Crowder's Cold Feet Destroy His "Debate Me" Grift

Right-wing YouTube host Steven Crowder enjoys challenging people to debates. Like any internet personality, he thrives on the attention and spectacle it creates—and he’ll debate anyone, anytime, about anything.

Unless that person is Sam Seder.

Seder hosts The Majority Report and has famously called out Crowder for ducking planned debates with him—first at Politicon, then on Gavin McInnes’ talk show. Yesterday, with the help of H3 podcast host Ethan Klein, Crowder and Seder finally met (virtually) face-to-face. Crowder wanted to “debate” Klein about something he’d said about listening to the CDC when it came to COVID-19 mask guidelines. But instead of meeting Crowder’s disingenuous challenge, Klein and his crew pulled a bait-and-switch, bringing Seder on to debate in his stead.

Naturally, Crowder wasn’t appreciative.

The whole ordeal went how you might expect. Crowder was taken completely off-guard, shouting over Seder and Klein and trying to act amused before ending the call. There isn’t much to take from the video. It wasn’t a debate so much as a calamity. But Crowder absolutely ducked Seder again, this time to his face. He also accidentally revealed he watched Seder’s show last week wary of this very ploy, which is a victory in itself. And in a few short minutes, Crowder blew up the very premise of his entire internet persona.

Crowder is a “debate me” guy—the kind of disingenuous conservative personality that likes to trigger libs by hitting them with cold hard man facts and alpha logic. He rose to prominence in part through his “change my mind” shtick, during which he challenges college students to pseudo-debates on various issues. You’ve almost definitely seen the meme. When it comes to his YouTube show, though, Crowder is far more selective about who he books. He doesn’t feature anyone that challenges his worldview, and when he does, it’s almost always someone he considers as “layup” like Klein—a politically uninformed person who Crowder can dunk on for easy points. It’s as duplicitous as framing staged discussions with college students as some kind of intellectual political debate.

When it comes to Seder, though, Crowder’s met his match. Not intellectually, of course—even a passive listener would consider Seder more informed than Crowder. But in Seder, Crowder sees someone with an opposing worldview who is willing to engage him in good faith. That doesn’t compute for someone whose entire act is substanceless conservative grievance porn. Crowder wears gun holsters, smokes cigars, and slugs whiskey to project what a big tough guy he is. He whines about censorship and demonetization while churning out out obscenely racist content. In many ways, Crowder is the conservative meathead idea come to life—he’s all projection all the time.

That personality doesn’t totally jive with being an internet debater, though. Debating someone doesn’t make you look tough unless you do it solely on your terms and try to embarrass the other person.  Therefore only left-leaning people Crowder could possibly engage with are the triggered crybaby cucks he howls about on his show. Seder’s very existence calls out Crowder’s fraudulence for what it is; the fact that Crowder can’t seem to stop running from a discussion with him only confirms that. All he can do is call Seder a “woman” and mutter some weird burn about velveteen rabbit eyes.

Internet debate, especially when it comes to politics, is useless. Puds like Crowder weaponize it for clicks and views. That’s fair enough, even if whatever he’s spewing is total garbage—engagement is the name of the game. When the tables turn, however, you realize how empty the grift really is.