Pharyngula

Rampaging PR flacks!

The Pivar story isn’t quite dead yet — Chris Mims discovers that one of his blog defenders was a public relations agent. It’s not clear if he was employed by Pivar — he has written press releases for Lifecode, though — but if he was, it looks like Pivar has another goon in his employ whose ham-handed efforts backfired on him.

It’s so hard to get good minions, lackeys, thugs, and bully-boys nowadays.

Comments

  1. #1 Mike P
    August 31, 2007

    I don’t know, PZ. You’ve got a veritable army here. If you put some effort into it, we could raise quite a racket. Start charging other SciBlings for “protection”, raid the fundie blogs, drop off some horse’s heads in certain DI households.

    “So ya might wanna think about lissenin a’ Pee Zee if ya knows whats goos for ya.”

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    August 31, 2007

    Hell, he showed up at my blag too, writing under the ‘nym “opened mind” (mdrich1313@aol.com):

    The libel claim against PZ Meyer is a blow FOR scientific freedom. Just because Meyer does not like Pivar’s theory he can’t get away with saying as fact that Pivar is a “Crackpot” And by the way, the book LifeCode seems pretty interesting as i saw sample chapters at http://www.aninconvenienttheory.com

    I believe he appeared at Amazon, too.

  3. #3 Ed Darrell
    August 31, 2007

    Yeah, Krang and Shredder were probably right to try to metamorphize people into rhinos and other beasts. It beats having to set up an HR department and sifting through all those resumes.

  4. #4 Tom Allen
    August 31, 2007

    Yeah, I could be one of your goons, PZ. Or a Myrmidon. I’d be a great Myrmidon.

    I also hire out part-time as a hooligan and a ruffian. But you have to provide health insurance for that.

  5. #5 J Myers
    August 31, 2007

    Blake, regarding #2: Do you suppose this guy was trying to sound so stupid that no one would care what his opinion was, or do you think he actually is so stupid that no one will care what his opinion is?

  6. #6 John Marley
    August 31, 2007

    That’s what you get with non-union labor.

  7. #7 Dustin
    August 31, 2007

    Yeah, Krang and Shredder were probably right to try to metamorphize people into rhinos and other beasts. It beats having to set up an HR department and sifting through all those resumes.

    Baxter was always my favorite.

  8. #8 Stuart Coleman
    August 31, 2007

    Maybe he’s just like Mr Burns, and prefers the touch of hired goons.

  9. #9 Ktesibios
    August 31, 2007

    It’s so hard to get good minions, lackeys, thugs, and bully-boys nowadays.

    Precisely. And we are looking to science for a solution.

    So how are the laser-armed mutant squid-men coming along? The aspiring evil overlords of the world wonder.

  10. #10 Greta Christina
    August 31, 2007

    The thing that struck me about this: For a PR guy, he’s an astonishingly bad writer. I almost wonder if he was doing the “bad writing” thing to make his comment seem more authentic. If so, he wasn’t paying attention, since the commenters on the science blogs are usually quite literate.

  11. #11 PZ Myers
    August 31, 2007

    Just because Meyer does not like Pivar’s theory he can’t get away with saying as fact that Pivar is a “Crackpot”

    Weird. It’s called freedom of speech. I can call Pivar a crackpot whether I like the book or not; I could call him a crackpot if I hadn’t even read the book. And Pivar can call me a crackpot or whatever he likes right back. It’s damned silly to be filing a lawsuit to squelch expression of free speech while calling yourself a defender of free speech.

    Hey, is this guy angling for Tony Snow’s job? He’d fit right in with the Bushites.

  12. #12 PZ Myers
    August 31, 2007

    So how are the laser-armed mutant squid-men coming along?

    We’re still working on a few technical glitches, but I see we already have some new volunteers for the program right here on this thread. You guys don’t mind a few … modifications — for the privilege of being a minion, do you?

  13. #13 Frac
    August 31, 2007

    I have a name for our new “modified” squid, uh, squad:
    Suckers for Punishment

  14. #14 Nix
    August 31, 2007

    I’ve long noted on Usenet that those (kooks) who scream loudest about FREE SPEACH!!!11!! only ever seem to do it when it’s *them* on the sharp end. If anyone else dares to criticise them, blatant censorship and other bad actions inevitably follow (from mass cancelflooding and forged posts in others’ names to make them look bad, to random accusations of paedophilia).

    But then you know that.

