Sam Seder vs. Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson was on Bill Maher’s show, and I didn’t watch it — those are two names I find utterly repellent. Bill Maher is a terrible host, because he loves to pack his little panels with politically diverse people, and then preside over some of the most inane, horrible apologists for idiocy who have nothing to add to the conversation, and Maher not only nods and strains to find something to agree with them on, but will then invite them back over and over again. Case in point: Jack Kingston, Trump apologist, seemed to have a permanent slot on the show.

So you knew that when he had Jordan Peterson on, there would be little pushback, and as a centrist, he’d agree with every criticism made of the left…and you knew he’d only criticize the left, not the right, will playing the non-partisan. And that’s what happened.

But Sam Seder does not feel any need to fawn over Peterson, and in this clip, jumps all over the stupid arguments Peterson makes in the way Maher should have.

Seder would be a far more interesting talk show host than Maher. Unfortunately, he’d also have the conservatives frothing rabidly for his blood in a way that Maher doesn’t get. They may not like some of Maher’s views, but they know that at his heart, Maher is a warrior for the status quo.


  1. leerudolph says

    Maher is a warrior for the status quo.

    I propose the phrase Status Quo Warrior, abbreviated SQW.

  2. says

    Ideally, skepticism should occupy a point in the middle between faith and nihilism. Maher is a classic example of that Both-Sides-ism that gets taken for inquiry.

  3. Kichae says

    “Status Quo Warrior” has been in the wild for a couple of years now to describe an anti-SJW (its been on Urban Dictionary since 2016). It could definitely use a signal boost, though.

  4. doubtthat says

    The fucking ignorance of history it takes to believe that liberals or SJW’s or whatever are the ones who came up with the racial and ethnic classifications that define our society is just amazing.
    I remember it was Frederick Douglass who said, “Why don’t we try out this one-drop thing? Then we can deny anyone with a single drop of African blood the right to vote, access services, attend quality schools, obtain loans, buy property…”
    This drives me insane.

  5. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Proud Majority Report member here. :-)
    You should probably enjoy off-colour jokes, though, if you watch it. They especially like to make fun of conservatives’ obsession with cucks and beta-males and one of their guys, Michael, does a plethora of imitation voices of absurd characters, such as right-wing Mandela.
    Very informative and often with a lot of depth or unusual interview guests, less sensationalist than TYT and pretty damn hilarious.

  6. hoku says

    “Sqwallers vs Sjews.”

    Sjews really sounds more like an alt-right attack on some group of Jews they made up to explain why antisemitism is ok.

  7. says

    Sjews really sounds more like an alt-right attack on some group of Jews they made up to explain why antisemitism is ok.

    I have seen this in the wild, except when actual Trumpists do it it’s WORSE. They use this construction not of Jewish folk to justify antisemitism, but rather of progressives in general to insinuate that we’re the tools of the Elders of Zion or whatever the latest name of their antisemitic conspiracy theory is.

  8. Walter Solomon says

    I considered giving up on Maher when defended the vile Laura Ingraham against David Hogg’s boycott a few weeks ago. He seemed to be implying that boycotts are wrong.

    It was so obvious, though, that his defense had nothing to do with Ingraham but instead a way to counter the criticism he has received from putting his foot in his mouth. It’s no surprise he invited Peterson. I still tune in out of habit though.

    John Oliver is definitely better

  9. mrquotidian says

    Geez, Peterson really had a makeover… He clearly has always thought of himself as a unrecognized genius and doesn’t want this moment of fame to pass. I’m afraid he’s in it for the long haul…

    I have a hard time understanding what he’s even advocating in this interview.. Like, we can’t tear down a criminally incompetent, incompetently criminal president because that would hurt a lot of trump voters’ feelings? Surely if any president engages in criminal activity, they should be removed from office.. that shouldn’t be a crazy position.

    Peterson is so frustrating because he never comes out with a stated position, but rather picks at the edges of a debate or manufactures very non-specific laments about the tone his opponents take, or their language errors. It’s this bullshit game where he pretends to not be taking a side; in his mind, he’s the only truly rational person alive.

    What’s personally frustrating about seeing this guy constantly is that my father-in-law is obsessed with him and keeps trying to get my wife and me to have conversations with him about his ideas.. he even bought us tickets to see Peterson live (we declined). I want to set my father-in-law straight, but I’m afraid our opposition to him will only drive him further in this dark direction. How do you get people out of the spell of these fuckwits?

  10. drew says

    Sam Seder isn’t as put together and slick as Bill Maher but he has a more developed intellect and more facts at hand. I can rely on Sam for sanity.
    Also, it’s maybe worth watching part of the Maher panel where Alex Wagner nails Peterson on some of his lies although he tries to lie his way out. Somehow everyone else at the table thought he said something that he denied. They must all be mistaken. Ugh! See about minute 4:
    Or skip it. Peterson’s double talk is painful and Maher, always a shallow thinker, is annoying here too.

  11. =8)-DX says

    @hoku #13

    “Sqwallers vs Sjews.”
    Sjews really sounds more like an alt-right attack on some group of Jews they made up to explain why antisemitism is ok.

    A number of the “anti-sjw” people are active white nationalists and antisemites (some, even nazis!) and so they often do use “SJWs” as a placeholder for antisemitism, expressed more directly when they talk about globalists or Soros being “behind the sjws”. So yeah, often that’s a kinda accurate way to satirise someone who’s doing that by actually reading it out as “so you’re blaming the sjews again?”. (Such as open Nazi The Golden One, who complains about “betas” and “sjws” and “international Jewry”.)

