Pharyngula

I’m up for an award!

Andrew Sullivan is taking votes for his Moore Award — and I’m on it. This is his prize for “divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric”, named after Michael Moore.

He clearly intends it to be disparaging, but I find it to be a curiously misapplied award. First, it’s named for Michael Moore, who really isn’t that awful — he’s usually right, for one thing. For another, his counterpoint on the right is the Malkin Award, and I’m afraid that if he thinks a deranged harpy on the right is equivalent to a controversial but clearly progressive film maker on the left, his scales are a bit unbalanced.

Second, I’m in competition with Gore Vidal? I am not worthy.

Third, and perhaps similarly, the list of nominees is a real hodge-podge, and hard to take seriously. The only qualifications seem to be that they said something that pissed off conservative Andrew Sullivan, and that they’re nominally lumped together in the fuzzy blur of “The Left”.

Comments

  1. #1 Screechy Monkey
    December 22, 2008

    What’s particularly rich about this is that Sullivan’s own foaming-at-the-mouth conspiracy-mongering about Sarah Palin’s baby would easily win such an award. (And it’s not like there was a shortage of legitimate criticisms of Palin.)

    But I wish you Happy Monkey on your nomination.

  2. #2 10ch.org
    December 22, 2008

    Association with Michael Moore… supposed to be disparaging? What a joke.

  3. #3 Sandra
    December 22, 2008

    Apparently, you’re an anti-Catholic bigot for calling a communion wafer ‘a damned cracker.’ I had no idea because (and maybe Andrew Sullivan has never had one so he doesn’t know) they are just crackers, damned or otherwise.

  4. #4 Tyler DiPietro
    December 22, 2008

    I find myself wondering when being “divisive” became the one unpardonable sin of American discourse. Life isn’t always a big Kumbaya session.

  5. #5 Greta Christina
    December 22, 2008

    Nifty! What a nice Santamas present!

    Should we crash this poll? And if so, in what direction? I personally think winning this would be a great thumping honor…

  6. #6 Kel
    December 22, 2008

    Time to crash another poll. You know he was asking for it!

  7. #7 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    A conservative gay Englishman writing for The Atlantic, for god’s sake, defining “divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric”. What could be better?
    You’re beating Vidal by 5 percentage points so far PZ.

  8. #8 Matt7895
    December 22, 2008

    Gore Vidal may have had, and still may have huge political influence, but he’s also horribly rude and arrogant. Being in competition with him isn’t that special.

  9. #9 10ch.org
    December 22, 2008

    @#5
    Well, PZ Myers says that the reward itself is positive, although he feels that he is not as good as Gore Videl… but of course, it is still positive.

  10. #10 Matt
    December 22, 2008

    Finishing in a dead heat with Roseanne would be a nice touch…

    When did the evolution of species become a left wing thing?

    Dang…I always thought it was Libertarian…

  11. #11 Medium Dave
    December 22, 2008

    Well, I jsut did my part. It won’t be easy matching Roseanne Barr’s name recognition, but I’m rooting for you, PZ!

  12. #12 Nerd of Redhead
    December 22, 2008

    Second, I’m in competition with Gore Vidal? I am not worthy.

    Hmm. Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

    I looked at it earlier, but registration is required to vote. Maybe it’s time to set up a dummy name/e-mail account for just such occasions.

  13. #13 chancelikely
    December 22, 2008

    Madness? THIS! IS! PHARYNGULA!

    Of course we crash it.

  14. #14 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    Why aren’t Dawkins and Hitchins on that poll? Wow PZ, you’ must be more openly honest bitterly rhetorical than the “godless” Hall of Famers.

  15. #15 Mena
    December 22, 2008
  16. #16 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    Up another percentage point!

  17. #17 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    Send Rod Dreher an email, that SOB & his deluded minions will vote for you.

  18. #18 akshelby
    December 22, 2008

    I’ve voted twice for you. Good luck and Happy Monkey.

  19. #19 'Tis Himself
    December 22, 2008

    I once met Gore Vidal. There are very few people I’ve had the urge to kick in the groin, but Vidal is one of them. He’s a smug, arrogant bully.

  20. #20 Dag Yo
    December 22, 2008

    Why didn’t you say this was something we could vote on PZ?

    You’ve got a personal army and right now you’re losing to Roseanne. Geez.

  21. #21 Chris P
    December 22, 2008

    I managed to get it up another point the hard way. You just go back and revote. Bad poll

  22. #22 Mark
    December 22, 2008

    Michael Moore. What an annoying lump of lard. But that Malkin is just as bad. Ugh.

    But anyway, congrats.

  23. #23 Matt7895
    December 22, 2008

    @E.V.

    Who is Hitchins? I’ve never heard of him.

  24. #24 Bill
    December 22, 2008

    You’ve got my divisive, embittered, intemperate vote!

  25. #25 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    I managed to get it up another point the hard way. You just go back and revote. Bad poll

    Actually Sullivan writes “vote early and vote often”. There isn’t going to be an awards banquet. It’s really very tongue in cheek.

  26. #26 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    Sorry Matt7895, “Hitchens”. I really love pedantic asses, mind if I saddle you up?

  27. #27 Jack Rawlinson
    December 22, 2008

    You would think someone who makes a living from writing would know what simple words like “bigot” mean. Mr Sullivan appears not to. He appears to think that bigotry means “refraining from showing respect”. How embarrassing for him. Some kind soul should give him a decent dictionary for Christmas.

  28. #28 Mike from Ottawa
    December 22, 2008

    I’m routing for you PZ :D.

  29. #29 Ooparts
    December 22, 2008

    I like how Sullivan added a little descriptor after your quote, but nobody else’s. I guess your words aren’t damning enough on their own.

  30. #30 Mark
    December 22, 2008

    Michael Moore is dreadful. It’s not your fault that you have nominated for an award after his kind by somebody who presumably doesn’t like what you say, but it is surely a bit of a slight to be in anyway compared with a deceitful person like Moore?

    Where’s the integrity even if you are right if you have to lie, cheat, and deceive your audience in the process? I’d say that was decidedly dodgy territory, and I wouldn’t wish to be compared with Michael Moore.

    In the same way that we condemn the makers of Expelled, I will condemn Moore for his underhand techniques.

    Still, don’t take it too seriously I suppose.

    Cheers.

    Mark

  31. #31 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 22, 2008

    No way to post comments? Lamer than most right-wing blogs.

  32. #32 Enshoku
    December 22, 2008

    PZ is currently in third, but just inches away from second. Vote baby vote!

  33. #33 Ron
    December 22, 2008

    Hey there mark at #30. just when and how was moore deceitful? i’ve listened to the right whine about him for years, but as far as i can tell they never really laid a glove on him. he’s accurate.

  34. #34 Kimbo
    December 22, 2008

    How exactly are PZ’s comments about the eucharist “left wing rhetoric”? A conservative atheist could not have said the same things? And no context given of the events which led to the comments? I expect better from Andrew…

    @31: the Daily Dish votes annually whether or not to allow comments and time and again readers vote it down.

  35. #35 Gregory Kusnick
    December 22, 2008

    I’ve never been too impressed by Michael Moore. The title of his first film, “Roger and Me”, pretty much sums it up. It was never about helping the people of Flint; it was about getting face time with Roger Smith. Once Moore accomplished that, he was happy, the movie was over, and the people of Flint were still screwed.

    In this and later films, he does show a knack for highlighting issues and getting on the right side of them, but he seems to use them primarily as a vehicle for promoting himself.

  36. #36 Jeeves
    December 22, 2008

    Some of the choices seem out of touch. Gore Vidal? Gloria Steinem? Roseanne?! I guess I could understand a lifetime Moore award for Vidal (although he deserves much better than that, he is one heckuva a writer as prickly as he may be) but c’mon, his last book of essays came out almost ten years ago. Gloria Steinem would make sense if this were the 60s. And I don’t get the Roseanne choice at all. This sort of poll reminds me of Bernie Goldberg (loud conservative) putting out a book about the people killing America and its almost all Hollywood people, Barbara Striesand, Jane Fonda etc. It just seems so clueless. Roseanne?!

  37. #37 Evil Bender
    December 22, 2008

    I like how Sullivan ignores the context of that quote. Apparently, PZ’s words are far more offensive than the actions of those who were trying to kick someone out of school for hurting their feelings.

    Sigh. Yeah, those are exactly equivalent.

  38. #38 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    WOOHOOO! 21% and gaining.

