Maybe Conan would like to do it?

This is not good news.

The Center for Inquiry has announced that there will be three new hosts for its popular podcast, Point of Inquiry. Joining the podcast are Chris Mooney, Karen Stollznow, and Robert Price…Mooney is expected to host about half of the approximately 50 new shows per year.

DJ Grothe, who was the host, left in December for a job as President of the James Randi Foundation. I was pleased at the time for DJ and for JREF, but worried for Point of Inquiry. DJ was a very good host.

Chris Mooney seems to me to be a very peculiar choice for that job. (He and Matthew Nisbet were both protégés of Paul Kurtz’s – Nisbet in particular used to make a great point of this, and for all I know still does.) Mooney is not: Thoughtful enough. Inquiring enough. Reasonable enough. Fair enough.

He’s especially, I think, not inquiring enough. He doesn’t even seem to get what it is to be inquiring – it’s not his thing. His thing is advocacy. Now advocacy is very useful, and it’s good that there are people who do it, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right people to host podcasts about inquiry. Mooney is if anything hostile to inquiry – he’s a results guy. I can’t see him having the right kind of curiosity and open-mindedness to do a good job with PofI.

And then the fairness issue I think is a major stumbling block. Since the recent regrettable events, I wouldn’t trust Mooney to be fair to anyone who had disagreed with him in the last eight months or so – and that covers a hell of a lot of people, many of whom are naturals for PofI. That’s a huge change from DJ. It really seems like an odd choice – and not in a good way.

Addition: here’s the Point of Inquiry I did in 2007. And here’s Russell’s from last October.

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