Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hugh Hewitt remembering Christopher Hitchens

Hugh Hewitt regularly welcomed Hitchens' on his radio show and speaks fondly of the man after his passing.
Christopher Hitchens, RIP
I will replay my last interview with Christopher Hitchens --a three hour conversation about his autobiography-- sometime between now and the New Year. He was a joy to interview and a wonder to listen to debate, unfailingly gracious to me, my other guests and my audience...

I suspect that every one of the 50 conversations we had on air between 2006 and 2010 is still of interest because Hitchens could not be other than interesting, a compelling voice for freedom and courage in the age of terror. All of those transcripts are in the archive, and a New Year's resolution of mine will be to arrange to have them put into a single CD set so that people will be able to hear as well as read his command of the language and of his arguments. We spent a great deal of time discussing God, and I hope and pray I am correct in my views and that he can concede to me on that subject when we meet again.
Christopher Hitchens in memoriam:
- The art of "Selling" - Christopher Hitchens with Ralph Reed on 'Hannity and Colmes'
- Controversial author Christopher Hitchens appearing at Sydney Writers Festival
- Watch Christopher Hitchens volunteer to get waterboarded for Vanity Fair Magazine
- The week that was: Honorary APF pundits

Monday, December 12, 2011

Newsweek: Republican Debates = Celebrity Wrestling?

Newsweek equates Republican Debates to Celebrity Wrestling?
The Amazing Race (David McNew / Getty Images)
Sept. 7 Simi Valley, Calif.
Do these candidates look presidential? President Obama’s 2012 opponent will likely be one of the eight Republicans who debated in September. None of them, however, seems able to gain a critical mass of support, and their acrimonious debates have come to resemble Celebrity Wrestling.
- Go to Newsweek Magazine
- Find Newsweek's gallery of "Spectacular" Pictures of 2011 here
- Find Politics-as-Wrestling related posts here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sam Seder doing non-stop 12 hour radio show on Majority.FM

Sam Seder doing a non-stop 12 hour radio show (from 11:30am ET at Majority.FM)?
Majority Report press Release
... WHY?

Good question, one I am asking myself as I write.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Majority Report re-launch. In that time we have had over 1,000,000 free podcast downloads, won the best News and Politics PodcastAward, and delivered unparalleled news and commentary all because of your support.

And today also marks the 2 month anniversary of OccupyWallStreet- a movement which has amazed me in its dedication, committment and capacity to impact our politics. Today, OccupyWallStreet will take direct action.

Even before the Billionaire Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, decided to try to muzzle the message of this movement by sending hundreds of police to crack down on peaceful occupiers and evict them from Liberty Square, this was to be a pivotal day in Occupy history. I want to be a part of it in the best way I know, which is to share it with you. So, I've decided to report on this day, all day.

None of this would be possible without the support of our Majority Report Members and as I write this I am awkwardly blowing a shofar in appreciation. If you are not a member- please, we need your support to keep doing the show every day.

Click here to keep the Majority Report Alive!

As for today, we'll also have a great lineup of some of my favorite guests and some folks with whom I've never spoken... on the bill tomorrow..

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Marc Maron talks to Norm Macdonald about politics and spirituality

On a recent live episode of the WTF podcast, political-talker Sam Seder ribbed his old friend and former 'Air America' co-host Marc Maron, "Politics! You remember politics right Marc?"

In a conversation with SNL alum Norm Macdonald, Marc Maron explains his current stance on Politics and Politicians.

Transcript: Maron on politicians (37min mark)
WTF Episode 219 - Norm Macdonald
NORM MACDONALD: ...Even with politicians, they're still human beings.

MARC MARON: Barely. But yeah, they're the worst f*cking people in the world. All of them!

MACDONALD: Well I agree, I'm glad to hear you say that because everybody thinks you're all leftist

MARON: Well I definitely land on the lefty side of things on ideological terms. I've found from doing political talk radio, carrying water for any of them you just gotta realise the quality of people you're dealing with. You're dealing with corporate whores who are operated by business interests. Really its gonna come down to - however you view politics- the question is "Do you give a sh*t about poor people?" and "Are we being taken advantage of?".

Now if you wanna frame that as "Obama is a communist and draining us of our livelihood", well that's your particular delusion and thats fine. But I just got disillusioned with all of it. These are not quality people. I did a joke on Michelle Bachmann on 'Real Time'...
MACDONALD: I saw that

MARON: Yeah and I was getting flack from a very small portion of the Right, (imitating) "He's a misogynist". Well she's a f*cking politician. Can you name me two politicians who demand any respect whatsoever. Why do we respect these people? These people are car salesman, they're idiots, they're more disingenuous than anybody as performers. They've basically figured out a way to bait and placate morons into voting against their self interest. It's an amazing skill but is it respectable? I don't know. Do you respect a guy who sells you horsesh*t in the guise of a health supplement?
The conversation goes into an interesting comparison of Politics and Evangelism and into a much larger, compelling discussion of spirituality.

