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How to Lose a Debate in 45 Minutes: Paul Elam fumbles his debate with Matt Binder

So, that happened.

The debate between Matt Binder (from the Majority Report) and Paul Elam (from A Pile of Money for Paul Elam) went off yesterday. I can’t say it went off without a hitch, because it was actually quite hitch-full. Indeed, it was kind of a disaster — at least for one Paul Elam.

Paul’s the one who wanted the debate. He chose the topic, he chose the format, he controlled the venue. And he lost the debate rather spectacularly, grimly reading a succession of prepared statements while Binder shot down his arguments with common-sensical one-lines and raised issues that Elam didn’t or couldn’t address.

Binder rattled Elam early by presenting him with an unattributed quote that sounded virtually identical to Elliot Rodger’s misogynistic rants and which Elam dismissed as something that no MRA would ever say; Binder then revealed that it was a quote from Stefan Molyneux, the MRA “philosopher” who was one of the featured speakers at AVFM’s recent conference. (Indeed, it was a quote that I highlighted in my first Misogyny Theater videos on Mr. M.)

Then, after Elam read off a list of all the various women who have associated themselves in some way with AVFM, Binder knocked the wind out of him by asking, quite simply, so what?

The most surreal moment, in a debate full of surreal moments, came 39 minutes into the debate. Binder had spent much of his previous two segments discussing an assortment of issues that the Men’s Rights movement largely ignores, even though they primarily affect men, and men of color in particular — from stop and frisk policies in major cities to the deaths of American soldiers in wars overseas.

But instead of answering Binder’s question –why hasn’t the Men’s Rights movement actually tried to do something about these problems? — Elam instead read his prepared “closing statement,” responding not to anything Binder had argued but to the arguments Elam, writing the statement before the debate, had assumed he would make.

And so, after hearing Binder passionately argue that the MRM needs to fight for the rights of men in prison and for the lives of men sent to fight and possibly die in wars, we heard Elam beating away on a straw man, declaring — after calling him a bigot — that Binder

has been led to believe, quite falsely, that gender justice mandates the summary rejection of all men’s problems in favor of a view that can only see men as the problem.

The debate, such as it was, lurched to its conclusion in an assortment of miscues and technical glitches a few minutes later. Dean Esmay, the incompetent and often ineffectual “moderator” of the debate, rocking back and forth on his chair in a darkened room, eyes mostly closed, plaintively asked Binder to send him “that particular story” on stop and frisk in New York city that Binder had referred to earlier in the debate. Esmay, defensive and exasperated, explained that

we are an all-volunteer organization and we don’t see every story. I’d like to see that story from Matt, please do send it to me.

Binder, incredulous, pointed out that stop and frisk has been in the headlines for years, as Esmay, visible in a small box at the bottom of the screen, rubbed his head as though he were developing a migraine. Esmay repeated his request, saying that

we cover a lot of stories; I’m just asking for you to send me that.

There were then a few uncomfortable moments as Esmay and Elam tried to figure out how to close down the Google Hangout that was hosting the debate.

Esmay: “Are we off?”

Binder: “Still says ‘live’ for me.”

Esmay: “Paul?”

Elam: “Yeah, I’m still having problem with the button.”

Esmay laughs.

Elam: “Isn’t that wonderful?”

Long silence. Esmay rocks back and forth on his chair.

Esmay: “Just close the window.”

A few moments later, he did.

I think we may need to have another AVFM graphics contest, incorporating what I think should be AVFM’s new slogans:

“I’m still having problem with the button.”

“We are an all-volunteer organization and we don’t see every story.”

A Voice for Men is clearly not ready for its closeup.

 

 

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freemage
freemage
6 years ago

Or its wide-shot. Or its audio-only recording. Or its transcript. Or its cave-wall paintings.

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
6 years ago

Bahahahaha!!! Sweet, sweet schadenfreude.

MaudeLL
6 years ago

I thought MB would be terrible, but he turned out to be pretty good. Elam was ridiculous even by Elam standards, which is saying a lot.

damselindetech
6 years ago

Elam: “How come feminazis get all teh fundings and coverage and monies and attenshuns?”
Matt: “What are you doing about the issues that affect men?”
Elam: “I am unprepared for your off-the-cuff accusations and misandry! Gynocracy! Gynocracy! *pulls church bells*”

Harlan
Harlan
6 years ago

Thanks to Dave for the recap and to all who commented during and after the proceedings. I’ve only skimmed the video myself–had other things on my plate, for one thing, but mostly it was just *so* difficult to watch for reasons clearly laid out above. The disconnect and lack of actual communication and give-and-take…wow. I’d have expected more ire and vitriol, but that would have required considerably more in-the-moment engagement on the part of the first part.

