August 25, 2007

Get the Stein Out: Expel Ben Stein

This is a rewritten post. In my original entry and letter, I confused Visine with Clear Eyes; Ben Stein is the spokesman for Clear Eyes, not for Visine. I want to extend my appreciation to the anonymous commenter who corrected this egregious error on my part and apologize to everyone who left a comment previously. It was just easier to delete the old entry than to try fixing it. Honestly, I'm a bit red-faced over the factual error and faulty memory on my part. The sentiment, however, stands. I had not yet mailed my own letter, having missed mail pick-up today, but a correct one will be going out with Monday morning's mail. My profound apologies for the confusion.

In light of Ben Stein's decision to star in and promote the upcoming Creationist film Expelled, a film whose advertising includes such ridiculous claims as
All over the world, Big Science is on the march, making sure that Neo-Darwinian Materialist Theory is protected, and that any challenges and challengers are dealt with...properly.


and which has used duplicitous means to finagle interviews with, and quote mine, real scientists such as PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, I have taken it upon myself to send a letter to the parent company of Clear Eyes.

The reason I have done this is simple. Clear Eyes is a product manufactured by Prestige Brands, Inc.,. That's not all they make, of course. Some of their other brands are listed in my letter. The point is that I will refuse to buy any of their products until Prestige Brands notifies the public that they are no longer associated with Creationists like Stein.

Forget the red; GET THE STEIN OUT!

The text of my letter is reproduced below. I would encourage anyone reading this to send a similar letter; this can be downloaded as a Word document if you like, although you might want to customize it a bit.
August 25, 2007

Mark Pettie
Prestige Brands, Inc.
90 North Broadway
Irvington, NY 10533

Dear Mr. Pettie,

I am writing to you today to urge your company to dissolve any association between your products and actor Ben Stein, best known as a spokesperson for your Clear Eyes product line.

As you may be aware, Ben Stein has agreed to star in, and is helping to promote, an upcoming movie entitle Expelled. The purpose of this film is to advance the cause of a so-called alternative to modern evolutionary biology known as Intelligent Design. As a review of the film's website, and of the records of supporters of Intelligent Design in general, make readily apparent, what they are advocating is not a scientific theory but a thinly disguised salvo in the so-called "Culture War." The purpose of this is to introduce the teaching of theology in science classrooms in the United States and abroad.

As a biologist and supporter of legitimate science education, I cannot countenance such a tactic. To that end, I will not purchase any products manufactured by your company. I realize that this includes much more than Clear Eyes, and so among the products my family will cease buying immediately are Chloraseptic, Heet, Murine, Comet, Spic and Span, Cutex, Denorex, and any other product that falls under the Prestige Brands banner.

In short, Mr. Pettie, your corporation's continued employment of Ben Stein in television commercials constitutes, to my mind, a tacit endorsement of overturning science and science education. Until such time as I am made aware that you have gotten Stein out, I will not be using Clear Eyes to "get the red out."

I know that mine is a very small blog, and so if you're seeing this now, please help make your feelings known by spreading the word. If you can post a link in your own blog, place a copy of the letter there, whatever you can think of to get the word out. And please, send a letter yourself! If there's one thing that CEO's understand, it's the bottom line. Let's make Mr. Weldon aware that we can get together and impact it!

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