Matt Dean sort of apologizes to Neil Gaiman because his mom made him

Categories: Politics
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Matt Dean's mom didn't raise a name-calling bully. Or did she?
Just about everyone was taken aback yesterday when Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean launched a peculiar and unhinged attack on noted local author Neil Gaiman.

In a discussion about arts funding through the Legacy Amendment, Dean suddenly revealed his inner Nelson Muntz, bringing up Gaiman, "who I hate," and calling the author a "pencil-necked little weasel."

UPDATE: Read Gaiman's reaction to Dean's half-assed apology

If the outburst made Dean look like some sort of petty schoolyard bully yesterday, that impression was only reinforced today, when he issued a grudging apology, making it clear that he was only doing so because his mom made him.

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Matt Dean's mom wants him to apologize to Neil Gaiman for being a potty-mouth.
"My mom is staying with us right now," Dean told MPR.
"My wife's out of town, and she was very angry this morning and always taught me to not be a name caller. And I shouldn't have done it, and I apologize."

Still, Dean says, Gaiman shouldn't have accepted a $45,000 speaking fee for a talk at a Stillwater library last year. Gaiman is rich, Dean says. "He could probably donate a few hours of his time for some kids who follow him and like his books."

Gaiman has pointed out that donate is exactly what he did--he gave a third of his fee to a sex-abuse charity and the rest to a library-related charity.



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29 comments
Kaitlyn the Strange
Kaitlyn the Strange

This reminds me of the bit in Iron Angels (the HBO American suffragette movement movie) where a senator shamefacedly changes his vote on the 19th amendment after getting a telegram from his clearly more awesome mother.

Boanerges35
Boanerges35

What Neil should do is to incorporate (Gaiman Inc.), then ask the MN gov't for some corporate handouts and tax breaks. If he doesn't get the aforementioned handouts, threaten to leave the state. Dean would be in love with him then.

Nhokkanen
Nhokkanen

A few years back Rep. Matt Dean's profoundly disrespectful behavior at a Minnesota House health committee hearing left an indelible impression.

A woman testified in riveting detail about the faulty pacemaker implanted in her chest. She told how the manufacturer had known about the product defect, but failed to inform consumers.

As the woman described how her heart stopped on an airplane in midair, Rep. Matt Dean was smiling and yukking it up with some chuckle-headed one-termer from outstate.

Rena McGee
Rena McGee

That is just so entirely random. Mind bogglingly random. What next? Will he call Diane Duane "A total dorkface geek"?

Ho
Ho

Let me understand Gaiman's apologia: if he hadn't done the speaking gig the money would have gone back to the taxpayers. We can't have that, can we?

Neil Fan
Neil Fan

I don't see what the problem is. Isn't that accurate?

Steve Stein
Steve Stein

Wait. This pasty-faced asshole is making fun of *other* people's looks? Seriously?

Lslott
Lslott

Obviously this man has no clue who you are or what you do/ have done in regard to paying it forward.

orientalwriter
orientalwriter

This pisses me off. Gaiman went to our country and funded a writing award program just so local writers can get recognized again. And, when I met him, he is a really nice guy. Unfortunately, my dad did raise me to be a name-calling bully, so my miseducation allows me to call Matt Dean an ignorant, un-evolved dickhead.

that_bluebird
that_bluebird

What a sublime jackwagon this guy is. Downright idiotic to go off half-cocked with zero facts on his side. I look forward to removing this guy from office.

Tony Chavira
Tony Chavira

Thousands of dollars are best spent on educational speakers than the salaries of ignorant politicians, I say.

Wrenn Simms
Wrenn Simms

So he grudgingly apologizes, and then makes another mistake due to a total lack of information about the person he's denigrating. Sigh. Somehow it never got back to Dean that the total fee was donated to charity?

In all of this it is also being forgotten by the media that the money in question was a legacy/ grant. If it had not been used to bring in an author or the like it would have not been used. It could not be repurposed to pay salaries, or upkeep.

Faith Steinberg
Faith Steinberg

Thanks for sharing. So hard sometimes to tell real news from The Onion. I hadn't realized Neil Gaiman lived in your part of the world.

kamrade
kamrade

Missed opportunity to highlight republican attempts now underway to hijack legacy funds.

SquidEatinDough
SquidEatinDough

You fucked with the wrong "geek", Republican douchebag.

Laura Dean
Laura Dean

Matt Dean learned everything he knows about politics from Michele Bachmann.

