The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Bill Nye the Science Guy: Harasser?

Posted on | August 8, 2013 | 148 Comments

In the wake of the atheist sex scandal we reported Tuesday, someone in the “skeptic” community (as these soi-dissant rationalists refer to themselves) created a Tumblr blog called “More Will Be Named” that expanded the list of accused harassers beyond Skeptical Inquirer deputy editor Ben Radford. Before that Tumblr was deleted (for reasons unknown) former children’s TV host Bill Nye “The Science Guy” was among those named, as referenced in Tweets here, here and here.

Is there anything to such accusations? I have no idea, but if it seems wildly improbable that Nye could be suspected of such behavior, remember that no one outside the “skeptic” community (and relatively few insiders), had any reason to suspect Ben Radford before Karen Stoltznow went public with her account this week.

Now more women are coming forward to testify that the “hostile climate” for women in the atheist movement is not limited to the Radford situation. Atheist podcaster Stephanie Svan described a case involving Jim Frenkel, while Carrie Poppy describes her problems at the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), which hosted the conference where Stoltznow claims she was sexually assaulted by Radford.

The most interesting aspect of Carrie Poppy’s accusation is the finger she points at JREF President D.J. Grothe, whom she denounces for “constant duplicity, dishonesty, and manipulation.” See if you don’t notice something in this sentence:

I was assured on more than one occasion by James Randi that D.J. Grothe would be fired (I hear Randi denies this now, though he repeatedly promised it to another staff member as well, and that staff member and I represented the entirety of JREF full-time staff other than D.J. and his husband, Thomas), but after several months of waiting and being asked to wait, it became clear that D.J. was not going to be fired.

WHOA! D.J. Grothe is a gay man and an atheist and (according to Carrie Poppy) complicit in this kind of foul misogyny?

Damn, I’m gonna need more popcorn. Meanwhile, feminist maniac Amanda Marcotte has weighed in to say that the answer to this problem — you guessed, didn’t you? — is more feminism.

OK, forget the popcorn. One of you ladies fix me a sammich.



148 Responses to “Bill Nye the Science Guy: Harasser?”

  1. Quartermaster
    August 8th, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    No! You may not hire Interns!

    You MUST hire interns! And, they better by at least as nice as Mellissa Manning. Otherwise, it’s in the Guillotine with you and I’ll find someone that can hire proper staff.

  2. M. Thompson
    August 8th, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

    Remember folks, the proper command is: SUDO, make me a sammich.

  3. Fareedi al Laayla al Kakhol
    August 8th, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

    Priceless! Haven’t heard that line referenced in years!

  4. Fareedi al Laayla al Kakhol
    August 8th, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

    Priceless! Haven’t heard that line referenced in years!

  5. richard mcenroe
    August 8th, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    Which reminds me, is that Jim Frenkel what used to be an SF editor back in the 70’s and 80’s?

  6. ajpwriter
    August 8th, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    Oh, the episodes of Bill Nye I suffered through in my subbing days.

    I honestly hope he’s not guilty. For Teh Children, as it were.

  7. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 8th, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

    How can the ladies resist the sexual dynamism that is Bill Nye?

  8. Richard. McEnroe
    August 8th, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

    I know EXACTLY how that would go. I have memorized the sound of every firearm I know going into battery so when my fee-yancy says, “Eat. this,” I would know exactly what that next sound is.

  9. justintempler
    August 9th, 2013 @ 1:34 am

    RT @RMNixonDeceased: “Heh. You are guilty without even being accused, just because … FEMINISM and you have a penis…” — rmnixondeceased ht…

  10. Joe Dokes
    August 9th, 2013 @ 4:52 am

    If I were a truly convinced and committed atheist, I would sooner or later off myself for that very reason. The pointless despair and futility of life would be too great to bear…I mean, sometimes it’s a great burden being a theist!

    Anyway, I’ve pointed this out to professing atheists over the years, that nihilism should be inevitable for any thinking atheist, but they just scoff. They haven’t thought very far into their own faith, is what that reveals…or they don’t really (dis)believe what they claim to (dis)believe.

  11. Joe Dokes
    August 9th, 2013 @ 4:57 am


  12. Wombat_socho
    August 9th, 2013 @ 5:40 am

    I’m convinced that most atheists haven’t put any real thought into their new philosophy, they’re just trying to shock us “God-bothering Christers”. Which was old and burnt back in the 5th century, IIRC.

  13. Wombat_socho
    August 9th, 2013 @ 5:41 am

    Many fine versions of the Good Book are accessible online, you know.

  14. Wombat_socho
    August 9th, 2013 @ 5:42 am

    The very one. He’s now an unemployed ex-editor.

  15. Wombat_socho
    August 9th, 2013 @ 5:42 am

    The Nation doesn’t pay minimum wage.

  16. Escher's House
    August 9th, 2013 @ 6:26 am

    Thank you. I’m here all week. Enjoy the veal. And remember to tip your waitresses. Escher Out.

  17. richard mcenroe
    August 9th, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    Hey, it gets them noticed by us other random collagenic incidents.

  18. richard mcenroe
    August 9th, 2013 @ 9:25 am

    Huh. Blast from the past.

