1. HappyPerson says

    missed the boat a bit on the first caller. if there’s ‘evidence’ for the US Navy being behind the Pearl Harbor attack, where is it? where are the documents? where are the pictures? the reports? especially since we have film, reports, witnesses, etc. of the Japanese attack readily available. all the caller did was say that a hole was made in the boats by the US Navy, but with no concrete evidence to back that up.

  2. elaine says

    That guy was just trying to sell his book, I kept expecting him to divert to “You can buy my book for half price on Amazon!”. It was more like a sales pitch than an argument, which is why he kept dodging the question to stay on air longer.

  3. StonedRanger says

    The bulk of the ships that were sunk on December 7 were raised and returned to service within 3 months. The battleships took a lot longer. They had many problems because of the shallow bottom of the harbor and the inherent watertight deficiencies that caused the ships to sink in the first place. Some of them, once raised were returned to the US for repairs and weren’t sea worthy until late 42 and into 43 so the first caller was way off base. God gave him some bum information.

  4. Rick Meyer says

    Steve should have been cut off sooner. A lot of assertions and folksiness without anything to back it up. Just a a lot of B.S.

  5. thebookofdave says

    I gotta admit, Chuck’s story sounds a bit more plausible, if you can dismiss unimportant details like: documentation and battle plans recovered from the Imperial Japanese Navy, testimony from surviving flag officers involved in the raid, unexploded munitions and downed planes of Japanese design, and the captured crew and craft of a mini attack submarine. I suppose the fact that targets were confined to military hardware, largely ignoring drydocks and repair depots, only proves that it was all a false flag operation, as well as explaining the incredibly fast turnaround time of one month two months to two years for damaged vessels to be returned to combat readiness.

    I wonder what kind of evidence he’ll entertain us with, when he phones in next week with a dose of 911 truth.

  6. rodney says

    I’ve heard the conspiracy theory that the U.S. government knew that the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbor, and let it happen so that we could get involved in the war.

  7. thebookofdave says


    Skeptical guides for theists sometimes backfire in hilarious ways. A large body of counterapologetics originated, not from atheism, but sectarian competition. So in a way, I would like to extend my support to Steve in publishing his “Mythbusters” series. I mean, I wouldn’t want to listen to any more of his pitch on this show or buy his book, but if I happen to get one as a gift from my fundagelical relatives, I’ll peek inside to see what it’s about.

  8. Monocle Smile says

    “Chuck” was the same fake/troll caller from shows past. Ban that fuck.

    Steve was a shameless shill and obsessed with the sound of his own voice. Nothing new or interesting. Just a ton of excuses and theatrical polemic garbage. I don’t believe a word out of his mouth; it was just non sequitur after non sequitur. Russell eventually called him on it, but he went on for way too long. He reminds me of an Amway salesman with a bad script.

    Fuck. Why has Hamish not also been banned?

  9. elaine says

    @ thebookofdave
    Oh, I don’t disagree, I just don’t think that people trying to sell their apologetics is what the show is for, and they tried to say that on-air several different times, but I think they should have cut him off after the second one because it was clear he wasn’t getting it.

  10. Mobius says



    As for Chuck…full of bull.

    Each battleship had one hole 4′ in diameter? Wrong. The Arizona was nearly blown in two when its magazine exploded, which was the result of an armor piercing bomb. The Arizona was never raised and is still in place as a memorial. The Oklahoma capsized from multiple torpedo hits and sank and wasn’t raise until 1943, and then only to be scrapped. The Nevada and West Virginia also sank, but remained upright in shallow water and took months to repair. The other four battleships took varying amounts of damage from multiple bomb and torpedo hits. They also took months to repair.

    And, as was pointed out above, we have lots of evidence of Japanese equipment and pictures of Japanese planes making the attack. Guy is full of it.

    BTW…I never did get the YouTube channel to work. I finally switched over to UStream to watch the show.

