Penn Jillette Responds Perfectly After Chicago News Anchor Tells Him His Book Title is ‘Negative’

Penn Jillette appeared on Chicago’s WGN-TV yesterday morning and pushed back hard when anchor Robin Baumgarten suggested that the title of his book, Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday!, had a negative undertone to it:

[The video plays automatically, so you can click here to watch it.]

Penn just kept the attention on Baumgarten, asking her why she felt it was negative. The best she could come up with was that it implied that other holidays were “not cool,” which made no sense at all and he let her know it:

Jillette: Every day is a day that we’re full of life, we’re with our families, we see sunrises, sunsets, we eat, we breathe, we have art. It’s a total, total celebration of every single day! I think calling someone who loves every day of their life ‘negative’ seems a little bit… a little bit odd!

It seemed to me like the trigger word in the title wasn’t holiday, but rather “atheist.” Baumgarten couldn’t understand how an atheist could be happy and smiling and enjoying life. It just didn’t compute. Jillette was right to not let her question slide. Even better, his response showed just how bad and (arguably) offensive her question was.

Can you imagine Baumgarten saying to Pastor Joel Osteen, “Your book title is ‘Your Best Life Now’… doesn’t that imply that life up to this point has been very depressing?”

I sure can’t.

(Thanks to Andy for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.