Ben Stein is flashing some skin for the new Intelligent Design propaganda documentary film “Expelled.”
He’s the film’s mascot and showman as evidenced by the movie’s slick hyperbole filled website. With his bare knees, grotesquely enlarged head, and sour expression, Stein manages to permanently ruin the school uniform fetish for anyone who isn’t a 60 year old Nixon speech writer.
Oh, gotta love the Big Science logo they created (see it waving on the flag on the website) with the globe, book, and the lock, and the slogan “No Intelligence Allowed.” Their marketers and designers are really good! (and they’ve probably played too much of the game Bully)
There’s obviously a decent bit of cash behind this film. The website is slick as is the trailer, and it’s being promoted by Motive, the people behind Gibson’s Passion of the Christ marketing blitz. This isn’t another nutjob with a movie camera, we’re looking at a full out well-crafted propaganda film that stands to revitalize the ID movement left bruised after the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court case.
This time they’re coming at it with the free speech angle so beloved by the right wing crowd as of late — as evidenced by Ben Stein’s megaphone and the graffiti font. As The Bad Idea Blog states, “Considering the audience and marketing, the focus of the film is savvy: almost entirely on the meta-issue of the alleged intellectual suppression of ideas, complete with folks like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris as the bogeymen getting ready to man the gulags.”
The movie will probably be full of hyperbole, re-edited hidden-agenda interviews, and outright lies. PZ Myers of Pharyngula will be probably be seen in the movie as he was interviewed earlier this year by Mark Mathis, the associate producer of Expelled, who lied about the title and nature of the film. What we’re looking at is Ben Stein as a conservative Michael Moore, but probably with even less fact-checking.
Sadly, the movie is probably going to go over well with it’s target audience, and it’ll probably sway over a bunch of people who could have cared less before. This renewed push will probably result in more stupid ID legislation and more IDiots being elected to local school boards. Intelligent Design is bankrupt without anything to hold it up scientifically, but the facts didn’t stand in the way of our President’s case for war.
The fight with ID obviously isn’t over yet. One day, it may finally fizzle out as public opinion grows tried of it — I’ll rejoice when that day comes — but in the mean time our bedraggled academic system continues to have to waste it’s time and resources battling ID’s incessant PR machine.