Harlan
Harlan
6 years ago

*party of the first part.

cloudiah
6 years ago

I have to say, I never watch MRA videos, but this one was worth it. Binder was pretty good — not perfect, by any means, just pretty good. And he annihilated Elam.

At this point, I think my cats could probably debate Elam into a corner.

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

Dean Esmay totally missed Interviewing 101: KNOW THE NAME OF YOUR INTERVIEWEE

Lids
6 years ago

Oh my god this was even a bigger trainwreck than I was expecting. I was expecting Elam to make an idiot of himself, just not to this extent. God bless.

bekabot
6 years ago

Esmay: ‘Are we off?’

Binder: ‘Still says ‘live’ for me.’

Esmay: ‘Paul?’

Elam: ‘Yeah, I’m still having problem with the button.’

Esmay laughs.

Elam: ‘Isn’t that wonderful?’

Long silence. Esmay rocks back and forth on his chair.

Esmay: ‘Just close the window.’

These are the same guys who are always making fun of women* for not being at the forefront of technology. Can you imagine the fullness of their tergiversations** if something similar or comparable had happened at a site like this one and if they’d been alert enough to notice? Endless wallpaper would have ensued, wallpaper scrawled over with scribblings about how dudes are fearless astronauts hobbled by women from the cave days and about how women don’t properly contribute to civilization and about how female materialism holds male transcendency at bay.*** (And after that the real silliness would start.)

*as best they can, which is not very well
**if you read enough of their stuff you start to sound like them; sorry
***but only if they didn’t get sidetracked by a passing marmot and forget to go after the wonted mammoth

WatermelonSugar
WatermelonSugar
6 years ago

“We are an all-volunteer organization and we don’t see every story.”

Just loading the AVFM page on my phone, the front page stories break down like this:

Promotion/Fundraising: 3 articles
Men’s Issues: 9 articles
Attacking Feminists/Critics: 18 articles

“We don’t see every story, but when we do see stories, most of them aren’t actually about Men’s Issues.”

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

@bekabot

Techincal tests previous to going live are MISANDRY!!!!

Sarah
Sarah
6 years ago

The thing that really struck me was the fact that Esmay was wearing a shirt with visible stains. If they’re trying to be taken as a serious, professional movement, shouldn’t the second in command at least wear a clean shirt for public appearances?

Luzbeltix, I suspect he did that on purpose. Either as a gotcha revenge for Binder mispronouncing people’s names, or as a subtle way to put Binder in his place.

yutolia
yutolia
6 years ago

“We are an all-volunteer organization and we don’t see every story.”

I’m pretty sure taking people’s donation money to pay yourself doesn’t actually count as volunteering.

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

@Sarah

I hadn’t thought about it, but it makes sense as well. On the other hand, Esmay did seem a bit apologetic for mispronouncing it.

Oh, the inscrutable mysteries of A Pile of Money for Paul Elam!

yutolia
yutolia
6 years ago

I’m wondering how apmfpe (a Pile of Money for Paul Elam – I love it!) will try to skew this into a win for themselves. You know they’ll try, and many of their followers will sadly probably believe them

pecunium
6 years ago

I’ll guess that AVfM will say Binder played “out of context” gotcha, with the quotation. that he “quote-mined, and misrepresented” Bash -a-b!t@# Month”, and, “failed to actually address any of the points Paul raised”, as such he lost terribly.

And something which has been all over the news, and was a pivotal issue in the New York Mayoral campaign… not important, because it only affects some men in one part of the country (and they are either thugs, or manginae).

Schneewittchen
Schneewittchen
6 years ago

I loved Binder’s ‘so what’ to all the women listed as supporting them. It’s such a regular argument…..no, I’m going to say ‘argument’ to any women’s rights issue, ‘but MY (always ‘my’), wife, girlfriend, female pet tarantula, doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with….. (insert example of out and out sexism).

pecunium
6 years ago

What amuses me is that some of the commentariat at A Vund fur elaM, actually predicted what Binder would do, and Elam wasn’t prepared.

At the same time, they also said in advance that Elam couldn’t lose (which,I will note we didn’t say. We said we were afraid Binder wouldn’t do his homework, and so be buried with specious stats, and credulous claims).