  39. #39 10ch.org
    December 22, 2008

    @#35
    What’s wrong with promoting one’s own self? After all, if he does have valid things to say, there ought not to be something bad about promoting himself, as long as he is not entirely self-interested.

  40. #40 SC, OM
    December 22, 2008

    Aw. When I saw the title of this post, I thought someone had nominated you in WIRED’s Sexiest Geek contest.

  41. #41 Jimminy Christmas
    December 22, 2008

    Voted. PZ is currently running neck and neck in second place with Roseanne.

  42. #42 mk
    December 22, 2008

    Out of respect for the elderly I voted for Vidal.

  43. #43 Corey S.
    December 22, 2008

    If he put you on there for your evolution/atheist/anti-religion posts, Sullivan doesn’t have much of a case. Being correct isn’t divisive. Crackers are crackers and fairy tales are fairy tales, and pointing this out doesn’t make one the left-wing equivalent of Malkin. Last time I checked, science was non-partisan and the truth doesn’t have to be nice.

    I guess if he put you on there for your political/economic opinions, then he might have a case. I’m paraphrasing from someone at Phil’s blog when I write: “PZ: as an economist, you’re a good biologist.”

    Though for some reason, I think crackergate had a little more to do with it.

  44. #44 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    In this and later films, he does show a knack for highlighting issues and getting on the right side of them, but he seems to use them primarily as a vehicle for promoting himself.

    Okay Gregory, name 3 other Documentarians by name (And Ben Stein doesn’t count).
    A new Koan:
    Does an unknown filmmaker, alone in the forest, get any funding or sell any tickets?

  45. #45 Enshoku
    December 22, 2008

    @33

    are you serious? Why in the hell would they want to actively disallow comments?

  46. #46 Ray
    December 22, 2008

    Andrew is a Catholic and, if you follow his blog, you’ll see he’s on the left side of moderate-centrist-conservative. Another thing is that you really **should** read his book “The Conservative Soul” if you require pointers on how to skewer fundamentalists (political or religious). So P.Z’s nomination is more tongue in cheek than serious. Andrew probably likes you or he wouldn’t have nominated you and given you air time. What I can’t figure is that he’s written so much about his head-butting with Bill Maher, why didn’t he nominate Maher for the Moore Award. Maher would love it. Maybe he makes too much money appearing on Maher’s show to jeopardize his income. That makes sense.

    I’m in the odd position of being both an Andrew fan and a PZ fan (I’m also ambi-dextrous) so please forgive my neutrality here.

    Sorry P.Z. I voted for Rosanne. I’d eat a cassarole of sanctified communion crackers with you but Roseanne’s blast at Oprah was way over your head and out of your league.

  47. #47 gypsytag
    December 22, 2008

    I voted for PZ but maybe I missed it. Why do we care what Andrew Sullivan thinks?

  48. #48 Russell Miller
    December 22, 2008

    I voted for you, because you seemed to want to win. I think I would have voted for Markos otherwise.

  49. #49 Enshoku
    December 22, 2008

    @ray

    you honestly think he likes PZ?

    It is one thing to engage in free, if disrespectful, debate. It is another to repeatedly assault and ridicule and abuse something that is deeply sacred to a great many people. Calling the Holy Eucharist a “goddamned cracker” isn’t about free speech; it’s really about some baseline civility. Myers’ rant is the rant of an anti-Catholic bigot. And atheists and agnostics can be bigots too.

    you have a strange definition of like, my friend.

  50. #50 Nick Gotts
    December 22, 2008

    just when and how was moore deceitful? i’ve listened to the right whine about him for years, but as far as i can tell they never really laid a glove on him. he’s accurate. – Ron

    Why do you think the right hate him so much? OK, he’s got an oversized ego, but anyone the right hates that much almost has to be doing some good!

  51. #51 Kel
    December 22, 2008

    Calling the Holy Eucharist a “goddamned cracker” isn’t about free speech; it’s really about some baseline civility.

    And what of that child who pointed out the emperor has no clothes? How dare that kid go against the civility of the established order, even if the penis is visible for all!

  52. #52 Cruithne
    December 22, 2008

    Moore is deceitful, and a religious bigot to boot.
    He thinks that the problems in my country of Northern Ireland would be solved if people like me were forcibly converted to catholicism.
    Still, here’s hoping you win PZ, you’d add a little credibility, something Moore’s name will never do.

  53. #53 Cath the Canberra Cook
    December 22, 2008

    Pls explane teh Rosanne thing for us non-merrycanz kthxbai?

  54. #54 Nick Gotts
    December 22, 2008

    Calling the Holy Eucharist a “goddamned cracker” isn’t about free speech – Enshoku

    Of course it is. And being disrespectful to ludicrous nonsense is not only free speech, it’s entirely praiseworthy.

  55. #55 Nick Gotts
    December 22, 2008

    He [Moore] thinks that the problems in my country of Northern Ireland would be solved if people like me were forcibly converted to catholicism.
    [citation needed]

    If you can provide one, it will indeed change my opinion of him.

  56. #56 george.w
    December 22, 2008

    You’re beating the noted metallurgist Roseanne Barr by three points, and dead even with someone named Revd Amy.

    There is absolutely no equivalency between Moore and Malkin. They are cut from entirely different cloth.

    Our local paper used to have Molly Ivins and Ann Coulter side-by-side on the editorial page, labeled “From the Left” and “From the Right”. People would write in and say; “Please get rid of that awful, hateful, shrill Molly Ivins.” I confess I have no idea at all what the hell they were talking about, especially in that juxtaposition.

  57. #57 MH
    December 22, 2008

    E.V. #26 “Sorry Matt7895, “Hitchens”. I really love pedantic asses, mind if I saddle you up?”

    Matt7895 is not just an ass, but a right-wing fuck-tard who regularly posts over at RichardDawkins.net

  58. #58 john ilya
    December 22, 2008

    24 to 24, lets get PZ to win this one!

  59. #59 Enshoku
    December 22, 2008

    @nick 54

    shut up you big fat ugly meaniehead.

    It was a blockquote fail, that wasn’t said by me, but by Andrew the award bearer.

  60. #60 stogoe
    December 22, 2008

    Calling the Holy Eucharist a “goddamned cracker” isn’t about free speech; it’s really about some baseline civility.

    Every time someone screeches about maintaining ‘civility’, you should read it as a desperate attempt to maintain their own Privilege.

    Fuck. That. Shit.

  61. #61 Cruithne
    December 22, 2008

    Nick Gotts.

    Sorry, there’s no direct link I can provide but if you have a copy of Stupid White Men you can find this excerpt.

    ” I have a solution that will bring permanent peace to the area: Convert the Protestants of Northern Ireland to Catholicism….Naturally, most of the Protestants won’t want to convert – but since when has that stopped the Catholic Church?… All you need is a little water to pour over any Protestant’s forehead, and then repeat the following words: ‘I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.’ That’s it! It takes longer to join Weight Watchers!”

    Now let me state for the record that I am an atheist but the term protestant is also a term of ethnicity in Northern Ireland, it describes the community I hail from and I find this an offensive thing to say, especially considering Moore’s own sympathies lie with oneparticular faction in the conflict the mostly catholic Sinn Fein and the IRA.
    As for deceit, Moore repeatedly uses cuts and edits to lie to people in his documentaries.
    He heavily implied that one could walk into a bank, open an account and walk out with a gun, when in fact he had arranged the whole thing in advance with the bank.

  62. #62 stogoe
    December 22, 2008

    How you can not take that excerpt as tongue-in-cheek is beyond me. For fuck’s sake, it’s A Modest Proposal!

  63. #63 Brendan White
    December 22, 2008

    Moore is an ass hat, Anyone who quote mines their opponents and does things like staging (the gun at the bank) or splicing speeches together to make his opponents look worse (notice how Heston changes his suit right in the middle of his big speech following columbine, before he says those things to get people riled up?) or how about how he tied the NRA to the KKK? The NRA was made for the express purpose of knocking back the KKK. If you are right you should be able to defend your position with logic and not dirty tricks, when the creationists do exactly what Moore has done we get very mad at them, Moore should not get a free ride for being on our side (although he is not on my side on guns, I dislike large amounts of gun control because I distrust our government, people like Cheney get elected). I hear he was better in sicko though, but have not seen it myself to judge.

  64. #64 Joel
    December 22, 2008

    Moving up, the first time I voted for you Roseanne Barr and Revd Amy were ahead of you.