  12. mrquotidian says

    @drew #17
    Yeah, the exchange I think you’re citing it pretty damning… The panelist lays out how mangled Peterson’s position is (to some applause), but Mahr jumps in and saves face for Peterson, letting him wriggle out of the logical inconsistency. You can see Peterson figit with his wedding ring many times, clearly uncomfortable…

    Peterson is basically saying:
    1) Liberals are too preoccupied with catering to each different group in society, concerned with not offending anyone
    2) Liberals should not attempt to remove Trump from office, lest they offend the group that voted for Trump (which he keeps saying is 40%… I don’t know what that number is, since Trump got 46% of the vote, only 27% of eligible voters, and incidentally, you know, less than his opponent…)
    3) Apparently catering that very sensitive group of Trump supporters does not qualify as “identity politics”

    This “identity politics” argument is as old as dirt and about as dumb. It’s just code for any attack on the white establishment who are deeply troubled that maybe, possibly, someday they’ll have to play on an even field.. Peterson is basically rehashing the same garbage talking points from 2017 about the “forgotten man.” He has no ideas.

  13. billyjoe says

    I don’t have much time for Bill Maher or Jordan Peterson, but Sam Seder is no better.

    He is painful to watch. He spends the first few minutes illegitimising JP because he’s Canadian and not American. What has that got to do with anything? That you have to actually live in America to know about the political situation there? Better cancel foreign affairs departments then. He then does go on to explain why he thinks JP is not aware of the situation in America, but his first point about him being Canadian just detracted from it.

    And then he either didn’t know what JP meant by his hand jesture or pretended not to understand. JP was interlacing his hands but at right angles to each other. He was saying that the argument put by ?Alex Wagner was orthogonal to his argument about what he calls the politically correct left. I’m not saying that the argument was orthogonal, just that Sam Seder didn’t understand the jesture. And he just looked petty making that point. He did acknowledged that but you can’t excuse yourself from being petty by admitting that you are.

    I couldn’t watch it beyond about the half way point.

    Interviewers need to ask hard questions but they must be impartial. The strategy should be to expose the point of view of the interviewee to the audience. If those views are preposterous, you simply have to let the audience come to that conclusion on the basis of the answers to those pointed questions.

  14. Holms says

    There was a *large* amount of good sense and cogent discussion that you omitted in your haste to leap on the minor side points.

  15. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    There was a *large* amount of good sense and cogent discussion that you omitted in your haste to leap on the minor side points

    I’m sensing a pattern here…

  16. billyjoe says

    Holmes: I see you are full of examples.

    Azkyroth: Yeah, jumping on the band “Wagon” |:

    Chigau: “Me too” – I see what you did there!

    Cvoinescu: Just quietly, that is called a…debate. ;)

  17. drst says

    #20 tries to use “orthogonal” in a sentence about making right-angle gestures as an attack, but can’t spell “gesture” properly. OK.

  18. doubtthat says

    If we asked the Honorable Jordan Peterson whether he believed our society should allow our choices to be constrained by the reaction of a certain group of radical Islamic terrorists, he would launch into a impassioned defense of our freedoms. We shouldn’t, for example, allow the threat of violence to dictate whether we criticized Islam or drew Mohamed. I would imagine that sort of mundane point to be buried in an avalanche of racism, but nevertheless, we could develop a sort of general rule: don’t let violent wackos sway us from doing the right thing.

    Yet we’re supposed to be so concerned about Trump supporters and what they might do that…what? What is he arguing? Because these dumb fucks are so emotionally invested in this corrupt man child that they may resort to violence if he is impeached/convicted, we should…not criticize their positions on global warming, not call out the corruption in the administration, not point out the poison in the tax bill?

    Peterson seems to be arguing that the emotional state of absolute assholes is more important than advocating good public policy and holding our leaders to ethical standards.

  19. =8)-DX says

    I mean @billyjoe has a slight point in that those off-topic exampes and the way Seder talks about them were horribly cringeworthy and it’s perfectly fine to not like someone or their style personally, while agreeing with what they have to say in general.

    But those two points were cringworthy in the first place because Peterson made them cringy himself and Sam Seder does actually point them out the fallacious reasoning here: first of all there’s no reason being a Canadian should give Peterson any special insight into US politics, and he even seems to be apologising here since that self-deprecation is a rhetorical strategy to try to make his audience sympathise with him as an uninvested and therefore objective observer. Secondly the hand gesture is just another rhetorical device, and Peterson uses it to imply those issues are orthogonal (or even further, entirely “separate”), without actually having to explain why they should be viewed that way.

    I’m usually put off by Seder, he’s not my style, but half the cringe in that video is Peterson and people cringing at him, alongside a number of perfectly valid criticisms it’s hard not to agree with, including the mentioned segments.

  20. says

    Jordan Peterson: Stop being victims! Stop that whole identity politics! Stop being politically correct.
    Also Jordan Peterson: You really must be nice to the people currently in power because they could become upset. You must honour their identity and not ever criticise them for it.

  21. billyjoe says


    Thanks for the correction. On the other hand, perhaps “jesture” was appropriate. I’ve never seen anyone use it before and it did look somewhat comical. As a return favour (please don’t correct that word, it is “proper” English!), I’ll just correct you to say that JP was not launching an “attack” when he used that gesture, he was issuing an “explanation”. You’re welcome.

  22. ck, the Irate Lump says

    billyjoe wrote:

    Interviewers need to ask hard questions but they must be impartial. The strategy should be to expose the point of view of the interviewee to the audience. If those views are preposterous, you simply have to let the audience come to that conclusion on the basis of the answers to those pointed questions.

    Ugh, no. This has promoted conspiracy theory and crackpot ideas to the same level as real expertise and expects that the audience know how to tell the difference between them. Unsurprisingly, most people lack the time, knowledge, and often even the toolkit necessary to distinguish between crackpot and expert, so all they see is two experts with differing opinions.