  11. sparky45 says

    Steve was quite the truth seeker. The thing I love about Matt is, he asks great questions, and then stays with it. Phil asked a good one: Why should I take Steve’s beliefs anymore seriously than anyone else that has ‘dug deep’ into a different religion. We never got an answer that made any sense.
    And why, if the bible is the word of the creator of the universe, and it should make such a huge difference to any of us, should it not be self evident to all, or, why doesn’t this all knowing/caring being make its presence known, without ANY ambiguity?

  12. Jack Thornton says

    Calls one and two should have been shut down way earlier than they were. The hosts let Steve control the call too much before finally, finally shutting him down. The result was a frustrating and boring first hour. And then Russell deliberately chose to finish with a call from an obvious and KNOWN troll. Disappointing show guys.

  13. Matthew MacKarill says

    Hamish has got to be a troll, he is Scottish and would be very much inline with their sense of humor you can sometimes hear his voice break sounds like he’s trying to hold it in. I think he’s very good.

  14. Robert, not Bob says

    I agree that the second caller should not have been allowed to own the show. Pointless bouncing off his mental force field. Just another quick story, just another quick example… Hang up already!

    The Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory is fucking stupid, as others have already noted. It has a huge hole right in the middle: the whole scheme would only get the US into war with Japan. There was no guarantee that Germany would declare war; the treaty didn’t require it (not that Nazi Germany ever honored treaties).

  15. says

    In the beginning during the Pearl Harbor caller, he must have forgotten that while all 8 battleships were damaged, only 4 were sunk and of the 4 only 3 were able to be raised and repairs took months. In the end only 6 of the 8 original battleships were able to join the war, wouldn’t be very smart to cripple 1/4 of your main navy power before war. Also forgot to mention the cruisers, destroyers, anti-aircraft ships that were not recovered.

  16. Justin says

    I agree with others, Chuck should start getting a pass. He’s the same guy that’s called in the last few weeks with ridiculous, troll level comments, and it’s obviously the same guy because he has a very distinctive laugh. I think most of the time he’s laughing at himself because he doesn’t even believe the shit he’s saying, he’s just calling to take up time and see how long he can stay on.

  17. Tiomkin says

    These shows get worse by the week. You guys need to limit the time spent on calls. And to keep the calls about god or the lack of. Wasting time on conspiracy theorists has nothing to do with atheists or god. Just saying god told me should not get you a free pass to advertise rubbish. Sadly I won’t be watching in future until you tighten up on quality.

  18. Leo says

    Hamish was singularly BRILLIANT. His earlier calls got me annoyed but Russell and Phil struck the right tone and made it akin to a Monty Python sketch. Had to stop listening several times to get my breath back.
    Kicker: sinning is apparently OK, if done in moderation.

  19. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    This show generally lives or dies by the quality of the callers.

    I’m sorry – and I don’t blame the hosts – but for me this one died.

    I think both the first and last callers are Poes. They’re certainly both a waste of space. The second caller was worthwhile, but he wouldn’t engage. The token Atheist was an average call.

    I certainly won’t be revisiting much of this episode.

    I’ve got to love Hamish’s accent though. Reminds me of Billy Connolly (just nowhere near as much fun).

    – Simon

  20. says

    while regular listeners can spot repeat troll callers, i don’t expect the hosts or the screeners to be as discerning if they’re not working or following every show.

    that said, the ability of a troll to get on air repeatedly means that the troll has figured out whatever metric the show uses to select callers and suggests that it’s probably time for the show to revisit its screening criteria.

  21. Jammy1973 says

    Is it just me… Hamish worries the crap out of me!
    He admitted to Matt that he thinks suffering is a holy/divine thing (at which point Matt quite rightly cut him off)

    He has a niece!? Don’t let him anywhere near her!!!

  22. says

    To the second caller,

    I also agree that conspiracies exist. It’s just that we “identify” them with the same frequency and accuracy as seeing faces in random noise. We’re predisposed pattern recognition, even erroneously.

    We’re not denying that faces exist.

  23. says

    Also second caller – regarding the “know them by their fruits”…

    How does that legitimize what they believe? We could say the Heaven’s Gate cult was legitimate, then, because they really “change their lives” based on what they believe. They took actions they otherwise wouldn’t have.

