Thursday, October 02, 2008

"Religulous" and "Expelled!": Same Tactics?

Several people who were interviewed for the new Bill Maher film Religulous are crying 'foul.' According to a story in the Charlotte Observer:

“Bill Maher was quite aggressive in pursuing his atheist agenda,” said Dr. Francis Collins, the former head of the Human Genome Project, which successfully mapped human DNA.

Collins filmed lengthy conversations with Maher about the relationship between faith and science, making “the case that acceptance of evolution is entirely consistent with belief in God,” he said. That conversation apparently ended up on the cutting room floor; Collins appears briefly in the film, discussing a non-science related topic.

“Religulous” is directed by Larry Charles, the man who teamed up with Sacha Baron Cohen to create “Borat,” which drew criticism from its subjects for some of the same deceptive tactics and creative editing.

Maher declined requests for an interview, but explained his tactics to the Los Angeles Times:

“It was simple: We never, ever, used my name,” he told the newspaper. “We never told anybody it was me who was going to do the interviews. We even had a fake title for the film. We called it `A Spiritual Journey.' … At the last second, when the cameras were already rolling, I would show up. So either they'd be seen on camera leaving the interview and lose face or they'd have to talk to me.”

There are many other complaints in the article about the tactics used and the lack of unbiased editing. Given his heavy-handed politics in "Politically Incorrect," this does not surprise me much. It won't get as much press as the same tactics used in "Expelled!" did . That is a shame. All of the anti-religious bile of Christopher Hitchens without any of the wit. And the fact that he is honest about his deception does not make it any better.


  1. I came out of Religulous surprised that I didn't feel more beat up. I had a good time, and recommend it as an evangelistic tool to Christ-followers who are not into churchianity.

  2. I probably ought to go see it in the theatre but i don't want to spend that kind of money. I also want to treat it the same way that i treat "Expelled!" I want to watch it and take notes at the same time.

  3. Jim,

    Just netflix it. All the viewing pleasure without paying him a dime.

    Oh, and Maher's a tool. It drives me crazy that that guy calls himself a libertarian.

  4. That is what I will probably do. That way i can scream at the screen without annoying other people in the theatre.

  5. Maher is no libertarian. He is a classic liberal.