Do you find yourself deeply annoyed by those headlines on Facebook and social media sites that declare that this politician or that scientist DESTROYED their opponent in a debate? It never happens. I’ve been in debates where the consensus is that I ‘won’, or was most informative, or was most difficult to refute, but the opposition usually has some rationalization to salvage their position. You can’t literally ANNIHILATE someone with an argument.
Or can you?
Neil deGrasse Tyson was accused of belittling a 9 year old girl who asked him a question, and one of those conservative talk-radio blowhards, Neal Larsen, made a big deal out of how awful Tyson was. Unfortunately for Larsen, his information came from one of those even more annoying “satirical” news sites (which is another of my pet peeves — I block people who cite those abominations). Larsen was loudly ridiculed for his gullibility.
And then…a miracle! Larsen didn’t give up his radio show, but he has resigned from writing a newspaper column over the exposure.
Larson acknowledged the error in his final op-ed, adding that he apologized to deGrasse Tyson for his mistake. But he also complained about the amount of attention his failed attack received.
“For those in the national spotlight, this is probably old hat, but I wasn’t equipped to handle the influx, logistically or emotionally,” Larson wrote. “If anyone had sent a kind word or more gentle and constructive criticism, I apologize because I probably missed it in the onslaught of hate.”
Aww, poor man. If only someone had given him a cookie, he might have been inspired to soldier on and produce even more bullshit like this, below:
However, Larson will continue broadcasting his radio show. Daily Kos pointed out that he has used it to argue, among other things, that Donald Trump is suited for the presidency because of his “alpha-male” personality, and that the choice of mascot for Washington D.C.’s NFL team is better than “a screaming Black Lives Matter activist, or a finger-snapping drag queen.”
Still, Tyson did manage to shut down a little bit of vileness. Larsen is still babbling on the radio, but he’s not poisoning newspapers anymore, which is a bit of progress.
So maybe Tyson didn’t DESTROY him, but I think we can at least say he was DECIMATED.