    … like committing mass suicide to join the aliens behind a comet.

  24. says

    It’s kind of funny, because when it comes to Genesis, what the devoted Christian wants me to do is doubt and disbelieve what he Bible is saying. It’s weird to have that advocated.

  25. Rick Pikul says

    The attack on Pearl Harbor focusing on the ships makes perfect sense when you account for Japanese naval thinking: They were completely obsessed with warships and neglectful of support infrastructure. For Japanese naval planners the ships were the only target.

  26. Orm says

    Sorry to complain but when Matt is not hosting the show the entertainment value goes down the drain.
    Russel just allows callers to drone on and on and on.. without really challenging their claims.
    Allowing these (christian) lunatics to just read out from their scripts without a break is just boooooooring tv/podcasting

  27. Gino says


    Exactly, the Japanese, not really understanding the American psyche, thought that a knockout blow on the US Pacific Fleet would force them to make concessions in SE Asia. Their primary targets were the US carriers which by good luck were not in Pearl Harbor that day. The first caller obviously had almost zero actual knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack. His ignorance and assumptions were simply amazing.

  28. Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter says

    I would like to make a host + cohost request. I would love to see both Tracie Harris and Joe Zamecki together on an episode please!! They both just have a great attitude and a wonderful, smiling presence about them. 🙂

  29. specialffrog says

    I’m fairly certain I have encountered Steve on discussion boards before. His shtick seems to be to “let the Bible interpret itself” by cherry-picking possible meanings of each word to construct sentences entirely different from any other translation and pretend that is the intended meaning of the text.

  30. Hampeltier says

    Steve was on way too long. .But besides that. ..
    I really loved the episode! Quiet different, but I laughed a lot.
    Thx guys!

  31. KK_Me says

    Phil and Russel raised good points, but never insisted on an answer hard enough that the callers were forced to answer instead of preaching.

  32. Matt from Australia says

    I am “Deeply Troubled” as to why the hosts refuse to cut off trolls. Hamish is a TROLL and that is now obvious. Him and his mates are just giggling their heads off. I don’t think he is necessarily Scottish either, but he could be a scott puting on a stereotypically dumb voice.

  33. marx says

    Not a good show when Hamish is the life of the party.
    Let’s hope good callers with interesting dialogue phone in next show.

  34. says

    Hamish is not a troll or a Poe.

    He was identified in earlier eps as a member of the Free Church of Scotland, a very strict Calvinist sect that lives in the Outer Hebrides so I imagine he doesn’t have a lot to do out there other than bother an Austin, Texas public access call-in show.

    He’s not insane or taking the piss, he’s just a very very very indoctrinated man.

  35. says

    If, as some suspect, Hamish and Chuck are Poes (rather than trolls, I think), I must say they are both terrible at it. To be a smoothly effective Poe, one must simultaneously ape the presentation and beliefs of those you are mocking while letting drop enough subtle clues to let the acute listener in on the joke. Think Stephen Colbert.

    At any rate, I’m in favor of taking no more calls from either Chuck, aka the Hawaiian Hyena, or Hamish, the Moral Meanderer.

    Chuck acknowledged numerous times that he can’t get “anyone” to take on his allegedly god-inspired illuminations about Pearl Harbor. That should have been enough to cut him off. He was a bozo last time he called, too.

    Steve made much of his investigative skills and several times maligned practically everyone else in the world for their inability to see the truth, and hammered home the importance of examining the bible in original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek). Yet when he got to babbling about translated texts and such, it was apparent that he does not himself speak these languages, but instead relies on the interpretation of others … which was precisely what he accused the rest of us hoi-polloi of doing. I wish one of the hosts had asked him if he actually is fluent in any of those biblical languages.

    Hamish was all over the map yet disturbingly moralistic. If he’s not a Poe/troll, I agree with those above who wonder if he does not pose a danger to his community.

    No more Hamish. No more Chuck. Steve can advertise his idiotic books on his own dime.

  36. favog says

    First caller: not on topic for the show, also needs to learn that claims are not evidence in and of themselves.