  65. #65 Matt7895
    December 22, 2008

    MH #57 “Matt7895 is not just an ass, but a right-wing fuck-tard who regularly posts over at RichardDawkins.net”

    The ‘ass’ insult doesn’t deserve a response. As for right-wing, how can any of my views be considered ‘right-wing’? You know my name on RD.net, maybe you can give me the courtesy of telling me who YOU are.

    Maybe in your land, ‘right-wing’ means anybody who disagrees with you.

  66. #66 Gregory Kusnick
    December 22, 2008

    E.V. @ #44: I didn’t say there was anything wrong with selling tickets. What I said was that Moore had failed to impress me that his concern for these issues is heartfelt and not merely an expedient route to personal fame. There’s no doubt he’s successful at bringing issues to people’s attention. But that by itself is not enough to earn my admiration.

  67. #67 Mark
    December 22, 2008

    Ron @33
    Here’s a simple example:
    Bowling for Columbine, Charlton Heston, NRA meeting, “Out of my cold dead hand”, the context was deliberately deceitful and Moore’s editing was worthy of Expelled.

    If you’re going to make a “documentary” point then make it honestly, don’t dick with your audience.

    You’ll find Moore’s work littered with such examples, some of which he’s had to later retract (possibly most infamously his use of Hillsborough disaster footage IIRC).

    Shame really, because I used to be a bit of a fan, until I started discovering the deceitful techniques he (ab)uses when making his fiction masquerading as documentaries.

    The end does not justify the means, for that way madness lays!

    Cheers.

    Mark

  68. #68 Rey Fox
    December 22, 2008

    “Calling the Holy Eucharist a “goddamned cracker” isn’t about free speech; it’s really about some baseline civility.

    “Free speech” isn’t limited to what you think is “civil”.

    “Myers’ rant is the rant of an anti-Catholic bigot.”

    Obviously, you never actually read his “rant”, which was about that college student who was assaulted in a church, and who was later nearly expelled from his secular university for not eating the cracker right away. Funny how that “civility” is a one-way street for religion, isn’t it?

  69. #69 Cruithne
    December 22, 2008

    “How you can not take that excerpt as tongue-in-cheek is beyond me. For fuck’s sake, it’s A Modest Proposal!”

    I’d have taken it as tongue in cheek if someone neutral had said it (try The Onion’s brilliantly funny solution to Northern Ireland )
    Moore is not neutral, he favours one side and his “joke” happened to run parallel with some of his fellow travelers attempts at ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation.

  70. #70 nick nick bobick
    December 22, 2008

    We will win this for you PZ, and your name will be Legion. 4:20 PM Pacific time and you are in a squeaker with “Revd Amy” (25-24%), whoever the hell she is.

    I like much of what Andrew Sulivan says (he is bright), but as a gay, catholic, conservative he has some real conflicts to work on.

  71. #71 chris p
    December 22, 2008

    So I knocked it up to a two point lead – how much do you want to win by PZ?

    Chris P

    Broadband is so much fun

  72. #72 Amit Joshi
    December 22, 2008

    Andrew Sullivan is a wanker of unusual distinction. He (belatedly) realized how bad an idea the Iraq war was, and is steadfast in his opposition to torture. But that’s about it. He was a huge booster of the war back in the day, a Bush enabler, and generally a useful idiot to the wingnuts.

    Like Mickey Kaus. Screw ‘em both!

  73. #73 The Chimp's Raging Id
    December 22, 2008

    PZ versus Gore Vidal? I never thought I’d see the day!

    Happy freakin’ Monkey indeed.

  74. #74 Steve_C
    December 22, 2008

    Have him win by 5%. It won’t look too fixed that way. ;0

    Andrew Sullivan is the ultimate concern troll.

  75. #75 Sparkomatic
    December 22, 2008

    Divisive, bitter and intemperate? Wow. Maybe he doesn’t like stuff about squid….

  76. #76 Mrs Tilton
    December 22, 2008

    Enshoku @49,

    Calling the Holy Eucharist a “goddamned cracker” isn’t about free speech; it’s really about some baseline civility

    Ah; baseline civility; very good. Baseline civility is very important, and all too often neglected in these sad and decadent days we live in, so I’m very glad that you bring it up. ‘Cos, see, here’s a baseline-civil thing that the chief witch-doctor of those people who think the eucharist anything more than goddamned cracker said recently:

    … saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rain forest from destruction.

    Baseline civility, how are you.

    Tell you what, Enshoku. When Ratzinger manages to save catholic children from rape by his army of paedophile priests (and surrenders the bishops who enabled and protected them to law enforcement authorities), I’ll listen to what he has to say about saving humanity from those awful homos, or what you have to say about goddamned crackers. Needless to say, I don’t expect I’ll ever have to waste much time listening to his rants, or to yours.

  77. #77 Simon Scott
    December 22, 2008

    well, you’ve got my vote PZ. :D

  78. #78 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    The ‘ass’ insult doesn’t deserve a response is indefensible since I was being one.

    There, fixed it for you Matt7895. You’re welcome.

  79. #79 mayhempix
    December 22, 2008

    26% and counting.

  80. #80 Logicel
    December 22, 2008

    Sorry, I would not even go to dipshit’s Sullivan site and add to his traffic. ‘Brightness’ is wasted on this deluded ahole and should be taken away forcefully and given to someone who would appreciate it and use it well. Sullivan is not just ‘conflictual,’ he is insane–bizarrely delusional with a thin veneer of rationality and some style.

    Now that an intelligent, normal person who embraces intellectual support in running his office, I am guessing since the bar for intellectuality will be set higher, silly Sullivan will break a leg tripping over it.

  81. #81 Mrs Tilton
    December 22, 2008

    Cruithne @52,

    sorry, I’m with Nick @55 on this one. And your nym doesn’t really help your case. Everyone I’ve ever known from the wee North who went on about “the Cruithne” was, you’ll forgive me, cruithnge-worthy.

  82. #82 Logicel
    December 22, 2008

    Correction of my #80:

    Now that an intelligent, normal person who embraces intellectual support in running his office has been elected as the American president, I am guessing since the bar for intellectuality will be set higher, silly Sullivan will break a leg tripping over it and lose what little appeal he has.

  83. #83 Mr Doubt(hell)fire
    December 22, 2008

    Sorry, PZ, but I decided to take the poll truthfully, and I voted for whoever was from No Quarter. No Quarter is composed of a laughable bunch of PUMAs, and the PUMAs remained even after Hillary endorsed Obama. They seek to call anyone who doesn’t disagree with them a ‘sexist’; I once heard one call Rachel Maddow a sexist!

    Sullivan can sometimes make really good arguments, but as another reader said, he’s the ultimate concern troll. You’re like one of the least controversial figures on liberalism that I know of! He HAD to put you on the list because you’re a controversial atheist, and he probably pissed his pants over Crackergate.

    Honestly, I think that Moore isn’t really too concerned about the truth, and more about his own ego. Some of his arguments are very funny, but his insistence on being taken seriously in all the facets of argument dooms him.

  84. #84 Matt7895
    December 22, 2008

    E.V. #78

    Actually, I don’t think someone who corrects other people’s grammar is an ass. A pedant, yes. Ass, no.

    As for being a right-wing fucktard, I don’t see how I could ever be accused of that – I am a moderate with socially liberal views. Most right-wingers would hate what I have to say about secularism, gay rights, womens rights and the social welfare system. I’m still waiting for this mysterious ‘MH’ to reveal who he is and why he thinks I am a right-winger. I’ll forgo the ‘fucktard’ because I think he’s a fucktard too, and being called a fucktard by a fucktard cancels it out. It would be akin to Ray Comfort calling PZ Myers an idiot… doesn’t work.

  85. #85 PaulM
    December 22, 2008

    27% now
    Happy Monkey!

  86. #86 Cruithne
    December 22, 2008

    “Everyone I’ve ever known from the wee North who went on about “the Cruithne” was, you’ll forgive me, cruithnge-worthy.”
    Hi Mrs Tilton
    I’m just here expressing my views, I’m not on a mission to convert you to those views.
    When I start “going on about it” I guess you have something, I like it because it happens to be the name of the earth’s second “moon” as well as having Celtic connections.
    Nick asked for an example, examples were given, both regarding Moore’s religious predjudices and his general tendency to use deceit.

  87. #87 Chris P
    December 22, 2008

    OK 5% it is. Went up to two computers. Didn’t seem to register every vote, but what the heck.

