New Zealand's Eric Feigl-Dingleberry
This article is primarily for the American crowd that doesn’t follow the international scene too closely, but might be enjoyed by Kiwis as well.
In March 2020, an environmental microbiologist appeared as if out of nowhere in New Zealand to instruct us all on how to wash our hands properly.
Oh yes. She sure did.
Over and over and over this single scientist was featured in New Zealand media, to the near exclusion of all others… except the one who told us masks were useless because we could be infected through our eyes… and the other one who predicted 80,000 covid deaths.
Does this kind of sudden appearance in early 2020 remind you of any other “apparating” Covid Concern Trolls Extraordinaire?
A scientific advisor to Ardern (also hailing from Imperial College — now where have we heard of this institution before?), her role (yes, I am using her preferred pronouns) impressively and continually expanded. Don’t take my word for it. She has been a regular contributor to Stuff and The Spinoff for two years now.
Here’s a broader sample of her “work” on behalf of New Zealanders:
And from Stuff’s Feb. 6 article on AirNZ allowing the removal of masks to eat:
The article continues:
You get the idea. We were pummeled on a weekly or even daily basis with this dour hectoring.
Just (at least) one problem with all of this:
Good article there. If you follow it you can see the video footage and decide for yourself.
Did she stop there? Of course not. You’re not supposed to believe your lying eyes:
Hilarious! At this point it’s like Eric Feigl-Ding, Leana Wen, and Neil Ferguson all rolled into one.
But wait! There’s more!
She and another scientist ganged up on their employer for supposedly not protecting them enough from harassment from dangerous people like you and me who take pictures of them in public and draw attention to things they’ve said and stuff:
Pot…. Kettle… Projection, thy name begins with S.. I… O… U… X… S…
As a brief diversion, what happens when you email S.. I… O… U… X… S…? This happens!
But wait! There’s more!
Empowered by her new roles as Chief Covid Concern Troll and New Zealander of the Year (!) she took on another position: Crybully in Charge, organizing a modern day struggle session against her peers:
….Dr Wiles … sent an inflammatory tweet to urge her academic peers to sign: “Calling all academics in Aotearoa New Zealand. Add your name to the open letter if you are also appalled by that letter claiming to defend science published last week in the NZ Listener. It’s caused untold harm and hurt & points to major problems with some of our colleagues.”
At that point, in many people’s minds Dr Wiles had crossed a line into encouraging what looked suspiciously like a pile-on against fellow academics with a view to silencing them.
Things got worse for her when the Royal Society Te Apārangi, New Zealand’s premier academy for the sciences and humanities, began disciplinary action in November against the three professors who were Fellows — Robert Nola, Garth Cooper and Michael Corballis (who has since died). The action was sparked by complaints about their having signed the Listener letter — although it should be noted that Wiles says she was not one of the complainants.
The news of what was quickly dubbed an “inquisition” at the hands of the Royal Society aroused the interest — and outrage — of some of the world’s most celebrated scientists, including Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and Jerry Coyne.
After which she was finally slapped down by the Media Council:
I’m sure there’s oh so much more and we all know better than to think this is the end of it, but who has the time?
But in the meantime, imagine my feelings when I saw the following on the internets.
Poor Poosie! How simply frightful! How humiliating!