The New York Times has weighed in, and they contacted the producers of Expelled…and what do you know, they’re still scrambling to find a credible story. They haven’t succeeded yet.
Mark Mathis, a producer of the film who attended the screening, said that “of course” he had recognized Dr. Dawkins, but allowed him to attend because “he has handled himself fairly honorably, he is a guest in our country and I had to presume he had flown a long way to see the film.”
Unbelievable. So basically it’s a baseless implication that I would be a troublemaker, and the arrogant and absurd assumption that Dawkins flew to Minneapolis from Oxford to see their preview of the movie.
Lying is just a reflex for them at this point. He also claims that he made Dawkins “shrink” in the Q&A, which is total nonsense. Mathis is a shrill and frightened man when he’s confronted; back in November, I called in to a radio interview he was doing, and he practically broke down in hysterics. He ended the “debate” by yelling into the phone, “Go to his website! Myers is an atheist! He’s an atheist!”, classic ad hominem.
I wouldn’t go so far as to claim Mathis was afraid of me — he was on home ground yesterday with a friendly audience — but it’s clear that he really, really dislikes me. The simple explanation for what happened at the screening is that he spotted me in the line, let his irrational venom get the better of him, and he had me evicted while he retreated back into the theater, and therefore missed spotting Dawkins. Everything else now is transparent spin to hide the fact that they were hypocritical about expelling me, and screwed up big time in allowing a more prominent critic slip by.
As for the implication that I’d be a horrible, disruptive presence, here’s one excerpt from the movie; it’s also on a DVD that they were giving away at a table at the screening*. Look what a horrible, malign ogre I am.
I heard that people in the audience gasped in distress at my comment that I want to see religion reduced to a “side dish” instead of the “main dish”, but seriously — I saw that and thought that gee, I’m awfully conciliatory on screen.
Socratic Gadfly takes on the NY Times article in more detail; I’m getting a little tired of the story myself, after spending much of the afternoon with reporters. I think I’ll spend more time at the American Atheists meeting tomorrow, and look forward to our gathering of pharynguloids tomorrow night.
By the way, one of the other things I’m doing here is taping some conversations with Richard Dawkins. Our discussion of our experiences at that movie are now on the web.