    Chris P

  88. #88 pete moulton
    December 22, 2008

    Up to 28%, PZ. You’re rollin’ now.

  89. #89 The Science Pundit
    December 22, 2008

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet in the comment thread (I didn’t see it on a quick perusal), but that poll is embeddable. That means (unless I’m missing something here) that anyone can put this same exact poll up on there own website and the votes all go to the same place. PZ, if he really wanted to poll-crash, could put the poll in a post, or (dare I say) in the sidebar. ;-)

  90. #90 Lurkbot
    December 22, 2008

    Let’s start a “Shoot the Messenger” Award for all these people dissing Michael Moore.

  91. #91 Cruithne
    December 22, 2008

    Let’s start a “Shoot the Messenger” Award for all these people dissing Michael Moore.

    There’s irony there, look long enough and I’m sure you’ll see it eventually.

  92. #92 donna
    December 22, 2008

    Totally freeped, er, phary’ped, it…

  93. #93 Chris
    December 22, 2008

    Is Sullivan severely bipolar or something? He’ll make sense one moment, then suddenly turn all Mr. Neocon Hyde at the drop of a hat.

    With most conservative commentators, there’s some consistency there, but I really haven’t been able to grasp what issues make him go loony. It seems to be very random what day and topic he’ll be useless on.

    Is that just me?

  94. #94 JakeS
    December 22, 2008

    Ben Stein is up for the Malkin…and the quote they choose is one where Stein refers to PZ while comparing scientists to nazis.

  95. #95 CalGeorge
    December 22, 2008

    28%.

    Woo-hoo, you’re going to win it!

  96. #96 clinteas
    December 22, 2008

    I wonder if Roseanne got her nomination after her appearance on Bill Maher.

    Video here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt_sFq3H7v0

    Andrew Sullivan might have been on that show,not sure.

  97. #97 Matt7895
    December 22, 2008

    At first I thought the Malkin was the ‘good guy’ award… when I saw comments on there from Ben Stein and that Confederate guy I was furious. But it’s just the same as the Moore award, only for conservatives, right?

  98. #98 Newfie
    December 22, 2008

    I’d like to see PZed beat up Vidal Sassoon, he needs a beatin’.

  99. #99 Mrs Tilton
    December 22, 2008

    Cruithne @86,

    fair enough. The nym made me think you were coming over all Ian Adamson. And no worries about me thinking you were trying to convert me to your views; to the extent those views reflect objection to the majority on the island trying to subsume the minority, you are preaching to the choir.

    For all that, I would love to see a cite to Moore advocating (save perhaps as a bad wisearsed joke) that the northern majority be forced to convert to the minority religion.

    As to his “deceitfulness”, I’d agree with you if it were possible to see him as a serious documentarist. He’s not that, he’s merely an entertainer. And as long as you regard him in that light, his stuff often works well. But anybody who regards him as anything more than the celluloid equivalent of an editorial cartoonist is (if in agreement with him) hopelessly naive or (if not) just spoiling for a dust-up.

  100. #100 Nick Gotts
    December 22, 2008

    Cruithne@61,
    Your “religious bigotry” example is a fairly obvious joke – I don’t see how you could possibly take it seriously. I mean, the “when has that stopped the Catholic Church?” is an evident dig at Catholicism! As to Moore’s dishonesty, I remain agnostic, having never watched any of his films. I found Stupid White Men unreadable – I think i’ve given it away. I admire him only because, as I said, anyone the right hates that much almost must be doing good.

  101. #101 Cruithne
    December 22, 2008

    OK, perhaps I’m a little too sensitive to his ‘joke’ because it was aimed at me and had historical precedence. I’ll not push the issue.
    As for the right hating Moore, I am not sure this is entirely true, they must love having him as a target.
    Anyway, I recommend the film Michael Moore Hates America it’s not what I thought it was going to be and is a fairly honest examination of Moore’s methods.

  102. #102 Nick Gotts
    December 22, 2008

    I recommend the film Michael Moore Hates America it’s not what I thought it was going to be and is a fairly honest examination of Moore’s methods.

    Well the title alone is a thoroughly unpleasant appeal to McCarthyism.

  103. #103 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    Actually, I don’t think someone who corrects other people’s grammar is an ass. A pedant, yes. Ass, no.

    It’s all in the way you do it. You were an ass and a pedant.

    As for being a right-wing fucktard, I don’t see how I could ever be accused of that – I am a moderate with socially liberal views.

    I never accused you of being such nor do I care about your political leanings. I made a spelling error specifically regarding Christopher Hitchens’ name. I should have double-checked, but I didn’t. I saw nothing kind spirited or even witty in your correction, so my assessment stands in lieu of an apology. You can be sure I’ll return the scrutiny when the opportunity arises.

  104. #104 shecky
    December 22, 2008

    Vidal is sort of ‘emeritus’ and Markos too ultra-neo… I’m votin’ for you PZ (and from the looks of the results you betta get yur acceptance speech ready).

  105. #105 Cruithne
    December 22, 2008

    Well the title alone is a thoroughly unpleasant appeal to McCarthyism.

    That’s the beauty of it, the film is honest enough to explore the reaction to Moore in as critical a fashion as it does Moore’s work.
    The title works on two levels.

  106. #106 Matt7895
    December 22, 2008

    E.V. #103

    You are welcome to return the scrutiny. I appreciate when other people point out my mistakes, because that’s the only way I can learn. I’m wrong about a lot of things. So no, I’m not going to fly off the handle or go into a bout of nerdrage if you happen to correct me on something. As I said, you are welcome to.

    Also, the ‘fucktard’ stuff wasn’t aimed at you, it was aimed at ‘MH’, whoever he is, who made the accusation I was a right-winger.

  107. #107 Susan
    December 22, 2008

    I hope you win. Nothing would quite so brilliantly illuminate Sullivan’s ignorant and unjustified whining as if he were forced to give the award to some leftist hippy scientist who viciously brutalized a cracker.

  108. #108 Owlmirror
    December 22, 2008

    Mrs Tilton @#76:

    Enshoku @#49 was actually directly citing Andrew Sullivan himself, from Sullivan’s posting here:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/07/moore-award-nom.html

    As Enshoku explained @#59, it was a sad case of blockquote fail.

  109. #109 Nick Gotts
    December 22, 2008

    Cruithne@105,
    OK, that wasn’t clear to me! I’d need to watch some of his films first though.

  110. #110 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    We’ll start with ” nerdrage”. You can use “nerd rage” or “nerd-rage”, either will suffice.

    Also, the ‘fucktard’ stuff wasn’t aimed at you, it was aimed at ‘MH’, whoever he is, who made the accusation I was a right-winger.

    Then you should have addressed that portion to MH. Since I was the only person you formally addressed, all content was implied to be for me, which would be a grammatical error in formatting.

  111. #111 Katharine
    December 22, 2008

    Andrew Sullivan is one of those silly Log Cabin types. They never cease to make my hands go up in a show of astonishment at their apparent self-hatred. Yes, there are some weird-ass socially conservative gays and trans people out there.

    (I consider it a mark of being a good ally that I feel perfectly fine with calling those gay people and trans people who are socially and/or fiscally conservative complete and utter wackjobs in the same way their straight counterparts are, except for their probable pro-gay-rights stances.)

  112. #112 E.V.
    December 22, 2008

    PZ leads at 29%. Consider it Pharyngulated.
    It’s just a goddamned cracker! (heheheheh)

  113. #113 Enshoku
    December 22, 2008

    Thank you owlmirror. Due to the epic case of blockquote failure peoples are snapping at me, and I wants to snap back…

    *random troll post about how gays are causing global warming by not assassinating Rick Warren*

  114. #114 Lurkbot
    December 22, 2008

    @ Cruithne:

    Let’s start a “Shoot the Messenger” Award for all these people dissing Michael Moore.

    There’s irony there, look long enough and I’m sure you’ll see it eventually.

    Oh, there’s irony there all right. I think the main irony is that right-wing fucktards that Moore shows up so effectively in his films actually seem to believe that quoting what they say or actually showing them saying it is some kind of “mean-spirited attack” if not actually slanderous.

    There’s a reason why, when Frank Capra was in charge of all American propaganda films during WWII, that he never shot one single frame of film himself. He let the Germans, Italians, and Japanese do his work for him. What could he say about them that would be any worse than what they were saying themselves?

