Like many people, I was looking forward to the debate between H3 host Ethan Klein and Louder With Crowder host Steven Crowder. For a time, the two had been trading online barbs with one another over various topics, mainly CDC decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We knew what was likely going to happen. Klein would low-hanging fruit insults and/or bring in someone else unexpectedly to debate on his behalf. It was even revealed later during the master recording that Crowder (and honestly, everyone else's prediction) came true. The moment the recording started is the moment Klein brought in hard-left podcast host Sam Seder, and the goblin in him came out with personal attacks.
After a brief exchange of unpleasantries, Crowder walked away.
You can see it all for yourself in the video below, including Crowder's commentary about the event and the behind-the-scenes footage leading up to it for full context.
Ethan's parting shot was to point out that Crowder was wearing a holster to which Crowder stopped everyone for a moment and asked Klein to explain why that matters and what's wrong with promoting responsible gun ownership. I couldn't hear Klein's response, and I'm not sure I entirely care. Pointing it out is proof that Klein had nothing from the start.
I'm going to address the elephant in the room, but first I want to point out that this was not a win for H3. Klein invited Crowder to the debate with the intent of not debating Crowder. Klein lobbed the first insult before running underneath Seder's skirt. In terms of the actual debate, Klein lost. Immediately.
But the leftists commenting on this exchange aren't addressing that fact. They want to declare this a win because Crowder is the one who left the chat. H3 spent a lot of time attempting to get that narrative out and about so that the lie could get around the world before the truth could get its pants on. Twitter even assisted Klein by making Crowder trend with all the accompanying insults and declarations of victory before Crowder could even get his side of events in on his show.
And now we come to their big narrative; that Crowder ran from Seder. But did he?
Let's look at this logically.
From the word go, Klein made it clear that the environment they would be debating in would be a dishonest one with Klein suddenly swapping himself out for Seder but NOT disappearing from the show. Instead, Klein exhibited that he'd still be lobbing commentary at Crowder, much of it personal attacks, while Seder would do all the heavy lifting.
It would have been a very annoying environment to debate in with constant interruptions that served very little purpose but to make the trained seals in Klein's audience laugh. Plus, no matter what, the “debate' would have devolved into Klein, Crowder, and other background players lobbing attacks at one another. It would have been a great bread and butter moment for H3, but in the end, there wouldn't have been much to chew on for the mind there, and while Crowder's audience enjoys these attacks as icing, they desire more substance in the cake.
So there's just reason number one to bail because bailing on what gets confirmed to be a certified sh**show isn't cowardice, is just wise.
Then there's Crowder's explanation that Seder himself was too small fry to waste time on, as doing so would open the floodgate to every Tom, Dick, and Jane with a bone to pick with Crowder and want to debate him. He didn't want to signal that he's willing to waste time on just anyone with a YouTube channel. Not only does it not make any business sense, but it would also be a major waste of time that could be better spent putting on a good show for people who come for the aforementioned substantial cake.
These things I agree with, but here's where Crowder and I may disagree.
I think the circumstances of Seder's introduction into the conversation make him eligible. To be sure, I'd never heard of Seder before the moment he appeared on the screen, but looking at his YouTube channel, it's clear he has something of a following. Compared to Crowder's following, it's meager, with the majority of his videos seeming to struggle to get above 10k. Meanwhile, Crowder can't put a video of himself sneezing on YouTube without it going past 100k.
I understand Crowder's reluctance to engage with Seder, however, the simple fact remains that Seder will benefit from this, and will continue to benefit from this. He'll be known among the left as the “guy Crowder ran from,” only bolstering his presence within the national conversation. They'll proclaim that Seder is too smart for Crowder and that Crowder is only content to argue with unprepared college students who rely more on their emotions than their logic.
That Crowder is only willing to argue with people who he knows don't aren't as prepared or eloquent in their arguments as he is demonstrable false. Crowder is on record arguing with journalists, reporters, activists, professors, and has offered to debate many others. The idea that Crowder is afraid of Seder doesn't track.
That narrative is what's going to persist, however, and I think at this point debating Seder would kill two birds with one stone.
For one, it's a debate that many would tune in to see. It'd make good business sense given the fervor around their first official meeting. Secondly, it would smash not one, but several narratives. For one, it would kill the idea that Crowder is afraid of Seder. From there, Crowder can hold that debate up a reason to slam the door on debating anybody who lobs a challenge his way. Seder's scalp can be wheeled out anytime someone accuses Crowder of being afraid, not just by Crowder, but pretty much any onlooker.
But more than that, it'll be one less “hero” for the left to turn to whenever they need the big questions answered. Falling to Crowder would make Seder less, not just to the general public, but to his own side. That demoralization brought on by the reality that Seder doesn't actually have the answers is worth its weight in gold. Getting people questioning Seder's stances, and the ideology behind them is the real goal after all.
That said, Crowder's business sense is better than mine and perhaps he has better reasons for not engaging with Seder than I can think of.
Regardless, the left shouldn't be looking at this as the moment they felled Steven Crowder. The debate wasn't engaged in, and to be sure, no debate could have happened under the circumstances Klein put everyone in.
The bottom line is that Klein waved the white flag the moment the debate began and ran away behind a larger brain while seeing fit to hurl insults from behind him like a bully's goon. Crowder is the default victor here, and if the left was honest with itself, it would recognize that.
But it's not.