- Listen to Norm Macdonald interviewing Ann Coulter (Jan 3, 2008)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Popular heels Glenn Beck and CM Punk deliver farewell promos

Crossing the midpoint of 2011, two of the most popular heels in America cut memorable farewell promos as they departed their respective companies. Controversial Pundit Glenn Beck is leaving Fox News after 2.5 years with the Network. A stint that catapulted him into the national American consciousness.

VIDEO: Glenn Beck's Final Show
Glenn Beck's Final Show (Transcript)
I'm outside tonight. I want to show you. This is the NewsCorp building. This is where FOX is. That's 6th Avenue. This is Times Square at the end of the block. And this little corner is not even attached to the building. It's kind of hanging out there.

When we started, we were up -- most of the 12th floor? Twelfth floor.

And then, we wanted a space that we could change a little bit so they put us in this studio here. And for a while, we had windows open. For a myriad of reasons, we closed them and they haven't been opened I think since we've been in the studio.
Wrestling superstar CM Punk leaves WWE after a great run that places him as one of the more memorable heels of the past decade. Punk started his WWE career as a 'face' but came into his own when he returned to his natural fit as a villain. Punk intends to leave as WWE champion and unlike Beck is planning to burn bridges on his way out.

VIDEO: CM Punk shoots on his bosses (WWE RAW June 27, 2011)

CM Punk shoot from RAW (June 27, 2011)
I've grabbed so many of Vincent K. McMahon's imaginary brass rings that it's finally dawned on me that they're just that. They’re completely imaginary. The only thing that's real is me, and the fact that day in and day out, for almost six years, I've proved to everybody in the world that I am the best on this microphone, in that ring, and even on commentary.

Nobody can touch me. And yet, no matter how many times I prove it, I'm not on your lovely little collectors' cups, I'm not on the cover of the program, I’m barely promoted, I don’t get to be in movies, I'm not on any crappy show on the USA Network, I’m not on the poster of WrestleMania, I'm not on the signature that’s produced at the start of the show. I'm not on Conan O'Brien, I'm not on Jimmy Fallon, but the fact of the matter is I should be, and trust me, this isn't sour grapes, but the fact that "Dwayne" is in the main event of WrestleMania next year and I’m not makes me sick!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Jon Stewart's unedited interview with Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday' (transcript)

 VIDEO: Exclusive: Jon Stewart on 'Fox News Sunday' (unedited)
Transcript of Chris Wallace interviewing Jon Stewart (June 20, 2011)
WALLACE: I'm just trying to understand you.
STEWART: Is that really true?
STEWART: Because here's the thing that surprises me about that. I've existed in this country forever. There have been people like me who satirize the political process and who have satirized — what was it that Will Rogers said? How crazy is it when politicians are a joke and comedians are taken seriously? I've existed forever. The box that I exist in has always been around, the change is the box that you guys, you've moved closer to me. But I'd like to know what I'm doing that's really different than what you've seen previously from satirical comedians that work in the political milieu. What is different about it, that makes you so perplexed?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Transcript: Bill O'Reilly Interviews Jon Stewart - Day 2

VIDEO: Bill O'Reilly Interviews Jon Stewart (Day 2, 05/17/11)

Part 2: O'Reilly and Stewart Discuss Presidential Politics
O'REILLY: Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, but left office with high approval rating.
STEWART: I'm sure she did.
STEWART: Then they got to know her.
O'REILLY: No, she left with high approval rating. She was in there.
STEWART: Fair enough.
O'REILLY: Like her?
STEWART: I'm not a particular fan of her style of rhetoric. I think she's too thin-skinned.
O'REILLY: Sounds like Colbert you're describing.
STEWART: Colbert, I would actually endorse for president. She's reminiscent to me much more of a television personality than a politician because I think that her inability to get past slights, it makes it very difficult to -- like I would just imagine her at night just with the hands going, did you see that thing that Maher…

Monday, May 2, 2011

John Cena announces Osama Bin Laden's death at WWE PPV

VIDEO: John Cena Announces Osama Bin Laden Death at WWE Extreme Rules

JOHN CENA: I'm gonna put this down (puts Championship Belt down)

I walk out here every night with "Hustle, Loyalty and Respect" on my sleeve. That is a credo I've adopted from the men and women who defend this country. (crowd cheers)

The President has just announced that we have caught and compromised to a permanent end Osama...

