25 Oct – Another Lie, And Where Did All The Science Go?

If we ran a site covering the Minnesota Vikings, but only nineteen percent of our posts were actually about the team, could we still call it a Vikings site?

Probably not. (Also, we wouldn’t expect too many people to read it if we lied and made up statistics about the players, but that’s beside the point.)

PZ Myers only talks about science nineteen percent of the time on Pharyngula, a number that’s been trending downward in the last couple months. It hovered in the low twenties in our first few weeks of data tracking, then pushed up to a high of thirty percent after a barrage of spider picture posts, but has dropped off a cliff in recent weeks.

This is something we expected to find – PZ hasn’t been primarily a science-blogger for quite some time, he’s much more interested in politics and general culture and that’s where he puts a majority of his blogging effort.

Which would be fine with us, as long as he generally told the truth about politics and culture.

He doesn’t.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

Right. Except your version of “free speech” allows you to physically evict people exercising that right from your space if they criticize a media influencer you’re trying to flatter, while a man calling a woman a “cunt” was allowed to remain. This principle of free speech is a tough one to maintain, and in reality always requires compromises, but Laliberte just outright broke it.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/25/weinstein-cancelled-right/

Facts:

The person he’s talking to here is Alexandra Laliberte, a 26-year-old actor who organized an event Harvey Weinstein attended – the “media influencer” in question.

As usual with a PZ Myers lie, there is so much here to unpack, so let’s start with this: Harvey Weinstein is a “media influencer”?? In an of itself, that is a gargantuan lie. Exactly who is Weinstein influencing? What power does the man have? He is near-universally reviled. He has no job, no prospects, and will be going to trial shortly for rape and sexual assault.

Was Laliberte “trying to flatter” Weinstein, as PZ claimed? No. The opposite, in fact, is true. Below is a snippet from the Buzzfeed report PZ used in his post, and as per normal procedure, it exposes the lie he tells:

Alexandra Laliberte, the organizer of Actor’s Hour, told BuzzFeed News it was the second time Weinstein had turned up to one of her events. Laliberte added that she doesn’t have a security team, and rather than turn Weinstein away, she thought the community could address him.
“I welcome all walks of life into my space,” she said.
When asked why she allowed Weinstein to attend an event specifically intended to support and encourage young actors when he has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of them, Laliberte told BuzzFeed News: “I protect them by freedom of speech.”
“Comedians made fun of him,” said the 26-year-old actor. “This one lady stood up and screamed at him. People walked out, which was fantastic.”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/amberjamieson/harvey-weinstein-heckled-comedian-event-women-actors

Laliberte reveled in the denigration of Weinstein during the event, which is about as far from “flattery” as you can get.

But what of PZ’s main claim, that Laliberte was being a hypocrite by allowing some people who said outrageous things to stay while escorting others from the building? Did she break her own principle of free speech?

Of course not, but PZ wants to make you think she did.

The bar at which the event was held posted this on their Facebook page – something also noted in the Buzzfeed report that PZ just skipped over:

Shortly into the evening, one guest began heckling another, causing a disturbance to everyone in attendance. After several requests to stop were ignored, we kindly asked the heckler to leave.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/amberjamieson/harvey-weinstein-heckled-comedian-event-women-actors

PZ’s lie is also exposed by the fact that nearly everyone who took the stage that evening said something nasty about Weinstein. They weren’t escorted out. The only person who was asked to leave caused a disturbance and was asked to stop.

Analysis:

This is a lie we’re not supposed to expose. In PZ’s world you should be allowed to say anything and everything – truthful or not – about Harvey Weinstein because of the nature and sheer volume of his crimes. And here’s the funny thing – that’s exactly what Alexandra Laliberte thinks, too!

She allowed Weinstein in a room where people stood up and said whatever they wanted about the man, to his face. PZ would apparently prefer Weinstein spend his time around people who support him. He would deny Weinstein the opportunity to be ridiculed in public. Laliberte created that opportunity and we salute her for it.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 5 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 123 science-related posts, 516 non-science posts.

19% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 167 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

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