Why doesn't anyone air a debate show?

I think that people would like to hear both sides of an argument before coming to a conclusion. Why isn’t someone airing a show that allows supporters from each side of an issue to present their case, and then have an intelligent discussion afterwards?

You mean something like Real Time with Bill Maher?

I’d like to see a show where the participants’ heads appear in a grid Brady Bunch style. Each participant gets a predetermined chunk of time and the others can’t interrupt and talk over like the McLaughlin Group shout-fest.

You mean like “Point / Counterpoint”?

You mean like Question Time (UK series)?

I think we want a show without a smarmy dickhead hosting it :wink:

You mean like Intelligence Squared?

Moved to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

Was coming in to mention this one. It was/is apparently a UK thing originally; the one pitting Hitch and Stephen Fry against some Catholic MP and an African Bishop on whether the Catholic Church was a force for good is lovely. :slight_smile:

I haven’t seen this show since it was on network tv, but from what I remember, it was more of a coffee table discussion rather than a formal debate. I think a debate show is an interesting concept, but not likely to gain much popular traction. Maybe if the losers had to eat bugs or something.

You mean like Pardon the Interruption?

Will definitely have to check that one out!

Check YouTube–it’s worth it if you’ve got an hour to spare.

For politics, they had Crossfire, but Jon Stewart was a guest and shredded the hosts and the entire concept and it was cancelled soon after.


I did not know any of these shows except Real Time, and I don’t see that because I don’t have HBO. Thanks for all the links, I’ll be watching these on the internet.

While some may argue (heh!) with this suggestion, perhaps, The McLaughlin Group?

Crazy idea, but you could even watch the actual debates;

It’s hard to find a show on TV these days that gives equal time to both sides, and inevitably the hosts’ own political viewpoint sets the tone of the debate. That said, there are hosts who are aware of their biases, and strive to give equal time to opposing viewpoints.

On a daily basis, Rachel Maddow does an excellent job of letting people with whom she disagrees have their say. She used to have a regular segment with her political polar opposite Pat Buchanan (it ended when he went on a racist rant). The problem is that she has had a very difficult time getting politicians with opposing viewpoints as guests, probably because she cheerfully gives them more than enough rope to hang themselves.

Every Saturday and Sunday, Chris Hayes hosts Up with Chris Hayes, two hours of intelligent discussion, and almost always has at least one guest representing the opposing viewpoint, who are again, allowed to express their viewpoint in full.

“Both sides”? How many topics have only two sides to them? A show based on that premise would be so distorted that it wouldn’t be informative anyway.

Here’s one I miss: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tough_Crowd_with_Colin_Quinn

RIP Patrice.