17 Aug – PZ Myers Is…

…usually not telling the truth.

That’s why PZWatch exists, to document his lies. But, if we lacked integrity, we could regularly write the words, “PZ Myers is…” followed by any slur you could imagine to try to make PZ look bad. Would it have any effect?

To those who already think PZ is a somewhat less than admirable person, it will confirm their biases. To those who think PZ is a fearless truth-teller, it will inflame their righteous indignation. And what about those who are either undecided or have no idea who the hell PZ Myers is? They won’t care.

That’s why we try not to name-call here unless there is evidence to support the name. And then we spend an adequate amount of time detailing the evidence. For PZ Myers, no evidence is necessary. If you identify with his perceived political enemies, you could be called anything, whether you’ve earned the title or not. We dislike the practice, mostly because we think it’s grade-school level stuff, usually followed by the words, “I know you are, but what am I.”

But it’s also a lie.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

Andy Ngo is a fraud and a right-wing provocateurNothing more. Ngo is an empty vessel who has found a way to gain the attention of right-wing chuds. He’s probably foaming at the mouth today at the opportunity to fire up violence in the streets of Portland, with the eager [sic] of his friends, the fascists.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/08/17/andy-ngo-is-a-fraud-and-a-right-wing-provocateur/

Facts:

PZ links to a piece in Jacobin, which is the self-professed “leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.” So…not a neutral arbiter of facts, it’s fair to say.

It’s useful to go back to PZ’s post about the dangerous antifa assault on Ngo in late June. In that post, PZ turned Ngo from a “faux-journalist” into a “fascist” in order to justify and celebrate antifa’s violence against him. That was a lie, and so is this. Even the Jacobin piece to which PZ links tacitly acknowledges this:

To be clear, the attack on Ngo should be condemned. It serves no political purpose, and the Left should not be attacking media makers, even if they use dicey methods. Some Antifa activists in Portland also admit the attack played into right-wing hands by elevating him.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/08/andy-ngo-right-wing-antifa-protest-portland-bigotry

That’s an interesting phrase, “media makers.” Jacobin wants to do the same thing PZ Myers did in June: disassociate Andy Ngo from the ranks of respectable journalists because he has the audacity to tell the truth about antifa. But Jacobin can’t quite bring themselves call him a fascist in the same way PZ did, so they have to make something up called a “media maker.”

Jacobin acknowledges that there is something to Andy Ngo besides being an empty vessel or a right-wing provocateur, even if they can’t bring themselves to describe who he is: a soft-spoken gay man from a Vietnamese immigrant family. These are facts PZ won’t acknowledge, either, because they make his claim that Ngo is either a fascist or a friend of fascists look silly.

Which it is.

Analysis:

PZ can be a little schizophrenic on the topic of antifa and violence. He wants a revolution to “erase the stain” that is the United States of America, but then condemns Ngo for “foaming at the mouth today at the opportunity to fire up violence in the streets of Portland,” then turns around and dares the ‘fascists’ to show up because “Portland Antifa has been doing an amazing job of making them afraid to show their faces — they’ll be mocked as cowards and clowns.”

Seriously, which is it? Does PZ want the fascists to go away? Or does he want them to rise up so antifa can start the revolution?

There is a certain political power in ambiguity. Andy Ngo is ‘bad’ in ways that are ill-defined or contradictory at times. Is he a journalist or a media maker or a fascist or a provocateur or an empty vessel or a fraud? It doesn’t matter, because the more vague you are, the harder it will be for your target to acquiesce to your demands. Is he reporting neutrally on an event that reflects badly on antifa? Then redefine journalism to mean something else. Is he not focusing on the events and facts you would like him to focus on? Call him a fraud or a provocateur.

Science abhors ambiguity like this. An experiment begins with a hypothesis and ends with that hypothesis either validated or discarded. It doesn’t end when you’ve massaged the data well enough to fit the conclusion you wanted to reach in the first place.

