in Bigfoot be seen as a positive on anyone’s resume.

    Sorry, Matthew. I’ll buy you a beer if it’ll help.

  12. Doug Rozell says

    Careful PZ. Stick to what you KNOW. Sasquatch is an open empirical question, however low the probability. Better to let the DI embarrass themeselves with enough rope than you to waste your powder. Or perhaps your goal in this thread is to draw out your own wingnut *synchopants*, hmm?

    Doug Rozell.M.A., M.L.I.S.
    Beachville, Canada

  13. Ex-drone says

    DI should have gone for Limbaugh. Then they would have had a right-wing nutjob radio host who is a yeti.

  14. says

    re #11- Perhaps when Stephen has lost his bid for President of the United States, an appointment to the presidency of the Disco Institute might be a balm to his wounded ego.

  15. DLC says

    Medved’s movie reviews are fairly weak and limited to what he sees through his own political filters.
    So, why would a group purporting to be a science institute seek out a movie critic and radio wag as a “senior fellow”?
    Having done so removes the last bit of cover they had.
    So, it’s one more piece of evidence in the “The DI is not a science organization” chain.

  16. says


    Nah, Rush is an Almas. A hairy modern day Neanderthal.


    Your enemies aren’t always wrong, your friends aren’t always right. To assume otherwise puts your cause and your convictions in peril.

  17. says

    I would not be surprised to learn that the Discovery Institute is being run by Stephen Colbert.

    Rule #1 of debating is: never go up against a comedian

    If Colbert was running DI they’d appear to make a lot more sense, they’d have a more coherent message, and they’d probably be even funnier.

  18. says

    I think the DI is evolving in a positive direction. Since Sasquatch isn’t religious the second amendment doesn’t exclude it from being mentioned in public schools. Furthermore the scientific evidence for Sasquatch is better than that for ID.

  19. J.R. says

    I remember hearing Medved filling in for Rush Limbaugh once upon a time. Part of his monologue involved a tsk-tsk critique of the then-current cartoon show, “Beavis and Butthead”. Medved refused to say “Butthead” and instead called it “Beavis and Friend”. He claimed that Beavis and Butthead was part of a huge Hollywood conspiracy (B&B were created by Mike Judge who is from Texas and broadcast on MTV which is based in New York) to “coarsen the culture”, by which I can only assume he meant “sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

    One thing that’s pretty amazing about the Rush Limbaugh radio show is that they can consistently find people to be “guest hosts” who are even more obnoxious than Rush himself. Difficult to imagine, but demonstrably true.

  20. says

    Back in what seems like a previous lifetime, in the late ’70s, I worked as a TV cameraman for a station that hired Medved to do movie reviews. He’d come in regularly and bang out half or dozen or so of them at a time.

    Memory’s fuzzy after all these years, but I recall he was a bit of a twit even way back then.

  21. craig says

    While I was a used book dealer I came across a book by Medved and his brother. They were a pair of nerdy teenagers who wrote a book of movie reviews from their nerdy teenage perspective.

    Got it published probably through some family connection. And that’s all it took. Teenage self-published “family movie” critic becomes legitimate journalist, then scientist. All by just saying what certain people want to hear.

    In right-wing world, you can just be a privileged kid parroting your parents and their friends attitudes back to them and that’s all the qualifications you need to be appreciated.

    So, young rightists, self-publish a conservative weekly neighborhood newsletter stroking your parents pet fears, and your life is set.

  22. Hank says

    At least he’s set in the sense that he is set up to be torn to shreds by science buffs and other concerned third parties.

  23. says

    More evidence that the DI is solely a PR slush fund with absolutely no interest in science.

    It is interesting that it’s becoming flypaper for wingnuttery.

    Michael Medved is an intellectual entrepreneur, a political and cultural polymath with great insights, judgment and wit. We are delighted to have this new relationship with him,” said Discovery Institute president Bruce Chapman.

    Yeah, and PT Barnum was an “intellectual entrepeneur”, too. Just what the heck is an “intellectual entrepeneur”? Because it sounds suspiciously like “con man”.

    Medved isn’t even a monomath, much less a “polymath”. (This is what happens when you do “press release by thesaurus”.)

    Doug Rozell: thanks for the “concern”. God forbid PZ should appear to be “strident” on the issue of whether Sasquatch exists! (BTW, what are “synchopants”? Is that some kind of trouser-type clothing that leads to better timing while dancing?)

    *head in hands*

    Allan Kellogg: thanks for your irrelevant aphorism. “You’re not always right!” doesn’t mean a damned thing w.r.t. Medved, does it?

    PZ: This is the first time I’ve seen any sentence with the phrase “Paris Hilton is too smart…”

  24. Der Bruno Stroszek says

    One of the things that makes Medved particularly ridiculous is that when he’s bleating on about sick Hollyweird values turning off normal, God-fearing Americans, he picks on movies that were massive, massive hits. In his first political book, Hollywood Vs America, he singled out Silence of the Lambs and Se7en – two movies which evidently turned off the average American so much that they, er, went and bought tickets for them in their thousands and made them multi-million sellers on video and DVD.

