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Old 19th June 2008, 05:37 AM   #128
Undesired Walrus
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London
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This is from Gravy. Thanks Gravy!

Dan K. Stanley was joking (don't know why). I don't expect the shows to be on the web for a couple of weeks. Gage had them videotaped on his end. He'll send the tape to the Hardfire producer, who will combine it with the tape shot in the NY studio...a good idea which I assume was Gage's. He was connected by telephone to us. There were a few audio glitches.

The host was John Clifton, an amiable guy. I had thought he was merely sympathetic to truther claims, but he's actually a a hardcore truther. He doesn't seem to be aware of much of the evidence on the...er...evidence-based side. I kept inviting him to check out my website. He didn't seem to go out of his way to show bias against me, though. I talked with him quite a bit before and after the taping but don't think I made a dent. He's a believer in many conspiracy theories, with the overriding belief that the government controls so much information that it's impossible to know what's true. Well, the government doesn't control the physical laws of the universe, which are what falsify Richard Gage's claims.

It was originally to be one show, about the three WTC skyscraper collapses, with Gage choosing the topics. Most of my preparation was about the Twin Towers, since that's what Gage spends most of his time on and makes his most extreme claims about.

To give the show some structure and to insure equal time, last week I proposed this format:

1) Mr. Gage would choose his five best pieces of evidence in favor of controlled demolition. I would not know the topics in advance.

2) Each topic would receive a two-minute summary of evidence by the first presenter, then a two-minute rebuttal, then a 15-second response by the first presenter.

3) We would alternate being the first to present on a topic, to avoid the same person doing a rebuttal each time (assuming that I'd learn the topics when the show started). Considering overruns and topic introductions by John, that format should have taken about 24 minutes, leaving about 3 minutes for guest introductions and other topics.

That proposal was rejected.

Before we took our seats, I was informed by John Cifton that the subject was going to be restricted to WTC 7. I was not pleased by this, since I had prepared to discuss all WTC topics and had done a Hardfire show with Ron and Arthur Scheuerman about WTC 7 in February...for which we could find no prominent truther opponent. I would rather have covered new ground. However, since my policy is that I'll debate any prominent non-insane truther on their own turf, I went along with this change of plans.

As it turned out, producer Gary Popkin made time for two shows, and we did cover some Twin Towers ground in the second, although not in the detail necessary. By that time the debate had gotten pretty heated, and Gage was jumping around from claim to claim a bit. In retrospect, one show would have been almost comically insufficient, so I thank Gary for squeezing two in. Three would have been far better, but then I'd be wanting four.... As I explained to someone yesterday, I could easily do a 10-hour solo presentation on all Gage gets wrong, with no preparation. Condensing everything to a few minutes is difficult.

It was amusing hearing Gage being coached about WTC 7 specifics before the show. He didn't know we could hear him and at that point he couldn't hear us. Let's just say that he was...confused about important points with only two minutes to go.

Gage requested just before the show started that we adhere to my suggested 2-minute presentation format after all...too bad I hadn't prepared for that format. But Gage didn't want to alternate being the first to present on a topic as I had suggested. This put me at a bit of a disadvantage since I had to always respond to what he said on the show, as opposed to being able to raise the many other – and nuttier – things he says about each topic in his other presentations. There was no time to argue this point since the show was starting.

John began the show with a statement that consisted of two quotes by Ron Paul, one of which was misleading and irrelevant (the 9/11 Commission didn't discuss the collapse of WTC 7), and the other of which was wrong and irrelevant (Bin Ladens were flown out of the US after 9/11 before airspace was open to others). We were not asked to comment on those quotes. Because I didn't want to immediately embarrass a host who was already biased against me, I held my tongue. That was not easy to do.

I don't think we adhered closely to the 2-minute debate/rebuttal format, but I could be wrong about that. These shows go by so fast that they're mostly a blur. The second show was more free-form.

Gage used part of his time to play vldeos that we in New York couldn't see and for the most part couldn't hear. Although I know the context of the videos, I would rather have dealt with Gage directly.

Unlike the other Hardfire shows I've done, each of these shows was interrupted midway by a promotion for the New York Libertarian Party...more time lost.

I never got to use my two most devastating responses because Gage didn't raise the topics. I was very surprised, since he'd raised them in every presentation I'd seen him give. Perhaps he understands his vulnerability there.

The sheer volume of Gage's wrongness can be mind-numbing: in his online Powerpoint presentation I cataloged 311 false statements, 114 misleading statements, and 137 logical fallacies. There were lots of important points I missed during the shows, but that's always the case and I don't kick myself too much about it. People will be directed to my website, where I'll have a page dedicated to these shows and links for investigating each claim. I wanted to have a graphic added for bolo's ae911truth.info site, but the producer wouldn't allow it since I hadn't mentioned it during the shows.

People shouldn't get too excited about seeing the shows. Although the debate got heated at times, I was bored stiff throughout since Gage was being more cautious than usual and no new ground was covered. With a few exceptions, they're the same old claims that had been debunked long before AE911truth existed.

There's quite a bit of editing to be done after Gary gets Gage's tape, so I don't imagine the shows will be up soon. Although it took getting him a sympathetic host, Gage gets credit for showing. It's been over a year since anyone's agreed to debate me. A couple of times, after he said certain evidence didn't exist and I explained that it did, he seemed open to reviewing that. A glimmer of light in the dark, perhaps.

–Mark

P.S. I find the fact that there's a three-page thread devoted to a show that hasn't aired yet to be...odd.

Oh, and the BBC show on WTC 7 is to be aired July 6. Looking forward to that one.
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