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

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.

Matt Dean's mom wants him to apologize to Neil Gaiman for being a potty-mouth.
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.


Gaiman remains equally bemused and baffled by Dean's outburst of personal thuggery. As he told City Pages yesterday, he can't figure out what drove Dean's outburst yesterday, unless it was Dean's secret and suppressed sexual attraction to the author.

Will Neil Gaiman accept the Mom-mandated pseudo-apology?
Will Neil Gaiman accept the Mom-mandated pseudo-apology?

Gaiman is recommending Dean's constituents take another look at the statesman they've elected to represent them, but beyond that he says he doesn't have much interest in engaging with Dean:

"That sounds like kicking a dog-shit in the street to punish it," he said yesterday. "You just end up with dog-shit all over you. Why would you do that?"

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