    As I said on some other blog, Ed Brayton’s maybe, I think this started when that Israeli general sued two British reporters for revealing that he had deliberately sicced those Christian militiamen onto the Palestinian refugee camps and then stood aside while they massacred the inmates. The American right saw this and now thinks that they can be “libeled” or “slandered” by quoting their own words back to them.

    Well, In the US it doesn’t work that way. All you have to do is prove that what you said is true, and that eliminates any possibility of libel or slander. So having film of somebody saying something is sufficient proof that they said it.

    Sure the wingnuts can always say “I never said that” and their brain-dead followers will nod and chime in: “more lie-burul slander”, but most sane people are convinced by seeing and hearing something themselves. If they don’t want to be quoted saying idiotic and fascistic things, then they should stop saying idiotic and fascistic things!

    So Michael Moore hates America, huh? Well I hate what America has become in the last 28 years, myself. We now have a precious four years to see if it’s salvageable. Probably not, but it’s worth trying; and anybody who will turn over some of the rocks and show some of the disgusting things growing under them, as Michael Moore does, is a hero. These right-wingers calling something a “lie” because they’d rather not have attention called to it, is itself a lie.

  115. #115 Ryan F Stello
    December 22, 2008

    Well, I see that the mere mention of Moore and Vidal has brought out the best in everybody…..or maybe just one or two fanatical lurkers.

    Never mind.

  116. #116 bootsy
    December 22, 2008

    I’d tell Sullivan this, if he allowed comments on his blog (fits with his general anti-free-speech position):

    An honest theist is an oxymoron. A gay “catholic” is just a moron.

  117. #117 Badger3k
    December 22, 2008

    Does this mean we can say “PZ Myers if fat” and win the conversation?

    Still doesn’t explain PYGMIES+DWARVES.

  118. #118 blue
    December 22, 2008

    Michael Moore is an idiot. What the hell was the point of Columbine? and the nonsense in Fahrenheit 911… Bush invaded Iraq to please the Saudis? What? it just pisses me off. For some reason, the left loves him, and the right hates him enough so that they talk about him constantly, both of which adds up to him having a huge platform. he could have exposed all the myriad lies and deceits that led to the iraq invasion – PNAC, Feith’s cooked up intelligence, wilson and the niger trip… . but instead he blames the Saudi’s? what? idiotic.

  119. #119 «bønez_brigade»
    December 22, 2008

    Current poll results:
    20% – Roseanne Barr
    8% – Gore Vidal
    3% – Markos Moulitsas
    30% – PZ Myers
    0% – Baliyya
    5% – Gloria Steinem
    3% – Peter Nuhn
    3% – Paul Waldman
    1% – Chris Bowers
    22% – Revd Amy

    Total Votes: 3,072

    Go PZ!/?

  120. #120 scooter
    December 22, 2008

    Sullivan pffffft, these log cabin boys are ridiculous. This is a guy who tried unsucessfully to diss Chomzky on Realtime. After he was off the broadcast. Could you imagine Sullivan actually trying to debate Chomsky?

    Sullivan is about as coherent as bad acid trip.

    I went over and gave PZ a vote though. Being on Sullivan’s shit list is an honor

  121. #121 QrazyQat
    December 22, 2008

    Next Halloween, PZ, you should go as Michael Moore. You could do it. Just cut the beard down a bit, put on a baseball cap, and chuckle a bit more. Not quite chubby enough, but people will overlook that.

  122. #122 SHV
    December 22, 2008

    Congratulations to PZ and Rev. Amy!!!!!

  123. #123 «bønez_brigade»
    December 22, 2008

    BTW, as mentioned above in #94 & #97, Ben Stein is in 2nd place for the Malkin Award for his odious comment about scientists/science and genocide.

    How about helping him reach #1, as well?
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/malkinaward.html

  124. #124 scooter
    December 22, 2008

    Jeeves @ 36:

    I guess I could understand a lifetime Moore award for Vidal (although he deserves much better than that, he is one heckuva a writer as prickly as he may be) but c’mon, his last book of essays came out almost ten years ago.

    Really? Here’s his last 10 years of writing in the world everybody else is living in, JEEVES.

    non-fiction
    The American Presidency (1998) ISBN 1-878825-15-1

    Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings (1999)

    Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace or How We Came To Be So Hated, Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002, (2002) ISBN 1-56025-405-
    Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta, Thunder’s Mouth Press, (2002) ISBN 1-56025-502-1

    Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson (2003) ISBN 0-300-10171-6

    Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia (2004) ISBN 1-56025-744-X

    Point to Point Navigation : A Memoir (2006) ISBN 0-385-51721-1

    The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal (2008) ISBN 0-385-52484-6

    Novels

    The Smithsonian Institution (1998) ISBN 0-375-50121-5
    The Golden Age (2000) ISBN 0-375-72481-8

    Plays
    On the March to the Sea (2005)

  125. #125 Moses
    December 22, 2008

    I read Sullivan’s “Daily Dish.” But I find him lacking in substance. I find his value more in “link factory” than commentator. He’s more of a political “Boing Boing,” that links to places I’d not normally visit.

    Most of them suck, but you find some gems.

  126. #126 davidst
    December 22, 2008

    Those who aren’t disgusted with Michael Moore apparently don’t know his work well enough. Forget about his message for a minute. His methods are extremely dishonest.

  127. #127 Tony
    December 22, 2008

    Anyone who could think Andrew is a right-winger is so poorly informed it’s not even funny. I’m another of those Andrew fans AND a PZ fan.

    Andrew is as respectable a conservative as Dick Cheney isn’t. A bit fanatic about true conservative principles – treat people fairly, respect the voter, etc. (Again, this is NOT Cheney’s conservatism) – but respectable and humble enough to know when he’s fucked up, i.e. on the war, and more than willing to admit it publicly (do I need to repeat myself?). PZ’s take on the religious nuts is no less fanatic, which is why we love him!

    i’m gonna bow of this one. I think PZ is great and I thought his comment was on the mark. Maybe divisive to the right, but not to rationalist free-speechers.

  128. #128 Ryan F Stello
    December 22, 2008

    davidst (#126) offered a black pearl,

    Those who aren’t disgusted with Michael Moore apparently don’t know his work well enough. Forget about his message for a minute. His methods are extremely dishonest.

    Funny, those who are disgusted with MM tend to focus on the methods, and completely miss any potential message, or worse, interpret the method as the message.

    And I know his work well enough, thank you very much.

  129. #129 andyo
    December 22, 2008

    Andrew Sullivan is kind of a great person that has been poisoned by religion. Anyone followed his exchange with Sam Harris? To say he was struggling to make sense is probably an understatement. Considering Sullivan’s own situation, he’s especially harmed by the very thing he supports.

  130. #130 JThompson
    December 23, 2008

    While I agree with Moore’s messages, I don’t agree with his tactics.
    Quoting what a person says isn’t slanderous or even underhanded. What is underhanded is editing the shit out of the interviews and staging things.
    You can make anyone look bad if you chop their interview up enough.
    Resorting to underhanded tactics should be left to the right wingers. We shouldn’t have to go down to their level. The people he interviews are asshats enough to be loathsome without editing them. So why bother?
    IMO PZ is miles above Moore.
    All that said, the award isn’t exactly an insult. Having right wing nutjobs hate you should be worn as a badge of honor.

  131. #131 Mick
    December 23, 2008

    Is this the same Andrew Sullivan who wanted to nuke Iraq?

  132. #132 Ethan Barbour
    December 23, 2008

    PZ,

    You like Moore? Hmmm… I used to like him. He’s definitely entertaining, and I’ll still watch his work because of this aspect. But his application of the scientific method to explain things like gun violence, failure/success of various health care schemes, etc, is much to be desired.

  133. #133 Brian's A Wild Downer
    December 23, 2008

    Anyone followed his exchange with Sam Harris?

    Yes, it was pathetic. It was like a flea taking on an elephant.

  134. #134 Tim Fuller
    December 23, 2008

    You lucky bastard!! I voted for you and I think you are in the lead right now.

    I don’t get it PZ. I believe I can blaspheme with the best of them. I go south and scream JESUS MAY HAVE BEEN GAY all over rightwing AM radio HERE IN THE HEART OF JESUSLAND, Mississippi.

    Crickets.

    You smash a cracker and you make the asshat’s version of Letterman’s Top Ten.

    There is no justice. It’s just us.

    Enjoy.

  135. #135 Patricia, OM
    December 23, 2008

    Whoo-hoo! PZ ahead by 10%.