  15. #15 Blake Stacey
    August 31, 2007

    This guy’s press group was actually the one which sent out the press release which prompted PZ to repost his old review of LifeCode — and which thereby kicked off the whole affair!

    I’ve followed Matthew Rich, a.k.a. Matt Richards, across the Web over at my site.

  16. #16 Andrea
    August 31, 2007

    Eh, he dropped by at PT as well:
    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/08/so_sue_me.html#comment-198498
    and again later.

    On a related note, I often wondered how many second-tier (that is, non-DI fellows) ID supporters, especially those with some academic credentials, get paid at least occasionally for their efforts. I suspect more than a few.

  17. #17 LanceR
    August 31, 2007

    Can I be a lackey? Please, oh please let me be a lackey! I’ve always wanted to be a lackey! I do a great Igor impression! “Yeth, mathter. Coming mathter.” <limp, drool> “Will we be needing the cattle prod tonight, mathter?”

  18. #18 peter irons
    August 31, 2007

    One of the funny things about Matt Rich is that his primary PR client is the Miss Universe Organization, owned by Donald Trump, and that Rich spends much of his time (when he isn’t trolling for Pivar) escorting the likes of Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA to celeb events and fashion store appearances. I wonder if Pivar gets to schmooze with them?

  19. #19 Blaine
    August 31, 2007

    Please, schedule me up for the modifications at your earliest convenience. I wanna be a minion!

    pleasepleaseplease!

    Anything for science, right?

  20. #20 Jon Rusho
    August 31, 2007

    What’s the fax number for Henchman Resources? I need to fax in my resume.

    Do we all get uniforms with red “A”s on them?

  21. #21 J-Dog
    August 31, 2007

    I suspect that this guy is only a lickspittle, trying to earn his bones and get promoted to lackey.

  22. #22 Brownian
    August 31, 2007

    I wonder if the loser who keeps pasting hand-made posters that read “WHAT THE BLEEP A VERY COOL NEW MOVIE CHECK IT OUT AT http://WWW.WHATTHEBLEEP.COM” on Edmonton Transit buses is getting paid to deface my city transport with his crap.

  23. #23 jba
    August 31, 2007

    “You guys don’t mind a few … modifications — for the privilege of being a minion, do you?”

    Are you kidding? I *insist* on them. I few tentacles wouldn’t hurt (plus if cartoons have taught me anything, they will help me bag Japanese schoolgirls) and I would very much enjoy being able to breath under water. A laser on my head would also benefit… science. Yeah… science.

  24. #24 jba
    August 31, 2007

    Jon Rusho:

    Orange jumpsuits, a helmet and metal teeth! But no boot cuts.

  25. #25 Brent Rasmussen
    August 31, 2007

    It’s so hard to get good minions, lackeys, thugs, and bully-boys nowadays.

    The going rate on flunkies and peons is through the roof too.

  26. #26 Bryn
    August 31, 2007

    Can I be a galloglas? Huh? Can I, huh??!?? Grrrrr! See? I can look threatening and everything. The tentacles might be a bad idea, though; just think of the uniform alterations costs alone.

  27. #27 rp
    August 31, 2007

    The way my body is working, I’d happily become a minion if it meant no more arthritic joints. Sealing my house so that I could fill it with water would be a small price to pay, as long as I remembered to move everything electric above the waterline. And, yeah, the head-laser would be fun.

    Brownian, I’d missed those stickers. Mind you, I rarely ride the bus unless I’m going downtown, and I try to avoid that.

  28. #28 Brownian
    August 31, 2007

    Brownian, I’d missed those stickers. Mind you, I rarely ride the bus unless I’m going downtown, and I try to avoid that.

    They’re little truncated 8x11s pasted onto the backs of the seats on a few #6s, masquerading as some kind of guerilla word-of-mouth advertising.

    They’re nearly as irritating as that stupid ‘Listen’ bird graffiti.

  29. #29 Graham
    August 31, 2007

    It’s so hard to get good minions, lackeys, thugs, and bully-boys nowadays.

    Well duh…yeah. They’re all working for the U.S. government.

    There’s only so many to go around.

  30. #30 jaim klein
    September 1, 2007

    It is starting to be depressing. Now we have a paid public relations commenter in a science blog, promoting a “scientific” theory. A fake commenter promoting (professionally) a fake scientist. In the case of Stuart Pivar, the motive is vanity. But in future cases, it may be to promote a commercial product or a medical procedure. The blogosphere is being polluted and Pivar’s employing a PR company to defend his pet fantasy may be only the beginning of a trend.