Albatross
Albatross

This is what happens when we let the Koch brothers pick our legislators.BTW the "suppressed sexual attraction" quote was brilliant, not the least reason being that it's probably true. Has Dean sponsored any anti-homosexual legislation? That's always a dead giveaway of a self-loathing Republican. To say nothing of living with his mother. Bets that Rep. Dean will soon be caught in a double-occupancy restroom stall.

Starman
Starman

Point of order: The speaking fee was $40,000 - not $45,000. (I'm not sure where Dean got that number from) And nearly 1/4 of that went to taxes. And Gaiman donated all of his fee to two seperate charities.

Dean obviously didn't bother to get to know anything about the man he hates so much. Ignoring that most of Neil Gaiman's work isn't "for the kids" (and don't get me started on that whole insuation that only little children read fantasy B.S.), Gaiman is involved with several charitable organizations, including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Hero Initative.

Snorkel
Snorkel

Just ridiculous. This guy needs to stop opening his mouth. If I were his mother I would be ticked too. I'd hate for people to know I raised such an idiot.

Junebug
Junebug

"He could probably donate a few hours of his time for some kids who follow him and like his books." Well, for someone who proclaims to "hate" Mr. Gaiman, he certainly knows very little about his work. While some is aimed at younger readers, most is not. Perhaps Mr. Dean should be more concerned with how the allocation of state funds is made (and why they expire when not used) instead attacking strangers.

Westwoodman
Westwoodman

Sometimes you just gotta wonder. Other times, you can pretty much be sure. This is one of those.

AmyK
AmyK

"...he can't figure out what drove Dean's outburst yesterday, unless it was Dean's secret and suppressed sexual attraction to the author." Hilarious :)

Marion Gropen
Marion Gropen

There are so many things wrong with that sentence and the assumptions behind it that I have a problem figuring out where to start!

First, authors are rarely as rich as the public thinks that they are. (And I've paid enough royalty checks to know the truth of that!) Second, even rich people are entitled to get paid for their work. Third, speaking fees for celebrities are normal. Anyone who thinks differently is a naive idiot. The fact that Gaiman chose to donate his fee in this instance is an example of someone going above and beyond, not something that we as the public have a right to expect.

And as an aside, I agree with Gaiman -- I'm a fan of Dean's mom, too!

Snorkel
Snorkel

First, as has been stated numerous times, Gaiman donated the money to two separate charities. Gaiman makes his money off of writing best selling books. According to his blog he donates the money he earns from speaking engagements almost every time he does one. From the sounds of it, with regards to the Stillwater speaking gig, he actually ended up donating more money to sexual abuse victems and underfunded libraries then he ended up making from the gig.

Second, Gaiman has also stated that he will typically due a speaking gig for a library at a lower cost if asked to. Nobody asked. The point being that the people who booked Gaiman did not have an issue with his price tag. They felt it was worth it, and they had the money to make it happen. Should Gaiman have told them that they were wrong? Perhaps Dean should be yelling at the people who booked Gaiman. When you see people living on welfare with satellite TV do you get mad at the satellite TV company for selling them the service or do you get mad at the people on welfare for having their priorities mixed up?

Third, It is not like Gaiman reached out to Stillwater library and demanded to be offered a speaking engagement. Stillwater library contacted Gaiman's assistant, asked if he were available and for how much, and then agreed to book him. Gaiman showed up and did what he was paid to do. No guns, threats, or breaking and entering were involved. This was not theft. This was capitalism. Gaiman feels comfortable with speaking at $45,000. That's his market price. If the market feels his price is too high, then he should find himself with more time on his hands for writing (Which, according to his FAQ, is exactly the point).

Steph
Steph

So instead he gave it to abuse victims and underfunded libraries.

Jdawg
Jdawg

You are a regular Adonis. 

Eleisabelle
Eleisabelle

I don't know how accurate this is, but I also heard that, if the library hadn't spent the money they had left, they would likely have had their budget cut by that amount for this year. So it was something of a self-preservation thing, I believe. Can anyone verify that this is the case?

Mel
Mel

I don't know for sure if that's the case here, but it *usually* is in situations like this. Usually if you don't use the money, it's decided you clearly don't need it (which doesn't really follow logically, but that's another story) and thus your budget is cut for the following year. Regardless of whether or not it might make more sense to be able to roll over the money, or put it to a different use. That's just the way it goes...

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