MSNBC “debate” with Moon hoaxer Bart Sibrel

MSNBC “debate” with Moon hoaxer Bart Sibrel

MSNBC “debate” with Moon hoaxer Bart Sibrel

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 30 2007 7:34 PM

MSNBC “debate” with Moon hoaxer Bart Sibrel

I was fooling around on You Tube doing a vanity search, and I was surprised to see that someone had uploaded the "debate" I had with Moon hoax goofball Bart Sibrel which aired on MSNBC back in 2002. This was the first time I had ever gone head-to-head with a conspiracy theorist, and I don't think my performance was 100% up to snuff. The format was awful; Dan Abrams' show gave way too much time to setup and also way too much time to Sibrel. But I blew it on a few fronts here; the worst being that I didn't lead the discussion, I took my cues from the host. I should have taken control right away and steered the conversation more toward Sibrel's claims, which were ludicrous. Also, I looked like I was clenching my teeth the whole time. I need to smile more on camera. :-)

This is one reason I don't debate antiscientists very much; the format on radio and TV makes it very difficult. I held my own against Joe Rogan, for example, but that hold was tenuous during quite a bit of the second segment.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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One good thing came out of this: Sibrel claims I am a NASA employee and "that's where [I] get my paychecks." That is not true, of course: I've never been a NASA employee, and that is something Sibrel should have known before he said that. Either he didn't know and was making that up, or he did know and said it anyway. Either way, it's a lie, and so I can honestly, and with evidence, call Bart Sibrel a liar!

There was a lively discussion of this on the bulletin board when the show originally aired, too.

Note: the thread was converted to the new board software a while back, and some of the content didn't convert correctly, so you'll see some weird stuff there (links to images and such).