While Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) is usually as dickish as he is brilliant, I’ve come to love his work, particularly when he tears into some form of bunkum or another. But there’s just nothing that can excuse this sort of a response to an article authored by a woman who he finds insufficiently amusing:
I’ll start off by saying that it would be useful to see just where this message comes from (the closest we get is a Twitpic shot by Lindy West herself), but only for the purposes of context, not making excuses. Because nothing short of Penn coming out and declaring that his account was hijacked by a troll could possibly defend this sort of vileness.
It’s so sad to see erstwhile respected and beloved figures fall so low. It only reminds us how important it is to remember that nobody’s perfect, including those we hold up as our icons and role models, and that even the best are prone to various biases and prejudices … including being a raging and bizarrely petty sexist asshole.
In the end, as Jen remarks, the freethought/skeptical community can do much better than embrace someone who thinks women who fail to crack jokes to their liking are “stupid”, “fucking talentless cunt[s]”.
(via Blag Hag)