(crowd hoots and chants "USA, USA, USA")

This is the sort of night(?) when I feel damn proud to be an American!
This happens after President Obama appropriated Hulk Hogan's iconic 'Real American' theme to lead into his 2011White House Correspondents' Dinner monologue.

 - Find more on the analogy that American Politics is not unlike professional wrestling here
- Read more about the WWE's history and ongoing support of the American troops 
-  Hillary Clinton appears on WWE Television supporting the troops

Saturday, April 30, 2011

To readers of PunditFight: Sorry for the lack of updates just when Donald Trump shows up

That's just great! Donald Trump throws his hat into the 2012 Presidential election and the blog is on hiatus. Shamefully as I am traveling Europe for the year, maintenance for the site will be sporadic.

This is unfortunate as news of Trump challenging President Obama is perfect fodder for this blog - The analogy that American Politics is not unlike professional wrestling.

Trump is exactly the type of theatrical media personality that makes American Politics wrestling-like. He is no stranger to wrestling, being a frequent guest on WWE programming and the marquee draw for Wrestlemania 23. This experience has certainly sharpened his ability to cut wrestling promos as evidenced by his high-profile feud between Rosie O'Donnell and his recent tirades on Robert De Niro and China.

VIDEO: Donald Trump signs contract for WWE WrestleMania 23

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Marc Maron at the 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival

25th Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Marc Maron alongside pals Maria Bamford and Paul F Tompkins will be leading the strong US contingent of the 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Marc Maron was last here in 2008 doing dates at the Sydney Comedy Store. At that time Marc was hosting the 'Maron V Seder' webcast alongside Sam Seder for Air America Radio which evolved into 'Break Room Live'.

After the dissolution of the network, Marc with his trusty producer Brendan McDonald founded the WTF Podcast. A once humble but now hugely successful endeavor which has raised Maron's profile. With incisive, revealing interviews of some of the biggest and most controversial names of Comedy from Carlos Mencia, Dane Cook, Louis CK, Judd Apatow, Robin Williams and Ben Stiller. Including a host of upcoming, veteran and forgotten comedians.

Closing in on its 200th episode, the show and Maron's voice will be a valuable artifact for comedy lovers for many generations.

- Find Maron's Melbourne Performance dates here
- Read my 2008 interview with Marc Maron here. In it we discuss his abysmal maiden performance run in Australia that threatened to derail his commitment to a life in comedy.
- Find previous Marc Maron related posts here

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jacob Volkmann calls out President Obama: Secret Service visit, The Jay Leno appearance, regret after Arizona shooting

A few updates on MMA Fighter Jacob Volkmann after his calling out of President Obama

1) An appearance on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' as they featured an amusing doctored clip of the promo

2) Jacob gets a visit from The Secret Service who customarily act on any threats against the President of the united States
UFC Fighter Jacob Volkmann Calls Out President Barack Obama, Gets A Visit From the Secret Service (UPDATED)
Well, if anyone ever wondered if a potential threat against the President goes unnoticed, you just got your answer.

“It happened on Tuesday, I was coaching youth practice, and then two guys came up and one of the other coaches that was helping me out, they said there was a cop and another guy out there waiting for me,” Volkmann told “I went out there and the guy introduced himself and said he was from the Secret Service and he wanted to ask me some questions about UFC 125 and my quote. He said there were people calling in to D.C. telling them that somebody, me, was threatening the President.”
3) Jacob regrets his comments in light of the Tucson shooting tragedy which some have blamed on the heated rhetoric in American politics
Jacob Volkmann regrets calling out President Obama in wake of Arizona shooting
"I would never make that comment if that shooting happened first," said Volkmann, 30.

The Arizona shooting has resulted in widespread, and sometimes controversial, calls for toned-down political rhetoric. Volkmann, whose remarks won him a customary visit from the Secret Service, is toning it down.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Comedian Marc Maron featured in New York Times

Marc Maron featured on the NY Times
A write up of Comedian Marc Maron in the New York Times
The Comic Who Explores Comedy’s Darkest Side
In 2004 he found a temporary home at Air America, the left-leaning radio network that went off the air last January. It didn’t work out. “I really began to believe that the struggles of most people are existential, not political,” he said, “and my biggest struggles were existential.”

He was canceled by Air America — twice.