  136. #136 Marion Delgado
    December 23, 2008

    Not to compare small things to large, when one scary denialist blog listed me along with gore and hansen as a top 10 reason global warming was a myth, i was so proud ;)

    anyway

    ***** CONGRATULATIONS ****

  137. #137 gypsytag
    December 23, 2008

    #123
    I went a voted for Ben Stein for the Malkin award, but i have to say, it was truly a difficult choice. I have to go shower and scrub myself clean.

  138. #138 Aquaria
    December 23, 2008

    Bush invaded Iraq to please the Saudis? What? it just pisses me off. For some reason, the left loves him, and the right hates him enough so that they talk about him constantly, both of which adds up to him having a huge platform. he could have exposed all the myriad lies and deceits that led to the iraq invasion – PNAC, Feith’s cooked up intelligence, wilson and the niger trip… . but instead he blames the Saudi’s? what? idiotic.

    Maybe you need to, you know, actually watch the movie. Moore mentions PNAC. He mentions that the WMDs were nowhere to be found, despite the intelligence that said it would be. He didn’t go into a lot of detail, but he addresses it obliquely. I don’t know why he didn’t mention Wilson & Niger–the reasons could be infinite.

    The other reason the relationship with the Saudis was addressed was because, gee, a whole bunch of people, many of them natives of Saudi Arabia, had crashed some planes and killed thousands of Americans, and our response was to attack Iraq. Gosh, don’t you think the reason for that might be worth examining?

    If you look at it as Moore’s trying to explain some of the possible reasons WHY Bush made the decisions he did, then it makes sense to bring up that relationship with the Saudis.

  139. #139 False Prophet
    December 23, 2008

    Moore is a propagandist. I tend to agree with a lot of what he says, but that doesn’t mean it’s not propaganda. He relies mainly on entertainment and emotional pandering to sell his message.

    Case in point, the part in “Bowling for Columbine” where pro-gun interviewees put forth the argument that America’s violent crime rate is higher than other developed nations because of its violent history. Moore then shows archival footage of massacres and genocides of imperial Britain, Nazi Germany and militarist Japan.

    I don’t disagree with the method of addressing his opponents’ arguments by demonstrating that other nations have violent histories. But it’s not an apt analogy to compare nations with long-established societies and long traditions of arms control, with the United States, where for much of its (comparatively brief) history it was expanded and developed by armed settlers. A stronger argument would have used countries with similar histories to the American frontier, like Israel or South Africa (or maybe Australia?–I don’t know enough about Australian history to include it with conviction).

    I found “Columbine” entertaining, but “Fahrenheit 9/11″ less so–as a Canadian who followed a variety of international news sources after Sept. 11 (including European and Middle Eastern ones), nothing in “9/11″ really came as a surprise to me, though hopefully it was a wake-up call to those Americans who’d only had Fox, CNN and the New York Times’ word on the war in Iraq. “Sicko” left me cold. As a beneficiary of the Canadian health system, I didn’t recognize Moore’s portrayal at all (20 min wait in an Ontario ER? I don’t know anyone who’s ever waited less than 90 min). And the trip to Cuba at the end was so much grandstanding.

    That all said, I think Moore fills a necessary role in American discourse. Near as I could see, he was the only high-profile liberal propagandist in American discourse in the late 90s/early 00s (The Daily Show was just starting to take off), while the right had dozens like him. Tellingly, the Ann Coulters and Bill O’Reillys were not nearly as entertaining, and while Moore exaggerates the facts, at least he doesn’t make stuff up.

  140. #140 Enshoku
    December 23, 2008

    @139

    Southern Australia is the murder capitol of the world, if that helps you out any…

  141. #141 Anonymous Coward
    December 23, 2008

    I used to be a big fan of Moore, but then I found out that he’d been lying to me all the time. Since then, not so much. Deceptive editing, omitting vital information, false associations, outright lying… he’s like the Ben Stein of the left.
    To those people saying ‘oh but it’s alright, he’s just an entertainer’: no it isn’t alright, he isn’t just an entertainer, he claims to make documentaries. Most people watching them go away thinking that what they have been presented were facts, even if humorously told.
    And before I forget, he isn’t even on our side really. Well, not my side in any case. What I want is a society that looks at issues in a rational and sober manner. What he wants is making people do what he feels is right based on emotions and lies. There could be no bigger contrast, and you can’t count on him wanting what really is best.

  142. #142 Kel
    December 23, 2008

    Southern Australia is the murder capitol of the world, if that helps you out any…

    It also happens to be where that baby-eating atheist Wowbagger lives. Coincidence? ;)

  143. #143 Enshoku
    December 23, 2008

    @anon coward

    he isn’t as bad as Ben Stein. You can say his methods are just as bad, but until Moore manages to invoke Godwin on me 62 times in a single hour, Stein will always be the bigger asshat.

  144. #144 clinteas
    December 23, 2008

    Southern Australia is the murder capitol of the world, if that helps you out any…

    There is no such thing as Southern Australia,unless you mean it as a geographical region.And I think it is extremely unlikely that it would have a high murder rate,let alone the highest in the world? Any numbers to back that up?

    As for Michael Moore,I notice all his interviews with Larry King seem to be live from the bowling club,its really getting a bit much…
    But he is getting important points across,like the style or dont,but there is a serious issue with gun laws or with public health in the US,and he has raised awareness for these issues.

  145. #145 Enshoku
    December 23, 2008

    @clint

    It’s a joke. Most of the aboriginal peoples in Australia live in southern Australia, and some of the aboriginals are direct descendants from imprisoned murders…nevermind.

  146. #146 clinteas
    December 23, 2008

    LOL,sorry,wasnt paying enough attention apparently…..

  147. #147 Ced
    December 23, 2008

    Yeah.. voted for PZ as well :)

  148. #148 Nomad
    December 23, 2008

    Regarding the Moore vs Stein argument, check this out:

    I was at one of those free screenings of Expelled that were going on before it officially opened. After the movie was done they had a Q&A session with someone associated with the film.

    There wasn’t a single vocal skeptic in the audience. As for me, I was in undercover mode. For all I know there were others like me, but all the people that spoke afterwards were in support of the message. However one brave soul DID dare to question the “Michael Moore-like tactics” employed in the movie. I think the tactic mentioned was the whole “charging in to a building with a film crew behind you in order to intentionally get blocked by security” gimmick.

    I’m not going to offer commentary on the issue. I watched Roger and Me as part of a film class, and have to admit that otherwise Moore annoys me, I haven’t been interested in seeing any of his other stuff. I don’t think the cited examples have been all that dishonest, however, and I avoid his work because it grates on me, not because of any particular moral conflict.

  149. #149 beatrixkiddo
    December 23, 2008

    I voted for PZ, too – as Scooter said, “being on Sullivan’s shit list is an honor.” I don’t give a rat’s ass if being unapologetically skeptical is considered divisive. He’s always been dead on, while Sullivan only manages to get it right a fraction of the time, and almost never when religion is involved.

  150. #150 Asper1024
    December 23, 2008

    Congrats P.Z. on the nomination.

  151. #151 Cujo359
    December 23, 2008

    Chris Bowers is on a list of divisive progressives? Chris Bowers! Hell, I’m more divisive than Chris Bowers.

    I don’t know whether to be amazed or insulted.

  152. #152 Matt Heath
    December 23, 2008

    Why aren’t Dawkins and Hitchins on that poll? Wow PZ, you’ must be more openly honest bitterly rhetorical than the “godless” Hall of Famers.

    It’s an award for left-wingers. In what crazy, parallel universe is Hitchens (2008 version) a left winger?

    Dawkins is no Steven Gould wrt his politics either; IIRC he spoke at the opening of the the Conservative Humanist Association and even implied he was thinking of voting Tory for the first time.

    O and Moore may often be correct but he’s willing to use sophistry and half-truth to make his case and he loves the sound of voice way too much. It’s not OK when the good guys do either

  153. #153 Wowbagger
    December 23, 2008

    It also happens to be where that baby-eating atheist Wowbagger lives. Coincidence? ;)

    Woo-hoo! My infamy precedes me. On tonight’s menu: pan-fried baby.

    Southern Australia is the murder capitol of the world, if that helps you out any…

    Well, you might be right in saying South Australia (the state) does have that particular honour, but I think it’s somewhat relative to population, which isn’t that high.

    But murders do happen here; it was only in the last few months a guy was shot in his front yard only a couple hundred metres from my house (and I live in a quiet suburb) and a 15 y.o. kid was stabbed to death about a block from my office in the city.