Antifa is good. That’s the conclusion PZ Myers has already reached, data be damned. Andy Ngo’s original sin is not accepting and promoting the progressive agenda and making antifa look bad as a consequence. All else flows from there. PZ will continue to massage and lie about the data in order to reach that conclusion over and over again.

Final Tally:

Last Two Days: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 86 science-related posts, 250 non-science posts.

25% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Last Two Days: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 89 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

16 July – Two Lies! And Where does PZ Myers Stand on Violence?

Yesterday, PZ sang the praises of a man who could have murdered all the staff and detainees housed at an ICE facility in Washington State. On the 1st of July, he wrote that he trusts antifa to fight for right, even if it results in broken bones and blood.

Today, he’s back to claiming that antifa are just peaceful activists mixing up milkshakes.

He’s lying.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

The most damning thing about antifa is that we have photographic evidence of them mixing up lots of milkshakes — it’s so pathetic that the fascists had to make up a lie about them adding quick-set cement to them, just to make it seem like maybe they were a little bit dangerous.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/16/antifa-we-have-a-missile-gap/

Facts:

There are two lies in this one passage, but our longstanding tradition is to give PZ Myers the benefit of the doubt so it counts as one. The first lie is obvious, given our previous coverage. The “most damning thing,” of late, about antifa is the fact that they beat a journalist so bad he suffered a brain hemorrhage.

We’ve covered the second lie before as well. The fascists – whoever they are – didn’t make up a lie about antifa adding quick-set cement to their milkshakes. A Portland Police lieutenant based that assertion on direct evidence he observed. The Police never, to our knowledge, received confirmation that cement was added to any milkshakes, but it is nevertheless a lie to say “fascists” made up that charge.

Analysis:

Repeat a lie enough times and it becomes reality, that appears to be PZ’s strategy here. The only thing is, we’re not quite sure why he wants to try to claim, again, that antifa is all sunshine and light. He has no problem with violence in the name of fighting “evil.” Why does he care about rehabbing antifa’s image?

PZ Myers Lie #2:

That “know your rights” info is a little discouraging, because it tells you all the things ICE is not allowed to do, yet as this example shows, they go right ahead and do them anyway.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/16/it-can-happen-here/

Facts:

PZ helpfully posts a link to the “know your rights” info, however, nowhere in the English version of that pamphlet is there any information relevant to the example he cites. ICE agents do not appear to have acted in a way the pamphlet describes as unlawful.

Analysis:

This is an unforced error. PZ could make the point he wants to make about ICE raids without claiming the agents did anything illegal. But, he doesn’t care. And to put it in perspective, yesterday he was fine with the guy who could have murdered everyone in an ICE detention center, so going from that to just lying about ICE agents is, from one perspective, an improvement.

Final Tally:

Today: 2 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 51 science-related posts, 137 non-science posts.

27% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 59 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

11 July – PZ Approves of Science, When it ‘Exonerates’ antifa

Three disparate lies today. It might sometimes seem as if PZ Myers is a broken record, repeating the same lies over and over again, but he really does have a wide range.

Today it was more antifa image rehab (they’re really the good guys! Avert your eyes from the journalist they almost killed, because the real story is they couldn’t have mixed cement with milk shakes), private prisons (founded by Republican politicians, except don’t actually check that accusation because it’s not true), and a little ragging on Jeffrey Epstein and Harvard.

Our docket is full here at PZWatch, so let’s get right to it.

PZ Myers Lie:

The Adams County facility is run by CoreCivic, the largest such organization in the country, and which was founded by — hold on to your hats — a group of Republican politicians and lobbyists.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/11/ice-abhors-a-vacuum/

Facts:

PZ links to the Wikipedia page for CoreCivic, which lists three founders: Thomas Beasley, Don Hutto, and Robert Crants. Of those three, Thomas Beasley is the only easily identifiable Republican politician, serving as the chair of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Robert Crants (whose given first name is “Doctor,” really) does not appear to have had any political ties when he founded CoreCivic. He graduated from West Point and served two tours in Vietnam before going into the real estate and cable television businesses.