  19. richard mcenroe
    August 9th, 2013 @ 9:26 am

    They finally beta-maled up.

  20. richard mcenroe
    August 9th, 2013 @ 9:27 am

    Oh, good someone else as old as I am.

  21. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 9th, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    Well yeah, that!

  22. Matthew W
    August 9th, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    Hey, If Elmo can do it, Nye can do it.

  23. richard mcenroe
    August 9th, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    Why hug a tree?

    Because six year olds talk.

  24. Joe Dokes
    August 9th, 2013 @ 11:49 am


    Also, just as a curiosity that I do NOT mean as any kind of club against the Roman Catholic church…I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but I have met SEVERAL professing devout atheists who, as ex-Catholics, STILL get inexplicably defensive when any aspect of their religious upbringing is examined.

    Mostly, I’ve found them to want to say the Inquisitions, Crusades, forced conversions, etc, are the shared responsibility of ALL Christians and of Christ Himself (neither of which are true) even though the facts show otherwise and are easily pointed out to them…PJPII’s apology for all those horrors included as exhibit A. Even then, these ex-Catholic atheists refuse to put the blame where it should be.

    A very odd and confusing phenomenon, I must say.

  25. RMNixonDeceased
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    “Hey, If Elmo can do it, Nye can do it.” — Matthew W

  26. RMNixonDeceased
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

    “Replace “Attica! Attica!” with “Arugula! Arugula!” you might be on to something.” — richard mcenroe

  27. RMNixonDeceased
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

    “The very one. He’s now an unemployed ex-editor.” — Wombat_socho

  28. rmnixondeceased
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    Or a pharmacy …

  29. RMNixonDeceased
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    “Same here…the icing on the cake would have been if her Father had owned a liquor store.” — Bob Belvedere

  30. rmnixondeceased
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    Or are an adherent of inter-species marriage and bestiality.

  31. RMNixonDeceased
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    “Or are an adherent of inter-species marriage and bestiality.” — rmnixondeceased

  32. K-Bob
    August 9th, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

    It’s just you. I’m as young today as I’ve ever been at this age.

  33. K-Bob
    August 9th, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    Definitely one that should be filmed in black and white, heavy on the gothic style.

  34. K-Bob
    August 9th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    …or children’s. Exemptions are being prepared as we speak.

  35. K-Bob
    August 9th, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    When Obama got elected, I used to say

    …the only way he would ever get negative press would be to be caught in bed with a young boy.

    After three years of his feet on the furniture in the White House, and the press seeming to go even deeper into defense mode, I changed it to:

    Barack would have to be caught sodomizing a young boy on the Capital steps before the press would report negatively on him.

    But now it’s clear with the Anthony Weiner situation and Client No. Nine, and all of the things Stacy has been covering, exposing the depravity of the left, here’s where we are now:

    Barack announces he will be buggering a homeless boy on the Capital Steps next Wednesday. Please get your press passes ready, and remember that this is going to show everyone how very much he cares for the youth of today.

  36. RhymesWithRight
    August 9th, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    Bill Nye the Pervo Guy? Figures.

  37. Bob Belvedere
    August 9th, 2013 @ 8:03 pm
  38. Bob Belvedere
    August 9th, 2013 @ 8:03 pm
  39. Bob Belvedere
    August 9th, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

    K-Bob: Can I quote this in a post?

  40. Bob Belvedere
    August 9th, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

    The line, BTW, as I’ve always heard it up here in New England is: ‘…a dead, female hooker or a live boy’, but, of course, we know that Obama would never be caught with the former……unless he was cleaning-up the mess left by Bill Clinton.

  41. Under the Fedora: Incentives « Sago
    August 9th, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

    […] RS McCain has been talking about apparently a rash of sexual harassment in the Atheist Skeptic community […]

  42. K-Bob
    August 10th, 2013 @ 12:11 am

    You bet.

    What a brave new world, eh?

  43. K-Bob
    August 10th, 2013 @ 12:11 am

    You bet.

    What a brave new world, eh?

  44. Escher's House
    August 10th, 2013 @ 6:14 am

    Sorry. I’ll remember next time.

  45. Escher's House
    August 10th, 2013 @ 6:14 am

    Really, seriously, for that? I’m offended.

  46. Quartermaster
    August 10th, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    Atheism is an irrational philosophy at best. It’s ethics and morals are parasitic on religion, particularly Christianity, when there are any morals or ethics, and it ignores any evidence that does not fit their antitheistic narrative. I have told several Atheists that I hold them in contempt after very short conversations with them. They refuse to see their own contradictions, or the evidence that is completely against what they say they stand for.

  47. Quartermaster
    August 10th, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    When I was County Engineer, I was meeing with teh County Commissioners. One, who was a friend, decided to get playfully snarky with me and I elected to simply let him run out of steam. Then I came back with “at least my son-in-law is not a drug dealer.” The other two Comms were doing their best not to laugh at loud at the retort while the other sat there looking at me like I was from Mars.

    Suddenly the light went on, and he sez “Ohhhhhhhh!” The other two finally couldn’t hold it anymore and broke down laughing.

    The son-in-law owned the drug store not 50 yards from the courthouse back door.

  48. Quartermaster
    August 10th, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    Or Necrophilia.