Apparently he received enough feedback from people about his chicken approach to dealing with LDS evidence, that June 15,2010 he announced (@ 5:10 into the show) that 2011 would be "the year of the guest", he would allow anyone on his show, including apologists "defenders of the faith", the LDS president, whomever, and that he would not debate the guest, but they would be allowed to present their view, and the entire hour would be devoted to reviewing the guest's views.
He then also stated that "I [Shawn] am forever being accused on the Internet about, uh, refusing to allow informed Latter-day Saints to call in, they're always welcome, so here's their chance. They can be a guest for the full hour, and they can sit and talk. We invite any and all. And Again, this means atheists, polygamists, people who receive revelations, defenders of the faith, Book of Mormon supporters, testimony sharers, ..." "Write Shawn at..."
So I wrote Shawn on July 17, 2010 after a person on YouTube suggested I contact him. I told him I was available, and I offered a long list of potential topics. He responded:
Thank you for your willingness to appear on Heart of the Matter.
We will contact you in the coming months with a date for your consideration and topic. We will try and provide you with at least four months of preparation time, in case you need it. Speak with you soon. And thank you for your willingness to participate.
Heart of the Matter
And so, according to Shawn's word, I waited for contact about a specific date. And waited. And waited.
So I sent him a note last week, 6-months after he said he would contact me.
Have not heard from anyone in the 6 months since your original note. Just curious if this is still something you are considering, or if the program has opted to go a different direction. Either way, drop me a note.
He promptly responded:
We've headed a new direction. Only had seven or eight really reputable
guests willing to come on the program - not enough to build a year on.
Thanks for being willing. God bless.
Notice the change. No longer "anyone", but "reputable guests".
I think this is because he was afraid of what would happen. If you don't have too many guests, and instead get 8 scholars on the program who run circles around you, this does not show well. His experience with Van Hale shows what happens when serious logic thwarts his uninformed emotionalism. He gets mad, sarcastic and becomes aggressively offensive, in my opinion.
So I wrote back and said I could possibly help locate additional guests by speaking with my LDS defender friends, and if nothing else, I would be happy to go to dinner with Shawn. Shawn had no interest unless I was willing to convert to his satisfaction to a belief in his Jesus. I told him I already believed Jesus was the only way to salvation, so we could go eat. He replied he had no interest.
So just to be clear, Shawn's call screener had told me I couldn't get on the air. When I slipped through an apparently uninitiated call screener, I was accused of lying, and Shawn affirmed what the previous call screen had said, namely I was banned from being on the show.
Then he said on air everyone is allowed to call in. Really? He must have forgotten his own words.
Then he said he would have me on the show. Then he said he wouldn't.
My goodness. He changes positions faster than a president after a political shellacking.
Or is there more here? Sadly, no. I had told several people Shawn would never have people like me on his program, as the risk was too great for him to come off badly. He would rather have a few people find out he won't have Mormons on his show, than have everyone see "the fruits of a born again Mormon."