T. Don Hutto appears to be the only one of the trio with any correctional experience prior to founding CoreCivic, and there also doesn’t appear to be much politics in his background. He was, however, named as director of corrections for the state of Arkansas by Dale Bumpers, a Democrat.

In summary, the group that founded CoreCivic included one Republican politician, one apolitical businessman, and a correctional professional appointed to a state post by a Democrat, making PZ Myers’s claim – that they were “a group of Republican politicians and lobbyists” – a lie.

Analysis:

Ironically enough, this is one of the many issues where we agree with the general thrust of PZ’s criticism. While we stop at suggesting the country might be fascist because of the incarceration rate (yet another reason we need antifa, we suppose) we do think the over-criminalization of drug offenses is a serious problem. It’s one place we think people like PZ and the Trump administration could find common ground. But PZ trying to find common ground with Trump will happen around the same time as he stops lying and the Vikings win the Super Bowl: never.

PZ Myers Lie #2:

One of the arguments Lawrence Krauss used to try to dissuade me from criticizing Jeffrey Epstein was that he gives so much money to so many scientific enterprises. He’s a friend of science! He donated to Krauss’s Origins Project at ASU. He was dropping millions of dollars on various universities. Look at Harvard, they were happy to take cash from a child rapist.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/11/the-entanglement-of-science-with-money-and-crime/

Facts:

Jeffrey Epstein donated $6.5 million to Harvard in 2003, three years before allegations against him became public. Harvard has taken no money from him since that time. The Harvard Crimson reported on the story in 2006, quoting a Harvard spokesman as saying “The University is not considering returning this gift.”

PZ would have been on firmer ground had he claimed Harvard was “happy” to keep Epstein’s donation, but instead he falsely claims the University knew he was a child rapist at the time he made the donation.

Analysis:

PZ wants to use the Epstein case to smear a bunch of people he doesn’t like, Donald Trump, Alex Acosta, Lawrence Krauss and Steven Pinker among them. He quotes a long Twitter thread by Nathan Oseroff-Spicer alleging, among other things, a sleazy relationship between Epstein and Pinker. The problem? Steven Pinker says, “I have no relationship with Epstein & have taken no funding from him.”

As for Trump, the jury is still out on exactly what his relationship was with Epstein, however he did apparently kick Epstein out of Mar-a-Lago after Epstein assaulted a girl there.

And then there are the concerning Bill Clinton ties, but PZ won’t linger on those because Clinton is a Democrat.

PZ Myers Lie #3:

I approve this use of the scientific method to debunk the Portland police. They fed this stupid rumor that antifa was mixing quick-setting cement into milkshakes to do more harm to the fascists they were protesting. There was no evidence of such behavior, but it quickly became a right-wing talking point.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/11/sciencing-the-accusations-against-antifa/

Facts:

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s police liaison, Robert King, explained during a media call after the event:

A Portland Police Bureau lieutenant “saw a powdery substance that appeared to cause some irritation [when in contact with skin].” The lieutenant also said the milkshake smelled similar to wet concrete, a smell they were familiar with from “having worked with concrete before.”

https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/07/01/26734870/mayors-officer-portland-police-acted-responsibly-by-sharing-cement-milkshake-rumor

Additionally, the Portland Police received an anonymous email containing a recipe for the milkshakes.

It turns out the police were wrong. There have been no confirmed cases of antifa protesters mixing quick-drying cement into their milkshakes, but that doesn’t mean there was no evidence of such behavior, or even that it didn’t happen. There was first hand evidence in the form of testimony from a police lieutenant and there was hearsay evidence in the form of an anonymous email. Both of which make this yet another PZ Myers lie.