WatermelonSugar
WatermelonSugar
6 years ago

“We are an all-volunteer organization and we don’t see every story.*”

*unless it is a news story covering #ICMI24$$!, in which case we see evey story and proceed to launch specific attack articles and doxxing campaigns based on those stories.

pecunium
6 years ago

Watermelon Sugar: But those are IMPORTANT! If AVfM is made to look bad, the entirety of The Most Important Human Rights Movement of the Twenty-first Century could be derailed!!!!!

That’s a lot more important than stifling the civil rights of some PoC in New York City!

barcelonaguirigirl
6 years ago

From the PE standpoint he can never, ever lose because he can always just scream, “Misandry!” or “Matriarchy!” even in the face of facts (such as that men still hold the majority of influential government positions). Is there really any point in debating someone whose response to everything is that he is the only one who sees “the truth?”

After filtering through a little over a year and a half of this blog and related links, sites, materials, etc, I can only come to the conclusion that it’s a fool’s errand to engage with people who willfully ignore the world as it is in favor of nursing some perceived injustice to themselves.

That said, I stay for the mocking and kitties.
🙂

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“The thing that really struck me was the fact that Esmay was wearing a shirt with visible stains.”

Yep. That, Elam’s decorating (either his website is no indication of his design skills, or the woman who somehow tolerates him did that decor), and Binder’s apparent dorm room (or maybe not, looked like one, and I kept expecting a cat to wander in). “I can’t be arsed to put on a clean shirt”, “my decorating makes me look way more put together than I am”, and “yeah, I’m a college student, but I have a cool mic”…appearance alone I guess could go to Elam, if you were somehow viewing the video on AVfM and didn’t notice that there’s no way that the person who signed off on that website’s design did the table behind Elam’s desk.

Honestly, I was more distracted by wondering how his GF had talked him into letting her decorate than I was interested in Elam’s monologuing. Cuz sure, some men can handle design just fine, but none of them are MRAs.

pecunium
6 years ago

Binder was in the studio for the podcast. It looks like a lot of radio-stations I’ve been in, esp. those which are also filmed. It’s, “edgey” or something.

Elam has had that background for as long as I can remember.

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

Not even a joke, but is esmay ok? Like seriously? He looked pained all the way through and at the end how he desperately sucked at his e-cig(?) Or was it faux-weariness at the terribleness of feminists?
Maybe he was sat in the dark because he heard our mocking of his absurd curtains from that other thread. I want to laugh but he just doesn’t look happy or well…

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

Also clearly elam just wrote a blog post in retaliation to Binder then got in a pickle when he accepted the mighty debate challenge so just used his pre-prepared post but in debate format. Thoroughly embarrassing.

WatermelonSugar
WatermelonSugar
6 years ago

@pecunium–

OH DUH, how silly of me. Journalists directly quoting speakers from the Conference to End All Conferences hosted by The Smartest, Most Activist-est Man Alive and questioning the validity of those quotes is dangerous. Silly me!

I am also trying desperately not to make a sexual joke out of Elam having trouble with the button.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

@daintydougal

I, too, wondered about Esmay’s health.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Pecunium — that would at least explain the lack of cat! As for Elam, that’s almost weirder, I can almost see him going “yeah whatever dear”, but the idea that he either approves of design that doesn’t suck, tolerates it enough not to clutter it (that room is infinitely cleaner than I’d expect), or, fuck, may actually have put that together himself?! Now my head hurts!

You notice his bookshelf? (Of course you did, what am I saying?) It’s like that whole room is a prop. (Versus Binder’s, which was a prop, but looks like a lived in dorm room.)

Daintydougal — while I was questioning that myself, his reaction to Binder attempting to explain about stop & frisk makes me think he was just massively annoyed.

And my mother just bailed on watching it, she says she’ll do so after dinner. She’s going to kill me once she’s actually watching it!

katz
6 years ago

I’m pretty sure taking people’s donation money to pay yourself doesn’t actually count as volunteering.

I wish I could volunteer for $80,000 a year.

ladyrainicorn517
ladyrainicorn517
6 years ago

@Sarah

The thing that really struck me was the fact that Esmay was wearing a shirt with visible stains.

YES. He could have made it even better with his extra long tie.

Nacho Vidal
Nacho Vidal
6 years ago

As usual, Paul Elam (or should that be E-lamb) sounded like a Brezhnev-era apparatchik giving the party line. Dean ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Esmey should give up with the sun-bed, or at least get his blood pressure checked. He must be learning the Quran too, that is what the rocking backwards and forwards was all about.

E-lamb was destroyed when he failed to tell the difference between the quotes of a nut case and Stefan Molyneux – in fact, both quotes are from utter nut-cases. Binder should have ended the so called debate right there, everything after was superfluous with Elam resorting to the ‘you are a fascist’ rhetoric when he himself is a practising fascist. Pot calling kettle black eh?

