As some of you know, there was a long-running contretemps at Chris Mooney’s Intersocktion blog — Mooney took a comment by someone named “Tom Johnson” as evidence that the New Atheists were inciting all kinds of destructive fury and ran with it, promoting it as a solid strike against the same targets he took on in his sad little book, Unscientific America. Then it turned out that much of the conversation on this topic at the Intersocktion was driven by this same fellow, who was posting under multiple pseudonyms. And finally it turned out that a noisy little blog titled “You’re Not Helping”, which castigated New Atheists for “not helping”, was authored by this same little weasel, and that the conversations that went on there were also between sock puppets.
It’s been quite the embarrassment for the gullible Mr Mooney, and of course “Tom Johnson” has really demolished his own reputation.
“Johnson” has apparently sent out apologies to a few of the people he dishonestly slandered (I’m not among them; I guess he doesn’t like me at all). Now Jerry Coyne has dug up details on the background, including having a conversation with “Johnson’s” grad school advisor.
I wash my hands completely of the ugly little anti-atheist muckraker and will not be discussing him further in any context — he’s dead to me. The only good thing to come out of the whole sordid mess was a tarnishing of the reputation of that other anti-New Atheist crusader, Mooney. And now the “Johnson” affair is over.