The producers of Expelled have spent a couple of days sweating over damage control, I guess. They’ve shut down or delayed all the pending screenings of their movie, and now they’ve issued a remarkably dishonest press release. The mendacity is astonishing in its scope; somebody tell me, is this “framing”?
Something amazing happened yesterday. The controversy around Premise Media’s upcoming movie Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed became the hottest topic in the blogosphere. According to BlogPulse, a service of Nielsen Buzzmetrics, the issue held the number one slot throughout the day on Monday, March 24th (http://www.blogpulse.com). There were also over 800 results on Technorati (www.technorati.com).
Well, yes, it was HUGE. I know, because I was the recipient of much of the buzz. Most of those links were not congratulating Expelled on their success, they were laughing at their hypocrisy and incompetence, they were linking to me, and they were spreading the news that this was a creationist propaganda film run by particularly clumsy ideologues. It was a hot topic, all right.
Mathis continued, “I hope PZ’s experience has helped him see the light. He is distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn’t allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he will think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin’s theory.”
I wasn’t distraught. At worst, I felt a little guilty that I’d escaped a bad movie while my friends and family were stuck with watching it.
I haven’t demanded expulsions or blacklists — I will proudly continue to demand competence. Unlike watching a movie, being awarded a professorship should require some substantial understanding of a discipline; does Mathis really think that the position of teacher and researcher ought to be simply handed to people for showing up, no matter what their qualifications?
They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.
No, this is not at all true. Richard Dawkins was in attendance as my unnamed guest; the reservation form had asked for my name and affiliation, and only asked how many (up to three) guests I would be bringing with me. There was no public announcement anywhere that he would be attending. Also, although he was prepared to show his passport, he wasn’t asked for it at the door.
Also, what kind of illiterate is writing this press release? Dawkins surname is Dawkins. Slow down, bozos, you’re in such a frantic hurry you haven’t even bothered to proofread.
Recognizing the opportunity to make a point of the inconvenience and pain that they, and others like them, have caused to numerous scientists and educators, the decision was made beforehand to deny Myers access to the film if he actually showed up.
Yet another revision of their story…if this were true, why not ban every evolutionary biologist? Their rationale applies just as well to Dawkins as it does to me. Also note that Mathis previously admitted to banning me on a whim: “You should know that I invited Michael shermer to a screening at NRB in Nashville. He came and is writing a review for scientific American. I banned pz because I want him to pay to see it. Nothing more.“
Someday, they’ll settle on one story, but it won’t matter — they’ve left too long a trail of revisionist excuse-making.
Executive Producer Logan Craft noted: “EXPELLED makes it clear that academic freedom is at stake. Yet Dawkins and his friends continue to misrepresent the film and slander the producers. It is obvious that they do not want to debate the real issues raised in the movie.”
What misrepresentations? It’s a movie that blames the Holocaust on Darwin — it’s stupid and foolish. How have the producers been slandered? They’re the ones lying at every step. This is their movie, in one perfect picture:
Myers has apparently been asking supporters to sneak into the different private screenings for many weeks. After being denied his chance to see the movie, Myers blogged about his experience and expressed his outrage.
Errm, what? I haven’t asked anyone to sneak into screenings. I haven’t even asked them to sign up for them, as I did. This claim is as complete a fabrication as anything else in this press release.
As for “expressing [my] outrage”, that’s absurd. I laughed and laughed, and had trouble maintaining my normally sober decorum in a public place as I left the theater. Outrage? Judge for yourself.
The only other thing remarkable about their collection of lies is how desperate they sound — you can practically smell the flop sweat.