  31. #31 jaim klein
    September 1, 2007

    On a second thought, the commercialization of science blog commenting may be an opportunity to make some money.

    To Dr. Stuart Pivar,
    I understand you are are having some difficulty in hiring competent and effective fake science blog commenters (“minions” according to Prof. PZ). I think a could have a decent try at defending your original and valuable scientific publication. Please contact me at my email address and I will send you my price list (I shall make you a special price for defending LifeCodes. I charge more for debunking evolution as a whole).
    Best Regards,
    J.Klein (“Have Computer, Will Blog”)

    If you are a millionaire art collector, you may consider my services as writer of your vanity science book. My speciality is quality illustration and photoshopping.

  32. #32 llewelly
    September 1, 2007

    Where do I sign up to be a minion and get polarization-sensitive eyes, chromatophores in every skin cell, suckers, and a head-mounted laser? I want lots of tentacles too, although I don’t plan on getting any dates soon.

  33. #33 SEF
    September 1, 2007

    the commercialization of science blog commenting may be an opportunity to make some money.

    Of all the home-working scam emails I receive, strangely enough, being paid to comment on blogs has never been among them – perhaps because it’s a real job for some people somewhere! One of the recent scam emails to arrive was an invitation to be a money launderer for “Sydney Car Centre”. It would be interesting to know if there’s any sort of correlation between the people who fall for those scams and the ones who fall for the religious / ID / pseudoscience scams. Although, on the understanding paranoid projectionist (of the non-film sort!) side of things, I’ve found that it has been the craziest of religious nutters who falsely accuse me of being paid to comment. Suggesting perhaps that they have reason to know there’s a real job doing it and would do it themselves.

  34. #34 jaim klein
    September 1, 2007

    I too, SEF, was once accused of being a paid “minion” blog commenter. I had posted a comment praising China’s treatment of its Kaifeng Jews, and was accused to be in pay of the Communist Chinese. Now that I think of it, the Chinese may owe me money for “running dog” minion work. BTW, according to wiki, we minions are valued, noble confidantes, not bootlicking lackeys as suggested.

  35. #35 SEF
    September 1, 2007

    Ah, but what made the lunatic claims of this one kook particularly ironic was that they falsely accused me of being a BBC “shill” whereas, in reality (ie as is obvious to those few of us who are evidence-based instead of fantasy-based), the actual and relevant BBC staff dislike me rather a lot – because I tell the truth about them instead of the appealing (to them!) falsehoods which they like their dishonest and/or gullible sycophants to tell. So it wasn’t even a plausible false accusation on the kook’s part. Just one more highly ranked item among the many and various potty claims they’ve made.

    Had you also previously said negative things about the Chinese government in the presence of the same person who then accused you of being a government minion for the one favourable comment? I suppose if they were being really paranoid they could decide to believe those were simply part of a bigger entrapment conspiracy. Unless the Chinese try to frame you by paying you in arrears, I doubt you can get minion money retrospectively.

  36. #36 John
    September 1, 2007

    hey I wanna be in the Mofia

  37. #37 Jonathan Vos Post
    September 1, 2007

    “I wonder if Pivar gets to schmooze with them?”

    Oh, that’s what they call it now. I got lost in the terminology shift when Bill Clinton said “I did not have sex with that woman” and my teenaged son’s classmates agreed that oral sex was not sex.

    Now, can anyone explain to me about GOP senators schmoozing in men’s rooms?

    It makes no sense to me…

    See also the L.A. Weekly coverage of the late “Father Yod”, the organic restuarant on the Sunset Strip called “The Source” where Woody Allen filmed the breakup scene of “Annie Hall”, the insider book on the cult, the music now being re-released in Japan by the underlying cult, whose leader died in a hang-gliding accident in Hawaii, leaving 28 widows.

    Well, duh, of course a cult leader gets to “schmooze” and beyond with lots of cult-followers, It’s the Darwinian fitness of cult leaders.

    Remember: every religion begins as a cult, but not every cult becomes a religion.

    Pass the Kool-Aid, please…

  38. #38 Roger, FCD
    September 4, 2007

    PZ, the Cthulu of Science.

    Has a nice overlordy ring to it, don’t you think? Gives your minion a ready-made battle cry too: Cthulu Fhtagn!

    Squidly dreams,

    Roger

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