    However, the former was a bikie involved in drug trafficking and the later was the result of feuding gangs so it’s not the same as random people just being killed – it’s directly linked to affiliation. And while I associate with some other badass atheists, we’re not exactly roaming the streets with chains and cricket bats looking for trouble…

  154. #154 Alan Kellogg
    December 23, 2008

    Conservative? Andy is conservative? Andrew Sullivan is a fussbudget. Fussbudgets are neither conservative or liberal, they are fussbudgets.

    BTW, Thomas Aquinas was an ass. Lying to promote a goal is never right, and does more damage than being honest could ever do. Michael Moore’s lies put him in with creationists and harms whatever he says he’s for.

  155. #155 BicycleRepairMan
    December 23, 2008

    Award officially Phayryngulat’d. Its a landslide for PZ at this point. Congrats!

  156. #156 chris
    December 23, 2008

    Love the blog PZ but “Michael Moore is usually right”?

    If that was true you’d think he’d refrain from deceitful edits in his films. As I don’t know enough about his usual subject matter I’m unable to work out which parts are a true representations and which points he’s utterly distored to make it look far worse than it is. This forces me to reject all of his “documentry”.

    I’d rank Mr. Moore only one notch above those Expelled. Seems to me if you have truth on your side you shouldn’t need to use warped propaganda like they do.

  157. #157 Nick Gotts, OM
    December 23, 2008

    Could you imagine Sullivan actually trying to debate Chomsky? scooter

    I’ve had trouble finding an apt comparison. How about Muhammad Ali 2008 version, vs Muhammad Ali 1964 version?

  158. #158 Nick Gotts, OM
    December 23, 2008

    Anyone who could think Andrew is a right-winger is so poorly informed it’s not even funny. I’m another of those Andrew fans AND a PZ fan.

    Andrew is as respectable a conservative as Dick Cheney isn’t. – Tony

    He’s a conservative but not right-wing? Pffft.

    A bit fanatic about true conservative principles – treat people fairly, respect the voter, etc. – Tony

    Bwaw-haw-haaaaw!

  159. #159 Nick Gotts, OM
    December 23, 2008

    The other reason the relationship with the Saudis was addressed was because, gee, a whole bunch of people, many of them natives of Saudi Arabia, had crashed some planes and killed thousands of Americans, and our response was to attack Iraq. – Aquaria

    I haven’t seen the film so can’t comment on that, but the attack on Iraq was not a response to 9/11. It was planned by the neocons even before Bush was appointed POTUS.

  160. #160 Nick Gotts, OM
    December 23, 2008

    It’s a joke. Most of the aboriginal peoples in Australia live in southern Australia, and some of the aboriginals are direct descendants from imprisoned murders. – Enshoku

    A joke? Looks more like a racist slur to me.

  161. #161 clinteas
    December 23, 2008

    Enshoku,

    and some of the aboriginals are direct descendants from imprisoned murders.

    If thats a joke,I dont get it.
    If its not,its pretty stupid.And what exactly is an imprisoned murder?
    The murderers,if thats what you meant,were usually the white occupiers,and the convicts they brought with them.

    Whats your point??

  162. #162 JrShaBaDu
    December 23, 2008

    I voted for you. Good luck.

    Happy Monkey

  163. #163 Mrs Tilton
    December 23, 2008

    Enshoku @113,

    then I owe you an apology; I misread your post @49 and somehow falied to see your explanation @59. Consider my words addressed to that twat Sullivan, not to you.

    (Cheers Owlmirror!)

  164. #164 SC, OM
    December 23, 2008

    Dawkins is no Steven Gould wrt his politics either; IIRC he spoke at the opening of the the Conservative Humanist Association and even implied he was thinking of voting Tory for the first time.

    Say it ain’t so, Joe!

  165. #165 John Phillips, FCD
    December 23, 2008

    After the pope’s latest rant against gays yesterday, I wonder if Sullivan will now add Nazinger to his list of the divisive. If not, how does he cope with the cognitive dissonance?

  166. #166 Nick Gotts
    December 23, 2008

    SC,
    AFAIK, Dawkins has never been a lefty in British terms (though I’ve no doubt he’d count as a liberal in the US), or much interested in politics at all beyond the intrusions of religion into the public sphere, until the Iraq war. It wouldn’t surprise me if he voted Tory.

  167. #167 Ryan F Stello
    December 23, 2008

    Nick Gotts (#159) said,

    I haven’t seen the film so can’t comment on that, but the attack on Iraq was not a response to 9/11. It was planned by the neocons even before Bush was appointed POTUS.

    I might be wrong here, but I thought Aquaria was making the point that attacking Iraq for 9/11 was a response, period (albeit a planned one for other motives).

    Similarly, to Moore’s point, he wasn’t blaming the Saudis for 9/11. The whole movie was trying to show disconnects what would have been sensible responses with haphazard or ineffective responses (ex. airlines not banning cigarette lighters).

  168. #168 Psychodigger
    December 23, 2008

    I´m rooting for you PZ!

    Happy monkey.

  169. #169 NoAstronomer
    December 23, 2008

    When we call poll crashing ‘vidalizing’, then I’ll vote for Gore Vidal. Until then consider this poll ‘pharyngulized’.

  170. #170 Paul
    December 23, 2008

    So, as far as I can tell, Andrew Sullivan has PZ’s name in the poll because Mr. Sullivan is a Catholic…a gay Catholic (and a Conservative Libertarian). Clearly he’s a well educated and intelligent man, but he seems to have difficulty with rational thought. Hmmm. I find folks like Sullivan to be very interesting.

  171. #171 Nick Gotts
    December 23, 2008

    I thought Aquaria was making the point that attacking Iraq for 9/11 was a response Ryan F. Stello

    But it wasn’t. This wasn’t even the official excuse – that was WMDs. 9/11 probably delayed the attack on Iraq, because of the need to invade Afghanistan first.

  172. #172 Aaron Baker
    December 23, 2008

    I completely agree for once with Prof. Myers: suggesting an equivalency between Michael Moore and Michelle Malkin is preposterous. Any number of reasonable criticisms can be brought against this or this bit in any of Moore’s movies (for one thing, he seems never to have met a conspiracy theory he doesn’t like–see Fahrenheit 911; and I could have done without the Castroite paean in Sicko); but the man says valuable things, and he has talent. He also once shamed an insurance company into paying for a new pancreas. Malkin, by contrast, is simply vicious.

  173. #173 The Barefoot Bum
    December 23, 2008

    I’m afraid that if [Andrew Sullivan] thinks a deranged harpy on the right is equivalent to a controversial but clearly progressive film maker on the left, his scales are a bit unbalanced.

    It’s not just Sullivan’s scales that are unbalanced. “Andrew Sullivan has been wrong, about everything, his entire life.

  174. #174 F.Jardim
    December 23, 2008

    Oh -please-.

    Moore’s bit about converting protestants in Ireland was pyrely tongue in cheek. Hell, he evenadvocates catholics hosing down passersby in ambush-baptisms, and cloning Tito back to life as a way of ending eastern european woes.

    People on the right and left dislike Moore because he’s effective. He knows that in the US, you need to sell yourself as much as what you are saying.

    And enough with the “dishonesty” of his editing on Heston and the like. Chuck was spry and active months before to travel half the country to go speak before a crowd in a city that politely told him times were sensitive after a child was shot, but suddenly talking to him in the comfort of his home is rude?

    Anyone with firing neurons can see that Bowling for Columbine was far more against the culture of fear (and fear-based consumption) actively nourished in the US than against guns proper.

    At the end of the day, Moore’s flicks have been against fear, illegal war and the exploitation of health services. When Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter or any lizard-brained shriker on the right can fight those issues half as effectively, you may say they are “just like Moore”.

  175. #175 Ryan F Stello
    December 23, 2008

    But it wasn’t. This wasn’t even the official excuse – that was WMDs.

    I agree on the second point, it wasn’t <>official, but how many talking heads do you recall on the right used the image of 9/11 as justification for Iraq (i.e. a response)?

    This is the point that should bear scrutiny, to what extent or if at all the Bush administration had in promoting 9/11->Iraq. Personally, I don’t feel strongly either way to defend either view.

    9/11 probably delayed the attack on Iraq, because of the need to invade Afghanistan first.

    I’m thinking this might be the sticking point of our disagreement. I don’t take ‘response’ to mean something immediate. Simply, B is a response to A if A is used in any way to justify B. Complexly, it can be expressed more as (A,B,C,D)->E.