    Second caller: learn to engage in the discussion you’re having and the people you’re having it with.

    Third caller: not to sound unsympathetic, but you basically are saying that you have a situation that is serious problem for some people, but your particular case is scaled back to minor annoyance.

    Haimish: best call from him yet. Not meaning to take too much pleasure in your discomfort, Russell, but when you were trying to address an issue by asking him if he’d ever been a teen-age boy or if he knew what puberty is, that was some funny stuff. I was just waiting for you to finally say,”Haimish, your nieces aren’t praying to the boy bands, they’re masturbating to the boy bands”.

  37. demonickillereggplant says

    Please stop taking calls from Hamish. He’s a Poe.

    As an actual Scottish person, I can assure you – even if he is actually being serious in anything he says (which I doubt) – he is most certainly not from the country he claims to be. Aside from picking the single most stereotypical name he possibly could, his accent is the single worst imitation of a Scottish accent I’ve ever heard.

    Every second he spends on the line, I find myself cringing. Perhaps because I’m actually from Scotland, he’s so OBVIOUSLY a Poe that it’s painful.

  38. bigjay says

    Please ban Hamish. It wasn’t interesting, it wasn’t funny, it was nothing but a complete waste of time.

  39. says

    Sweet Cream Jesus on a dinner roll, what a mighty shitstorm of a show. The hosts all need to coordinate on stopping repeat-offender trolls before they ruin another episode.

    Hell, I’ll put up with Hamish if you’ll stop Horse-Laugh Guy from calling in ever again.

  40. gnostic says

    “Sweet Cream Jesus on a dinner roll, what a mighty shitstorm of a show.”

    Sums it up pretty good. Hammish makes me glad I don’t watch the show live, when I wouldn’t be able to skip over the stupid.

    Phil is great, I really look forward to him stepping up to the host chair sometime. He asks some very incisive questions.

  41. crab says

    ok, the second you hear this dude “Chuck” do his witch-cackle, i want you to end the call. i’ve heard enough of him.

  42. crab says

    hahahha phil, dialing back the “something to that effect” at your ~1hr 4 min 20 second mark

    good for you. your hosting skills have sharpened quickly! i’d like to see you cohost with Jenn.

  43. says

    I’ll take the unpopular opinion here, apparently.

    I don’t see conspiracy theories as off topic.. exactly. One thing that came across my Facebook feed was a Christian group who posted a meme saying to always check facts and be skeptical… of the Trump administration’s claims. I’m like “why don’t you apply that to your holy book?“. There’s definitely some compartmentalization, and I think having alternative examples, where skepticism, critical thinking and epistemology apply, can be valid for discussion.

    Secondly, I don’t mind the Hamish calls. To me, someone that steeped in his/her beliefs is someone to be studied. The wishy-washy fickle Christians aren’t as interesting.

  44. John H says

    About Chuck in Honolulu:
    One thing that chuck implied is true. If any of those US battle ships that went down was sunk by a Japanese torpedo it would not have been raised within one week. A torpedo entering and exploding in the engine room or any other important machinery compartment would have made the ship virtually irreparable, at least not in Honolulu in one week. Don’t you think you owe it to him to check that out? Apparently not!

  45. Keith Baker says

    I was thinking ” this episode is flagging” and then along came Hamish with his voice echoing around the walls of his draughty haunted castle.

  46. Joe Frisco says

    Hamish’s voice sounds artificially generated. It was not necessarily packet loss and/or compression that was suspicious but his conversational cadence that is suspicious. If i were interested I might listen to some of his old calls, however, he is not that interesting enough for me to waste any more time on his ramblings.

    Just my $0.02

  47. Typhaon says

    Very disappointing episode. I’ve been cherry picking Matt episodes and Tracie episodes (even better – Matt & Tracie) on YouTube for awhile so two hosts that let caller’s drone on and don’t hard-challenge their bald assertions is very frustrating to listen to. The hosts are nice. I’ve seen them before. I just hope they’ll take the feedback that I and others have posted and step up their game. Please challenge these numb skulls that call in and cut off the wack jobs!

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