Analysis:

PZ doesn’t want to dwell on the fact that antifa almost beat a journalist to death, but he does want to spend as much time as he can talking about this because it’s something he thinks he can use to malign antifa’s critics. He also wants people to think its silly that antifa would put cement in their milkshakes, but we’re not sure why this is so. We think people who wear all black, hide their faces, don hardened gloves, and assault journalists in broad daylight would be easily capable of something like that.

It’s weird. On one hand, PZ excuses and even advocates for violence coming from groups like antifa. On the other, when police say they have evidence antifa mixed cement into their milkshakes, PZ thinks it might be a right-wing plot. In our opinion, if their had been irrefutable evidence members of antifa did mix milkshakes with cement, PZ would be finding a way to excuse it anyway.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 3 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 44 science-related posts, 119 non-science posts.

27% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 53 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

1 July – Six Lies: How PZ Myers Embraces an Antifa Assault on a Journalist

Today saw PZ Myers at his despicable worst. We try to stay lighthearted and inject this site with humor as best we can, but days like today make us question our life choices. Who could read PZ today and not find him a horrible human being?

The worst part is: we know PZ, we predicted it. Yesterday, we wrote about a Portland, Oregon Antifa group who viciously assaulted a reporter covering their march. PZ, we said…

…won’t report on this. Or, if he does – several days from now when the news has died down – he will spin it so it becomes the reporters fault that a mob beat him bloody. We hope we’re wrong, but we don’t think we will be.

https://www.pzwatch.com/?p=260

It didn’t take several days for PZ to find the right spin, it took one. We dive into the lies it took him to get there below.

PZ Myers Lie:

Andy Ngo, faux-journalist and enabler of right-wing bigotry, got milkshaked the other day.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/

Facts:

There are three lies in this opening sentence, but in keeping with our longstanding policy of giving PZ Myers the benefit of the doubt, we’ll only charge him with one. Andy Ngo is an actual journalist and editor of the Quillette website. We’re not sure how one ‘enables’ right-wing bigotry, but we know Andy Ngo, as the “the gay son of Vietnamese immigrants,” doesn’t fit that bill. And while he did apparently have a milkshake thrown on him, it was only after being beaten to the point of brain hemorrhage.

Analysis: PZ is just clearing his throat. This is going to be a long one, folks, buckle up.

PZ Myers Lie #2:

Here’s Ngo getting hosed down with milkshakes and silly string, when someone runs forward and clocks him hard.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/

Facts:

PZ tries to claim that Antifa was interacting with Ngo harmlessly until one person decided to “clock him.” However, in the video PZ cites, Ngo was hosed down with milkshakes and silly string only after being brutally punched and kicked by multiple people, not before. In the main, Antifa’s activity in the clip PZ posted was violent and dangerous, not harmless.

Analysis:

This is yet another example of PZ’s lies being exposed by the very source material he cites. Once again, he’s able to do this because he knows no one in his audience will take him to task for it. They’ve all been carefully curated and conditioned not to question his lies.

A defender of PZ Myers might say, “So what? The order of things don’t matter much here.” We might agree, in a vacuum, but none of this exists in a vacuum. With his first lie, PZ discredits Ngo’s status as a journalist so it becomes more acceptable for Antifa to attack him. Here (and below) he lies about the attack itself in order to minimize it, so the reader doesn’t think Antifa did anything that bad. Later on, we’ll discuss lies where Ngo the journalist becomes Ngo the fascist and this kind of attack becomes not only ok, but “necessary.” This is a long rhetorical journey, stay with us.

PZ Myers Lie #3:

He was bleeding and went to an emergency room…

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/

Facts:

Mr. Ngo suffered a “crack [to] his skull…[and] a brain hemorrhage that required Ngo’s overnight hospitalization.”

Analysis:

This is the only lie we’ve tallied thus far that we think PZ Myers might be able to successfully challenge. While he is technically correct that Ngo was “bleeding,” it understates the severity of his injuries to the point of absurdity. PZ is following the blueprint we lay out above. In the next lie, he tries to compare the attack on Ngo to a different attack on a different day that Ngo witnessed but didn’t participate in.

