Ben Shapiro Cenk Uygur Debate | Watch Full 

The much anticipated debate between Ben Shapiro and Cenk Uygur more or less lived up to the buildup at Politicon 2017. Long time rivals, the debate focused mostly on the topic of taxation, capitalism and economic policies. 

From the outset it was clear that the crowd was composed primarily of Ben Shapiro supporters in the audience which did appear to throw Cenk off his game a little. We’ll table our opinions for the sections below the video so as not to frame the debate anymore than we already have. You can watch the full debate below, note that though the moderator does a good job of speeding through the introductions, we thought we’d let you know the debate begins at 1:35. We’ll have the video play from the beginning so that users can see the audiences “biases” by the debate introductions.

  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • Date: July 30, 2017
  • Combatants: Ben Shapiro vs. Cenk Uygur
  • Audience: 2,500+ (sold out)
  • Subjects: Economics, Healthcare, Tax Policy

ScholarFactCheck Debate Recap:

Though the debate was ‘mostly’ one of substance, we can’t help but feel this is another example of a debate that became more about the crowd than about the debaters or even the ideas. The crowd opted to laugh when Cenk argued that higher tax rates are beneficial for the economy because they lead to circulation of wealth. Shapiro would go on to counter that circulation does not necessarily lead to socioeconomic improvements for citizens or the economies they operate in. A fair and contentious point in economic circles.

However any hope of this conversation leading to any depth was sufficiently put to rest by Cenk yelling to the crowd “LOOK IT UP”—when the crowd booed or laughed at his, otherwise, serious points. It would be easy to blame Cenk for his inability to keep cool, but honestly under the circumstances, can one really blame him?

In the study of rhetoric and communication, it is well known that the speaker must be able to assess the attention span of the audience and then choose the proper tactic. The more the audience is willing to engage with complex ideas, the more complex the speaker’s argument can and should be. However if the intended audience has a limited attention span, that is the time to employ rhetorical flourishes over complex arguments.

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