I focus on science on this blog, but sometimes something ticks me off so much that I have to take advantage of this platform I’ve created for myself to climb on my soapbox and shout at the world.
Today, that “something” is Ben Stein. I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I think that Ben Stein is a useless human being. His actions during the Expelled fiasco were enough to write him off permanently for me, but as I discovered a few days ago, apparently he can sink even lower. How? Well, I’ve been catching up on podcasts from the burgeoning Nerdist empire, among which is a fun podcast by Riki Lindhome (actress and one half of the awesome comedy song act Garfunkel and Oates) called “Making it”. On the fifth episode, Riki is interviewing the actress Doira Baird (imdb) when Doira drops a bit of a bomb about our favourite game show host and creationist pundit: Ben Stein propositioned her to be his mistress. You can hear the podcast here; the fun starts at about 9:45 into the episode, and I’ve transcribed the best part:
RL: What, did he offer to pay for you or something?
DB: Oh, yeah. Secret girlfriend!
RL: Is he married?
RL: Oh, God.
DB: Good times.
RL: [wretching noise]
DB: That’s Hollywood for you, but I never …
RL: He doesn’t seem like that kind of guy [ed: *snort*], I mean, not that I’ve met him…
DB: I think he has some sort of, uh, agreement, I have no idea, I just know that he has a lot of money. But I was so naive, I met him at the mall.
DB: [laughs] Yeah, I met him at the mall. Of course, because when I came out here I didn’t have a car, so I would would just, like, take the bus to the Beverley Centre and hang out.
RL: [laughs] Totally.
DB: And he came up to me, and would take me to dinner. I was so naive, I was like “he’s like my grandfather”.
RL: [mocking] “He’s not trying to sleep with me at all“.
DB: Uh, no! And he would take me all these fancy places, and show me things in Hollywood that I would never have known about otherwise.
RL: Oh my God. That shows, like, the true naiveté that you, like, thought it was, like, “oh, he just likes spending time with me!”.
DB: Completely. It’s amazing that I wasn’t sold into white slavery …
RL: [laughing] … by Ben Stein.
DB: I have no idea how that did not happen.
Insert your own joke about Ben Stein’s money here.
Doira and Riki get a good laugh out of the whole affair and poke some fun at how naive she was as an aspiring actress in Hollywood, but the implications of what she was saying floored me. Ben Stein, who seems to consider himself a righteous man lamenting the descent of the world into hell, is going to lecture us in between attempts to get young actresses into bed with him? Where does he find the time?
Of course, maybe Doira made the whole thing up. But if Ben Stein wants, he can sue Doira Baird for libel; in the mean-time, the story is on the record for everyone to listen to. Perhaps this story explains why Stein recently defended Herman Cain against the pile-up of adultery accusations: maybe he’s preparing his own defence.