Last night MSG Entertainment kicked off the second annual “Speaker Series: The Minds That Move the World,” at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Speaker Series is a string of events that serve as a medium for understanding politics through the insights of “some of the most prominent political figures of our time”. The prominent political figures of this event included Bill Maher and Ann Coulter debating a forum of “Humorous Perspectives and Serious Issues”.
I had to convince Kevin to go to this debate due to our mutual dislike for Ann Coulter and skepticism that she could contribute to an intellectual debate without a total reliance on false truths. This assessment correctly summed up Coulter’s entire defense; an argument of nonsense rooted in lame old GOP lies such as “Bush prevented a terrorist attack”. But Bill kept the discussion hilarious (“Those rich Republicans would sell the Red Cross to Dracula!”), respectful and coherent. There is only so much that can be said when you are arguing with one who does not believe in evolution and is waiting for Sarah Palin to run again. The debate was no contest and as soon as Maher called her out on falsifying statistics when discussing stem cell research, Bush politics, and current WH policy, the theatre erupted from their sickness of her. It sounded like even her own crowd booed her when she declared she would date Rush Limbaugh! It was an interesting dynamic between the two and their history of friendship didn’t get in the way of Bill challenging her bold lines of bullshit.
The sold out crowd is questioned by moderator Mark Halperin to find out if they are there to see Bill or Ann and if they voted Obama or McCain. I was surprised to hear a strong Coulter crowd in the balcony but not pleased to have to deal with the constant heckling from them and some others in the audience. The heckling was directed at both speakers, to the point that Bill had to ask “Really…at Radio City? I would expect this in Jersey.” But the crowd stayed cool long enough for the show to go on and I would say most people, including Kevin and I, walked out praising Maher’s performance and questioning Coulter’s species/sanity/days left until hospitalized for malnourishment.
This show was funny if not very informative but there are some more serious events to attend during this series. Over the next couple months, Radio City Music Hall, Wang Theatre in Boston, and the legendary Chicago Theatre will each host four of these speaker series events with different political leaders and pundits, including Al Gore, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove and Arianna Huffington, just to name a few.