Now that the War on Bullshit has been officially declared, it is time to award some medals to comrades that have already distinguished themselves. I’ll start with two honorable mentions and then move on to the top 5.
Honorable Mention: Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (MythBusters)
For each episode of the TV series, Mythbusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take two or three old stories, urban legends, rumors and other meme from pop culture and subject them to more or less scientific tests, eventually classifying them as “Busted”, “Plausible”, or “Confirmed.” Bonus points for blowing stuff up constantly.
Here’s a prime example: can a tire blowout on a semi decapitate a nearby passenger?
Honorable Mention: Rick Mercer
Canadian comedian, actor, author and TV host, Rick Mercer, is like a Canadian version of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, mixed up together in a big kettle of awesomeness.
5. Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report and author of I Am America (And So Can You!) attacks the rampant bullshit in politics and the media in a most unique way: by embodying it. Colbert espouses bullshit arguments with such vigor and sincerity that many of his victims don’t even catch on that they’re being mocked.
4. Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is the Emmy Award winning host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central and author of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book) Teacher’s Edition: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction. Left or Right be damned, Stewart points out the insanity of the system, its bullshit processes, and the chronic bullshitting of politicians with a grace and humor that captures everyone. Except the stupid. And the evil. And the religious. Ok, a grace and humor that captures everyone I like.
3. Michael Moore
Documentarian Michael Moore, who came to the forefront of controversy with Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, has returned with a new offering, Sicko, a film about the evil of privatized medicine. Moore earned his medal when he mopped Wolfe Blitzer’s ass all over CNN’s floor for misleading Americans and generally being an incompetent, unethical journalist. This footage is just priceless:
2. Bill Maher
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Reel Time and author of the extremely witty New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer comes in ahead of Colbert and Stewart because, although he is also a comedian, he attacks with an entirely higher level of vehemence.
1. Richard Dawkins
Perhaps the greatest purveyor of bullshit in the western world is the religious right (which should be called the religious wrong as far as I’m concerned). The wholesale derision of arguably the most successful innovation in human history (science) by one of the most destructive establishments of human history (organized religion) is tantamount to intellectual armageddon. And Richard Dawkins aims to stop it. Author of The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition–with a new Introduction by the Author and The God Delusion, Dawkins mercilessly annihilates bullshit wherever he finds it.
Who have I missed? Let me know in the comments.