I haven’t listened to Skeptoid in over a year, and, honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. Aside from Brian Dunning’s nauseating libertarian platitudes, I found myself increasingly turned off by his shameless pleas for cash. Dunning obviously put a lot of work into that show, but for the amount of product plugging, commercializing, and pan-handling per five-to-ten-minute episode, you’d think he was trying to finance TAM for the next ten years.
But he wasn’t. He was trying to finance himself… to the tune of a million dollars or so.
Now he’s going to prison. Deservedly.
And I don’t say this to dance on his proverbial grave, but to make a simple point: Brian Dunning is not a particularly good person, nor a particularly appropriate spokesman for skepticism. He’s a greedy libertarian goon distilled in the hypercapitalist environs of a Silicon Valley board room. Whatever his personal proclivities towards skepticism may be, the fact of the matter is that he used his podcast and resultant celebrity not as a means to make a buck, but to make as many fucking bucks as it would get him. And, as it should happen, he’s a fucking fraudster to boot, differentiated from those whom he so regularly attacked only in that he admitted his guilt.
He deserves much worse than he’s getting, to be honest. If I were caught breaking into a home to steal a fraction of what Dunning walked away with, I’d be sitting in prison for years. And it wouldn’t be the white collar collar facility Dunning in which dunning will be residing for the next fifteen months.
But in this country, I’ll take what little justice I can get.
The rest, I fear, is up to us. If Brian comes knocking when his 15 months are up, are we going to open the door?