    In other words, his agenda can override any piece of evidence put in front of him. He should fit in perfectly at the DI.

  25. Graculus says

    The Discovery Institute is the Chex Mix of pseudoscience

    Granola: “What ain’t fruits and nuts is flakes.”

  26. john says

    Maybe he was recruited for the strong scientific program associated with Big Foot. At least the cryptozoologists send out expeditions and set up automatic cameras in the woods. A few casts of footprints and grainy home movies are way more evidence than the DI has gotten together during its scientific inquiries into the activities of the unknown designer.

  27. Dustin says

    PZ, Your enemies aren’t always wrong, your friends aren’t always right. To assume otherwise puts your cause and your convictions in peril.

    You’ll have to be more specific before we can take a lesson away from what, I’m sure, is the perfect little gem of reason you’ve tucked away in your irrelevant truism. Has PZ imperiled the cause against creationism by assuming the cryptozoologists are wrong, or has he imperiled the cause against cryptozoology by assuming the creationists are wrong?

  28. says

    Ok, wait, I’m confused, did Noah have two Sasquatch on the ark? How the hell did he find one, let alone two of these things? Perhaps it’s a new call for papers by the DI? Is Medved going to lead up a research team to solve this age-old question? Someone should call Ken Ham and tell him to update his dioramas.

  29. hinschelwood says

    Medved? Didn’t Ted Holden used to use that as his email address? It would be brilliant if this was a front for Ted. I’d love to see him at the DI. A few press releases about how Saturn used to hang above the north pole and how humans teleported to Venus would be great. It’s by no means more stupid than what the DI peddles at the moment.

  30. jim says

    I should – or maybe shouldn’t – point out, given all this talk of hairy man-love, that “medved” happens to be Russian for “bear” …

  31. says

    Interesting coincidence… the Pacific northwest is a hotspot for organized Sasquatch expeditions these days. Maybe that’s why Medved joined the Seattle scoundrels.

    On another note, we’ve seen the oddball alliance between creationism and cryptozoology before – Kent Hovind is/was a major fan of Mokele-Mbembe. Maybe the fringe folks prefer sticking together… it must get quite lonely out there. What’s the next thing we’ll see – astrologists and global warming denialists in alliance?

  32. Charles Soto says

    I hope DI finds Bigfoot! According to the story my mom told me, Bigfoot is my daddy! I so long to hold his hairy hands while he reads me a story and shares the animal carcass he killed (Mom says he preached a vegan diet, but secretly craves venison).

  33. Galbinus_Caeli says

    Should he be writing anyway? He is a member of WGA, right? Someone should report him to his union.

  34. Lurchgs says

    OK – it’s directly irrelevant. But it’s a point I always try to consider; just because a movie is bad doesn’t mean it’s unpoplular – or vice versa. Not that I’m arguing your conclusions, Bruno – the two movies you point out were quite good. The other side is, if memory serves, they were both pretty much panned by the pre-release critics.

    I have decided that DI’s unstated manifesto is to “gather all the world’s idiots in one place and take over. Preferably Seattle, since that’s where we live now.”

  35. qedpro says

    that “famous” sasquatch movie was found to be faked. the guy that did it, admitted to it and lives somewhere in yakima, WA. its was totally funny, he even walks like him.

  36. MikeM says

    I own a couple of Medved’s books on “Golden Turkeys.” They are some of the most hilarious books on bad movies you’ll ever read.

    And then he turns around and goes all ID on us.


    I still don’t think the people at DI actually believe in ID, which makes it worse than saying they’re ignorant, in my opinion. These are some sad people. They’re lying, and they know it.

    It’s snake oil. You were a pretty funny guy at one time, Medved. How did it come to this? Yes, I know you have a couple dozen listeners for your national radio program, so you gradually got more conservative. But, you know, there’s a difference between asking for fiscal conservatism (I can even understand that POV) to deciding you’re pro-ID.

    Run away from the light, Michael.

    (By the way, the M in MikeM does NOT stand for “Medved.” Aren’t you all relieved to know that?)

  37. MikeM says

    #24: Probably?

    Heh. Without a single doubt, this is true. It’d take them 10 years to figure out their own hire was making millions by skewering them every day, when they didn’t even realize they were being skewered.

  38. Rey Fox says

    Movies that try to influence kids’ behavior and thinking? HOLY FUCKING SHIT! SAY IT AIN’T SO, MEDVED, SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!

  39. Carl Gordon says

    Having been aware of Medved’s clown act for some time, it makes you wonder about the moustache thing, I mean it’s so Seventies gay and all, makes you wonder if he’s just trying to hide the stretch marks!