Thursday, November 08, 2007

Shermer Versus Ryan Debate Wrapup

Kudos to Michael Shermer for doing a very, very good job. There were only a couple of missteps. Always consider your audience and tailor your responses based on that. This was an Air America audience. Shermer could have scored big by noting that Ryan was questioning whether the Bush Administration was incompetent, and that he was pretty sure Hartmann would not be surprised at that notion. And the Put Options question should be a slam dunk; all you have to do is note that the Put Options on United were bought by an investor who also purchased a large block of American Airlines stock.

But he hit almost every other note perfectly, and of course it's easy to critique from the sidelines. I'm not saying I wouldn't have made mistakes, just not those particular ones. ;)

Waterboy Wonder was miserable, no surprise. He started out slowly, with the usual "the government's own story is a conspiracy theory". About the only time he was effective was when Hartmann gave him some help with a blizzard of facts lead-in. He absolutely chunked his wrapup by claiming that the conspiracy theory is the only theory supported by the evidence; that's too big a leap for the non-CT crowd and he should have done the usual "there are enough questions that a new investigation is required".

And Hartmann was awful, especially after the debate where he agreed with all the woo callers and stepped all over the non-CTers. The notion that he's an "agnostic" is just a fig leaf. He's full-on Troofer.

Update: For the most laughable attempt to prop up Ryan, check out this ridiculous post by Alex Floum. He's put up some floaters in the past, but this is quite bizarre. Talking about the South Tower and the fact that controlled demolitions always proceed from the bottom:

While this may be considered demolition from the "top" of the building, if -- instead -- we imagine that the top is comprised of a 30-story high building, the demolition would actually proceed from the bottom of that building.

I'm speechless.

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