Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blogging makes you skinny

In November 2002, I appeared on a local public-access show to debate politics with three conservatives (one of whom was playing a liberal for balance). For those of you who are used to recent photos of me, I'm the one on the far left. I filled in for an absent panel member guest on VERY short notice, and the prep notes he gave me beforehand were entitled "Nicaraguan economy" just to scare the hell out of me.

The guy all the way to the right was the head of the College Republicans. At one point I flubbed whatever point I was making and said something like, "Well, I don't always follow what I'm saying." To which the College Republican muttered, "I know, I read your column." He said it so softly that I didn't even hear it until I watched the tape.

Another highlight: a caller asked us what we thought of illegal immigration (yes, it DID exist in 2002, apparently). After the other three guys spoke their peace (war?), I said, "I would worry less about who's in the hospital and more about the fact that a lot of people can't afford to even go to the hospital." Then I launched into some anecdote about my recent back surgery, proving something or other. I don't remember; I had to turn off the tape because it rivals getting my knee injured by my brother at age 14 for all-time home-video embarrassment.

To date, this is the only occasion that I've appeared on TV to discuss politics. I might have appeared more often, except that the host (seen above, with me) announced that this was the final episode of the show. Bill Maher's show used the same excuse when I tried to get booked on there. Go figure.

In the three-and-a-half years since then, I've laid off the chicken fingers and the windy anecdotes. So if any of you TV types are looking for a talking head, I'm available. Mainly because I miss those chicken fingers. Mmmmmm.

I'm quite media-genic, as this picture clearly doesn't show. And I promise to talk like one of them there city boys. Also, I'm not Dan Rather, which seems to be the number-one requirement for being on TV these days. Have your people call my people and we'll do lunch.

Offer void where prohibited, like at Fox News.


Cajun Tiger said...

Hmmmm...maybe I need to quit blogging being I'm trying to gain weight =)

Nick said...

Well, when I appeared on AOC's News from the Underground, it was me against the president of UL's college Dems. The host, who was supposed to be "neutral" is a big time liberals and it turned out to be a gang up on the conservative show. It was priceless though to see the look on their faces when I told them I supported hanging every child rapists in the public square.

The guy who was the president for UL's Dems. was an idiot, though. I even had a far-Left high school classmate, whom I bumped into at a bar, tell me I won the show down b/c even though he didn't agree w/ my views, the Dem., whom he personally knew, was a bumbling idiot.

Speechie said...

I saw that show, Ian...hahahah. Yes, you've definitely lost some weight. Perhaps I should blog more. The offer is also void in Utah*.

*see MST3K and the story of my life

oyster said...

You handsome devil.

Make sure your game is super-tight before you become a visible talking head. I want you to be able to mow conservatives down when you get on TV. Not just a "worthy opponent" but a dominant TV debater. Basically, that means controlling the context of the debate whenever possible, making strong quick points that hit home with Joe Average, never losing your cool, staying on topic and answering the question that was asked, and responding to specious bumper-sticker arguments with devastating rejoinders. Plus a little signature IM personality and humor.

That's what I'd like to see, anyway. Or you can go the Ann Coulter route and try to piss people off by making incendiary statements about the humanity and the motives of your ideological opponents.

It wouldn't hurt to get some experience on radio first on the political call-in shows. And I wouldn't dismiss any forum out of hand that invites you-- even Fox news.

Ian McGibboney said...

Thanks for the input, oyster. It's very sound advice. I've certainly come a long in the debating game, having sharpened my brain against a plethora of the smart (and not-so-smart) over the past several years. Not saying I'm yet ready for a large audience, but I've mostly removed personal passions from my debates. I discovered a long time ago that they don't help things.

As for Fox News, I'd actually very much like to be on there. It'd be a thrill to be one of those guests who is never invited back because he made the host look like the moron they are.

Not that I'm holding my breath in any case.

ccgirl said...

You are much easier on the eyes than Alan Colmes!