Yesterday, the PR company hired by Expelled invited me (among many other members of the press and nontraditional media) to participate in a teleconference today with Ben Stein, Mark Malkis, and the other film makers. I was pretty annoyed at the start, since they decided that instead of an open press conference with, you know, free speech, people had to e-mail the PR company with questions that would be read by the PR moderator. The journalists’ lines were all muted.
It was so ridiculous that I could hardly stand to listen, and in fact I couldn’t listen the entire time because I was at work. I left the room with the speaker phone just after Ben Stein and his merry band of creationists finished telling a string of lies about the events that transpired in Minnesota last week. What a shame that apparently, I missed PZ Myers himself bursting into the chat to confront them all directly (by using the 2-way code he overheard them use earlier in the call).
Lucky me, I got it all on tape. And lucky you, here it is (mp3).
Oh, and here’s another clip: Ben Stein responding to the question of why he doubts Darwinism when he’s such a high-standing member of the intelligencia.
And another edit: here’s a transcript I whipped up. If anyone else was on the call or listens to the clip and has a correction, please let me know! It was tough to tell who was doing the talking, but the cast of characters on the line were PZ (dashing hero), Ben Stein (Clear Eyes spokesperson), Paul Lauer (PRick moderator), Walt Ruloff (Expelled producer), and Logan Craft (Expelled producer).
PAUL: Gentlemen, let’s move off this controversy and back to the core message of the film. Um, I understand…
PZ: Let’s not. Let’s not move off of it. You do know PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins have posted substantial criticisms of your movie, don’t you?
BEN: Well I haven’t seen them, but why don’t you tell us what they are?
PAUL: Who’s asking that question?
PZ: This is PZ Myers.
MARK (?): Oh, wonderful!
PAUL: You are an…you are very persistent and ah…
PZ: I mean, you’re ignoring the substantial criticisms that made up the
MARK: Bring it!
BEN: Is this another case of you sort of …
PAUL: Uh, PZ? Mr. Myers
MARK: I would like to hear the criticisms
PZ: Well, the idea that Naziism derived from all the same theory is completely bogus…
PAUL: Well, PZ you must not have been on the phone call very long because we already talked about that.
PZ: Yes I heard a bunch of lies about that.
MARK: Oh, more lies, okay, alright…
MARK: They were maybe differences of opinion.
PZ: Yeah, uh, how do you grok the fact that anti-semitism had a long history in Germany before Martin Luther?
MARK: This is out there.
MARK: I would say that having anti semitism out there is much different than a situation where you have the systematic extermination of a race these are two different things, it’s a much more advanced version of it and you have to have
PZ: Have you ever heard of a pogrom?
MARK: . . . you have to have a Darwinian view . . .
PZ: No you don’t, have you ever heard of a pogrom? Those have been going on for centuries.
MARK: We’ve seen millions of people exterminated from the Jewish race for centuries?
PZ: “Have you seen many Jewish people exterminated for centuries?” You are trivializing that to blame it on Darwin.
WALT: Hey Paul? Paul? It’s Walt and Ben here, we’re going to be moving on to our next interview…
PZ: Yeah, but . . . okay that’s logical just run away from substantial criticisms of your film.
PAUL: No uh, Mr. Myers, excuse me, I am the moderator of this call Mr. Myers. As you’ve done previously with trying to sneak in to the film you have come uninvited to this call, okay, and I’m going to ask you to do the honorable thing and you can feel free to listen in and if we have a question for you we will direct that question to you but otherwise you are, you will do the honorable thing…
PZ: You’ll ask me to do the honorable thing and you will do the dishonorable thing and continue your policy of lies.
PAUL: When you have your own conference call which you are in charge of, you may do whatever you wish but this call is our call.
PZ: Uh huh.
PAUL: You are not invited right now and I’m making that clear to everyone who’s listening, you’re demonstrating your tactics by speaking on a call that you are not invited to speak on. I’m going to ask you to remain on the sidelines.
PZ: I’m going to sign off now but I will invite the press listeners to contact me at pzmyers at gmail.com. I’m happy to talk with you about the falsehoods that are being propagated in this interview. Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you.
MARK: That’s too bad, I wanted to talk about it one by one
PAUL: If we have a question for PZ, we can invite him back on and he can answer them.