  176. #176 Divalent
    December 23, 2008

    Come on folks, he only has 33%, which is just plurality, *NOT* a majority!

    If he wants to have any hope of a “MANDATE”, he has to get over 50%!

    so keep voting: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/mooreaward.html

  177. #177 Nick Gotts
    December 23, 2008

    Ryan F. Stello@175,
    Certainly it was used as a justification. Bill Dauphin and I argued this through recently. I think they’d have invaded Iraq anyway – and sooner; he thinks they needed 9/11 or similar to push the invasion through. Without a rewind button on history, there’s probably no way to settle it.

  178. #178 Ryan F Stello
    December 23, 2008

    I think they’d have invaded Iraq anyway – and sooner

    They certainly could have, but I seriously doubt that they would have had the public support that they did….the support that helped carry it as long as it has, and against all reason deflected the best of criticisms.

    It tapped deep into the public conscience, and like creationism, something that appealing is hard to extract.

    [Bill Dauphin] thinks they needed 9/11 or similar to push the invasion through

    I disagree with that, too. I think the reasoning was far more sickly pragmatic.

  179. #179 Jeeves
    December 23, 2008

    @Scooter,

    I don’t see your condescending point. A couple book of essays…look, around ten years ago! How about that?! A book on some Founding Fathers and a couple of memoirs. That must be what Sullivan is so pissed off about. Anecdotes about Tennessee Williams and that one dinner party with Robert Kennedy. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
    Maybe Sullivan is all in a tussle over Imperial America (which I thought came out about two years before it did) but still, its not exactly breaking news, is it? Does Sullivan need a few years to finish his slow burn? Or are you overreacting?

  180. #180 Jeeves
    December 23, 2008

    @Scooter,

    And please take notice, dear SCOOTER, that I wrote “essays”, not recent plays or novels. I don’t think Sullivan gives a damn about Vidal’s novel on the Smithsonian, but you must, since you brought it up, apropos of nothing. I actually have a copy and know that it has nothing to do with pissing off gay conservatives, so it couldn’t have anything to do with this list.

  181. #181 John Phillips, FCD
    December 23, 2008

    Nick Gotts, while I agree that they would have found some reason to invade Iraq eventually, 9/11 did make it easier to sell to the American people. In April last year, some 43% of Americans still believed that Iraq had some culpability in 9/11 and when Moore made his film the percentage was even higher. I haven’t seen any later polls so don’t know what the latest figures are.

    Now you and I both know that is not true, but it was something the present administration, both directly and through its surrogates in the media, used to great effect with the people. I.e. while you are right to the actual truth of Iraqi involvement, or rather non-involvement, in 9/11, many Americans were at least kept onside with that false argument. Especially when the purported Iraqi WMD threat was allied to supposedly giving that WMD to the bogey man.

    Look how they played the fact that a terrorist (sorry I can’t remember his name) with links to at least Islamic terrorism, if not to AL-Qaeda directly, had taken refuge in Iraq. Of course, it didn’t appear that he was active any longer, simply lying low from such as the Israelis, but it made it easier for those who wanted to argue a link between AL-Qaeda/Islamic terrorism and Saddam.

  182. #182 Dan Howitt
    December 23, 2008

    Never knew these things, thanks for enlightening. Dan Howitt.

  183. #183 Dan Howitt
    December 23, 2008

    Posted by: Jeeves
    “I don’t think Sullivan gives a damn about Vidal’s novel on the Smithsonian.”

    I don’t think so either.
    Dan Howitt

  184. #184 Matt Heath
    December 23, 2008
    Dawkins is no Steven Gould wrt his politics either; IIRC he spoke at the opening of the the Conservative Humanist Association and even implied he was thinking of voting Tory for the first time.

    Say it ain’t so, Joe!

    :) Well I don’t think I could ever vote Tory myself but liberals (in the common British sense, an antonym of “authoritarian”), secularists and anti-war types (I think RD is all of these) have every reason to want to hurt Labour: ID, extended detention, more and more CCTV, expansion of state-funded religious schools, Iraq.

  185. #185 GeoffE
    December 23, 2008

    Looked at some of the other polls too, and noticed one for worst ‘poseur’.

    Why isn’t Andrew Sullivan on the ballot there. Talk about a landslide.

  186. #186 Angel Kaida
    December 23, 2008

    I’m really very startled at the number of people who seem to actively like Michael Moore here. I don’t dislike him so much – he’s not spreading lies or praising ignorance – but I don’t respect him as a documentarian because his tactics are underhanded. Like someone said up there, if you have the truth on your side you shouldn’t have to resort to dishonesty – and for a man who frequently has the truth on his side, he resorts to dishonest tactics disturbingly often. It’s not that he’s inflammatory – PZ is inflammatory, I like inflammatory people. It’s just that his tactics mirror, in a slightly more artful way, those of right-wing propagandists like the makers of Expelled. I … guess I don’t get it.

  187. #187 Angel Kaida
    December 23, 2008

    Also, PZ, happy monkey at being nominated for the award anyway ^.^ Even if I don’t like MM, I still would take it as a compliment to be on the list! I’ll go vote for you now.

  188. #188 Ray
    December 23, 2008

    Enshoku @49

    Yeah. Andrew probably admires PZ. Why else would he monitor his blog. PZ is a pretty entertaining guy. Andrew, like anyone with a brain, is capable of holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. He’s pretty honest about it, I think. You’d have to be up on what Andrew, himself, says about religion to get the gist of him. He’s better at skewering religious nuts by taking them seriously than most people are at simply mocking them or hitting them with some witty thunderbolt that makes everyone laugh. I’d call his thunder aimed at PZ a momentary bobble. Andrew has a weakness for the well-written meat axe. There’s a lot to like about PZ and Andrew and, if you haven’t noticed, this annual contest isn’t exactly the Nobel balloting. It’s just for fun.

  189. #189 llewelly
    December 23, 2008

    PZ, you’re being too obscure. Is this award on your squidmas list or not?

  190. #190 Grinch (aka E.V.)
    December 23, 2008

    I … guess I don’t get it.

    It’s true that Michael more can only be described as a documentarian in the loosest sense, but as many have pointed out, his tendency as a propagandist is entertaining for liberals because our usual Heralds tend to be of the Colmes variety. (See: Hannity & Colmes or Caspar Milquetoast for you outside the US) I like Moore but I don’t loooove him. I don’t watch a MM film for it’s veracity, I go in knowing the deck is stacked. But there is a large basis in truth in his films, even if his methods are Borat-esque.

    I love Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert ( and I adored Molly Ivans, may she RIP). Stewart and Colbert are also liberal champions who aren’t afraid to point out when we’re being just as stupid as conservatives. I vacillate on Maher, usually coming up “meh.”

    I guess what I like about Moore the most is the NeoCon’s and Old School Conservative’s reactions to him. Any Peacenik who produces that amount of bile and rancor in a rightwing blowhard is okay by me.
    I don’t actually wish bodily harm to the RIghtWing? pundits (beyond a bitchslap) with the exception of Ann Coulter – whose mouth I wouldn’t piss in if her tongue was on fire. Just my personal failing.
    As for Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rove, Gonzalez and the rest of that shitpile of humanity – it’s asswipes like them that make me wish there was an actual eternal hell. Those bastards deserve all the ill will & damnation they get.

  191. #191 DPSisler
    December 23, 2008

    I voted for you…anything to piss off the conversative branch!!! F-tards!

  192. #192 Patricia, OM
    December 24, 2008

    Voted again. I hope you win PZ.

  193. #193 Timothy
    December 24, 2008

    Andrew Sullivan is such an idiot I can hardly stand it. The worst thing about him is that people mistakenly think he has anything useful or intelligent to say. I’ve reserved a seat for him on the rocket that’s going to send Bill O’Reilly to the sun.

  194. #194 Kevin
    December 24, 2008

    Moore is really not that bad. Even if you disagree with him (though in general he’s often right), you gotta admit that he’s a good provocateur and filmmaker.

    You’ve earned it, PZ!

  195. #195 Enshoku
    December 25, 2008

    Play nice now timmy. Not even Dick Cheney deserves that kind of company, let alone Sullivan. I hope your rocket will be fast by the way, because a trip to the sun ain’t no trip to the moon, and if you don’t angle the course to avoid the gravitational pulls of mercury and venus, O’reilly may end up in a interplanetary orbit…not as fun to watch him going round and round as it is to see the koblooey.

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