PZ Myers Lie #4:

Yet in his commentary on this event, he is unperturbed and even tries to justify it as deserved because Clark had disrupted a James Damore speaking event and damaged some sound equipment.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/

Facts:

Mr. Ngo does not try to justify the violence against Clark. In the same Twitter thread that PZ cites, Ngo explains the reason why he named Clark (the action PZ claims was a justification). Ngo writes, ” She’s a local activist who has been in media for violently sabotaging an event on PSU campus. Her identity is relevant to the story.”

Analysis:

PZ is trying to set up an equivalency here, but it’s false. He’s still following the blueprint, and there’s more to come.

PZ Myers Lie #5:

If you google “Heather Clark antifa” you will find lots of right wing sites crowing triumphantly over the young woman getting seriously injured. Some of the same sites are now aghast that Ngo has been injured. I guess there’s a peculiar asymmetry at work here — punching antifa is heroic, but punching fascists is bad. 

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/

Facts:

This is the culmination of all the the lies PZ told above. In this paragraph, Ngo – the “the gay son of Vietnamese immigrants” – goes from being a ‘faux-journalist’ (Lie #1 above) to a fascist. PZ offers no evidence that Ngo is a fascist, despite ample evidence to the contrary. He completely inverts the truth here.

Analysis:

PZ has to turn Ngo from a journalist – which is undoubtedly true – to a fascist – which is undoubtedly false – in order to justify the rest of his despicable rant. If Ngo is just an innocent bystander documenting the events of that day, then Antifa has no reason to assault him. But, if he’s a fascist, someone actively participating in racist and neo-Nazis activities, in PZ’s mind that is justification for the attack. But there’s more to come.

PZ Myers Lie #6:

Antifa would have nothing to do if the police were doing their job and peacefully removing the right-wing instigators from these events.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/

Facts:

Once again, Andy Ngo was not a “right-wing instigator” of anything. He was a journalist, peacefully covering the protest. Antifa clearly wanted to ‘instigate’ something with him instead.

Analysis:

The last time we were banned from Pharyngula (the impetus for beginning this website, actually), we were commenting on Antifa violence. In that post, PZ wrote this:

But the important point is that people of principle are beginning to escalate, still not doing real physical harm against opponents who have shot people, murdered them with cars, or dispatched roving gangs to assault people on the street. They are throwing dairy products or eggs.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/26/comrades-to-the-barricadeserrm-the-dairy-queen/

His point was that progressive protesters – Black Lives Matter is the group he singles out – were not causing physical harm, but responding to violence with peaceful protest. When we brought up the fact that the very BLM protest he cites was not peaceful, and that it does make sense to respond to true violence in kind, PZ banned us with these words:

So you must support Black Lives Matter and transgender rights, then? Because you can’t deny they face lethal oppression, and therefore should not meet that threat peaceably. It’s amazing that they do.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/26/comrades-to-the-barricadeserrm-the-dairy-queen/

In the space of a little over a month, PZ Myers has gone from claiming, falsely, that progressive groups are entirely peaceful to embracing the violence Antifa demonstrated on the streets of Portland.

I’ll trust antifa to fight for right, more than I would the Proud Boys or neo-Nazis. I’d prefer more milkshakes and eggs over blood and broken bones, though.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/

At no point does PZ Myers condemn the Antifa attack against Andy Ngo.

At no point does PZ Myers say there should be no blood or broken bones.

We want to be careful about making the claim that PZ Myers is advocating violence against journalists who report things he doesn’t like, but we see no other way around that conclusion.

We take no solace in exposing PZ’s depravity. This is not fun for us. We started this website because it was fascinating to watch PZ get away with lie after lie, but days like today…well, we’ll leave it at that.

Final Tally:

Today: 2 science-related posts, 3 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 41 science-related posts, 89 non-science posts.

30% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 6 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 39 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.