A third project with the network, a Web-based show with the comedian Sam Seder, also failed. In September 2009, after that show was canceled, he and Mr. McDonald began to sneak into the Air America studios after hours to record his podcast, bringing guests up in the freight elevator. Soon, he moved from Astoria, Queens, to Los Angeles, where he had spent time on the comedy circuit. And so his garage became the new home of the podcast.
Marc's star has risen considerably with the success of his WTF podcast. He was also recently featured on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of 'The 10 Funniest People, Videos and Things of the Coming Year'

Listen to my 2008 PunditFight interview with Marc Maron here - NerdsGoneWild presents: A conversation with Marc Maron

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pundits as Guest referees: Stephen Colbert moderates debate between Ron Paul & David Leonhardt

The Star Wrestler as Guest referee
Star Wrestlers adopting the role of Guest referee is a classic tradition in wrestling. It allows wrestlers to advance storylines and feuds from a different angle, by favoring certain competitors or strategically choosing not to get involved. Refereeing can be just as effective a way of elevating oneself than it is to be involved in the match.

Watch an entertaining and informational debate between the merits of America returning to the 'Gold Standard' between Congressman Ron Paul & NY Times' David Leonhardt.

Gold Faithful - Ron Paul & David Leonhardt
Gold Faithful - Ron Paul & David Leonhardt
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Read the discussion on the ColbertNation website here -Gold Faithful - Ron Paul & David Leonhardt

Jon Stewart defends his 'Rally to Restore Sanity': Rachel Maddow, Sarah Silverman, Sam Seder and Bill Maher weigh in

Jon Stewart explaining his 'Rally to Restore Sanity' with Rachel Maddow
VIDEO: Rachel Maddow's One hour interview with Jon Stewart

'The Rachel Maddow Show' (Nov 15, 2010)
MADDOW: You don‘t do all that many interviews...
Why did you—why did you want to talk to me?

STEWART: After the rally it—you know, whenever you go out there, whatever you put out, you can only control your intention. You can‘t control its perception or how people receive it. And you can control your execution.

So, when people are perceiving it as something—people that I respect are perceiving as something that we didn‘t perceive it as sort of either two or three things, one is we were inartful in the way that we conceived it and presented it, our intention was wrong or off, not clear. Or it‘s being misperceived. So, I guess—there‘s probably four. I don‘t know what that would be.
VIDEO: Bill Maher on The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
HBOs' Real Time with Bill Maher: Ep 196
And finally, New Rule, if you're going to have a rally where hundreds of thousands of people show up, you might as well go ahead and make it about something. With all due respect to my friends Jon and Stephen, it seems to me that if you truly wanted to come down on the side of restoring sanity and reason, you'd side with the sane and the reasonable, and not try to pretend that the insanity is equally distributed in both parties.

Keith Olbermann is right, when he says he's not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts, the other one is very close to playing with his poop.
Sam Seder and Sarah Silverman discuss the effectiveness of Jon Stewart and his 'Rally to Restore Sanity' as well as Bill Maher's critique of the rally.
Sam chats with Atrios and Sarah Silverman (Nov 17, 2010)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

UFC Fighter cuts a promo on President Barack Obama - Jacob Volkmann after his Victory at UFC 125

VIDEO: Jacob Volkmann Calls Out Barack Obama After UFC 125 Win

After Jacob Volkmann's decision victory over veteran Antonio McKee at UFC 125, he was interviewed by MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani who got another major scoop when the interview deviated from a standard post-fight chat into a wrestling-style promo. Jacob speaking as a concerned Small Business operator calls out the American President over his healthcare policy and its impact on his Chiropractic practice.

This is another major scoop for Ariel Helwani after being involved in many of the Fight World's most memorable moments of 2010. Listen to Helwani talking to friend-of-Show 'Live Audio Wrestling' discussing the many times he has been "at the right place at the right time".
UFC 125: Jacob Volkmann Calls Out Barack Obama After UFC 125 Win (skip to 3min mark)
ARIEL HELWANI: Now you got a big win over a veteran, who do you want next?
JACOB VOLKMANN: It doesn't matter, [Clay] Guida. I don't now. Actually Obama.

HELWANI: Wow! You're calling out Barack Obama, that's pretty big. That's ballsy.
VOLKMANN: He's not too bright. The Making Home Affordable plan, and then his health care plan. Somebody's gotta knock some sense into that idiot.

HELWANI: Wow this interview just took a turn into the political world. Are you a Sarah Palin fan? Please say no.
VOLKMANN: No! I just don't like what Barack was doing. Cuz i'm a chiropractor so I know the healthcare situation is not good but he's making it worse

HELWANI: This is the most I've ever seen you fired up
VOLKMANN: Yes. Its irritating cuz i'm starting my own business and its not real easy when you're given insurance companies the power to decline you and not pay you

HELWANI: What kind of business? A chiropractic practice?
VOLKAMNN: My own chiropractic clinic in White Bear Lake. I had to throw that in there right?
Visit Jacob Volkmann's official Chiropractic Practice website - Volkmann Chiropractic