Thursday, July 14, 2005

Where's the open-minded liberal debate?

Mark in Mexico had a post pointing to an interesting article by John Stossel about the lack of open-minded debate in the liberal world these days. There were 2 gems in that story I found fascinating. The first was the comment he made about conservative vs. liberal media:

::::::::But where was the "open debate" the liberals like to praise? Mostly on the conservative broadcasts.

Conservative hosts had me on their programs even though some loathed my hard-core libertarian ideas. Maybe it's because conservatives in media are used to people disagreeing with them. In fact, if they live in New York City, they are used to liberals shrieking at them. Few conservatives wanted to spend much time debating drug prohibition (Sean Hannity was a rare exception), but at least they heard me out.

I had thought liberal shows would have me on their programs to trash my arguments. I looked forward to a spirited debate. But debate rarely happened. Nearly every media invitation came from people who already shared my belief in the free market. Those who didn't, didn't want to talk about it.

(Emphasis mine.) You know, he might have something there. It's a given, a default, that a conservative expressing his views on-air these days is going to have either 1) a host with a liberal slant arguing with him or 2) a liberal guest paired with him on the air arguing with him. For all practical purposes, a conservative going on-air knows he's going to have someone disagreeing with him - arguing with him - during his air-time. Liberals do not always have this kind of situation facing them. You have to wonder if that's what's making the debate (true debate) nearly non-existant on that side of the aisle these days.

The second one comes right near the end:

::::::::I thought I'd have a shot at a fair debate with Al Franken because we're acquaintances; our kids went to school together. No such luck. He invited me to his studio, but he barely let me make an argument; instead he ranted about a "lie" on page 305.

I did have had a wonderful time on Air America's "Morning Sedition," with a host who was furious that government doesn't stop Americans from eating too many Big Macs. I treasure the moment of silence that followed my saying that government that's big enough to tell you what to eat . . . is government big enough to tell you with whom you can have sex.

I imagine he does treasure it, and so would I. The fact that the silence was there shows in glorious detail that the thought of such a thing never crossed his opponent's mind. Why? Why would someone who thinks it's such a grand idea to have the government telling you what you can and can't eat not be able to see that it's just a small step sideways to regulating other personal behavior? Simple: because in all the expounding he's done on the topic, no one's ever debated him. Not unitl Stossel, anyway. Nice catch, John.