E-lamb thanked his supporters by a) not bothering to memorise his lines and b) his hands shaking uncontrollably whilst holding his notes. That’s what $84k gets you, a poor value for money excuse for a leader.

A half-decent Billy Connolly lookalike Elam is, but that’s about it.

Binder did correctly point out how most MRAs don’t want to know about the real issues facing men, and also how they shy away from any good news. I experienced such things whilst running MGTOW Forums, when there was something good to report no-one commented, no-one wanted to know. Most of them thrived on hate, an unhealthy interest in rape articles and lived for the feud.

Binder should have asked Elam: “what will you do when Feminism is banned?”. Answer would probably have been: “seeing as I’m useless, have no skills, no pension and can only function as a shit-stirrer, I will probably become one of the many drunks one notices sleeping rough in a major City”.

All the best,

Nacho Vidal

P.S. MGTOW Forums will be returning in the near future.

Gen
Gen
6 years ago

God that justification for laughing at the guy’s son potentially being raped is horrible. It makes no sense.

Kevin Kehres
Kevin Kehres
6 years ago

Seriously? He never heard of “stop and frisk”? I live out in the boonies and I’ve heard of stop and frisk. It’s not just “a” story — it’s a longstanding, ongoing issue that dates back to the Guiliani administration for crying out loud!

Way to be — what — 12 years behind!

katz
6 years ago

Oh dear, Dean’s shirt.

Maybe his long tie from earlier was covering up a stain.

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
6 years ago

Doing laundry is misandry!

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Clarence Darrow made stained shirts work but Dean Esmay is no Clarence Darrow.

brooked
6 years ago

@Sarah

The thing that really struck me was the fact that Esmay was wearing a shirt with visible stains. If they’re trying to be taken as a serious, professional movement, shouldn’t the second in command at least wear a clean shirt for public appearances?

I guess this red pill tee was cleaner than his beloved FTSU one.

Ivy Shoots (@IvyShoots)

Loved the decor in Esmay’s man-cave: Early Blair Witch Project.

katz
6 years ago

He looks like a kidnapping victim in a ransom video.

brooked
6 years ago

Whoops, I just realized you were discussing Esmay’s shirt. I do think the decision to wear a red pill tee shirt is worse than having shirt stains. Does AVfM sell red pill memorabilia or is that just a shout out to his TeRPer brethren? A good look either way Paul.

Gen
Gen
6 years ago

Paul fucking Elam saying “but if we don’t get past this, this base juvenile demonisation of people for not falling in our camp… [solutions can’t be found to things like rape and IPV].”

LOL

And then in the closing arguments, he sneers at Matt’s youth. Stay classy Paul.

bodycrimes
6 years ago

The problem here is that Elam and his pals are living in their own reality. They only see what they want to see and only hear what they want to hear, and everything they see and hear is ‘proof’ that they’re either right, or they’re being persecuted. When someone punctures the bubble for a moment, they can’t cope.

It’s next to impossible to have rational conversations with people caught up in cult-like thinking. That’s why relatives go to extremes like kidnapping loved ones and putting them through brutal deprogramming.

tealily
tealily
6 years ago

MRAs don’t know what to do with themselves without the flame throwing, misogynistic one-liners designed for a laugh. Elam & Company are out of their league. Between the pathetic conference and this, it’s pretty obvious they don’t know how to do much.

Can you just imagine the name-calling if Binder had been a woman showing him up so badly?

Mean-spirited, misogynistic loudmouth ==/== intelligent, knows-the-facts debater.

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
6 years ago

May gods bless you, Matt Binder.

tealily
tealily
6 years ago

@bodycrimes

I couldn’t agree more. I think what people were seeing in terms of Esmay’s health is anxiety. Like you mentioned, when a little reality sinks in, people like them usually can’t deal.

taitaisanchez
6 years ago

Zero results on AVFM for “Stop and Frisk” *about* Stop and Frisk btw.

sadie6
6 years ago

Judgeybitch has her post about the debate titled “watch paul elam school some little punk who didn’t like the men’s conference” LOL. (i think it was posted before the debate but still hilarious)

WatermelonSugar
WatermelonSugar
6 years ago

Oh, The Judgy One. I have a stony, hardened place in my heart for her. I love that she was offered up for debate by Paul. I hate to say it, but I think she would have done a much better job, even if every other word was “whore” or “slut.”

Is it bad that I miss her trolling here? I would love to ask her about her Conference to End All Conference’s closing statement about how doxxing is super legit.

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