|If Buckley and Hef can talk, why can't we all?|
I am not envisioning a Bill Mahr/Bill O'Reilly style show which unfortunately is echoed too much in the emotion filled rhetoric that is flung during times of intra-skeptical disagreement such as the recent news that Skepchick officially will not being involved with TAM. My idea is about a month or so after the initial wave of disagreement calms down that a panel of four or so thoughtful skeptics, without any direct stake or allegiance in the disagreement de jour, would thoughtfully discuss the hot topic. The guests would have to be carefully picked for their ability not to flip out, and all would agree to a basic set of civility rules.
The podcast would not be weekly or even monthly. In a perfect world it almost never would be produced, but only when the poo hits the fan would this 'Shield' type podcast spring into action to be a controlled civil arena of discussion. I am not going to be so bold to posit this would solve anything, but sometimes just hearing people disagreeing in a reasonable tone of voice is enough to help people remember that those with whom you disagree are not terrible.
Do I know who might be willing or able to pull off such a podcast? Sadly, no. Do I think this is basically a pipe dream? Yeah, probably. However, I do think there are times in the 'club' of skepticism such a dialogue would be helpful. For many who are better listeners than readers (like me) it may serve a vital service help facilitate learning about what others think about the current skeptical disagreement without having to read page after page of comments and blogs.
However, if you think are a brave enough sort, Parrot at his Dumbass Media Empire is looking to help new podcasters along. He might be a good resource to reach out for help. Then again he (or anyone else) might wish to stay away from such an effort with a 10 foot (3.048meter) pole.