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Audio Visual Smackdown Live At The Greenspace

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Join us Wednesday night, May 6, at WNYC's new Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, where we are going to open up an age old can of worms. Jad and Robert will face off over which medium is superior -- television or radio -- with Ira Glass, whose program This American Life is both a radio show and TV show, acting as referee. In TV’s corner, ABC’s Robert Krulwich will hit hard with stunning video images that may have his opponent up against the ropes. But audio-savant Jad Abumrad won’t go down without a fight as he champions the power of sound with shining examples from radio’s longer, and arguably more innovative, history.

We are still awaiting word on whether or not Jad and Robert will be wearing boxing trunks, but for insurance purposes they will definitely both have 'cutmen' in their corners in case it gets ugly. Come find out if video really killed the radio star!

Purchase your ringside seats at WNYC's Greene Space


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Comments [9]


I would love to see this as a podcast.

May. 13 2009 06:44 PM
CJ from NC

The debate was a great experience. When I left with my friend and we discussed everything about the debate, I reflected on how the debate became more about audio vs. video. Jad even pointed out one time that Robert’s video would not be as good without the audio track that ran underneath the video. I completely agreed at the time, but audio is a part of TV. I think that is why TV is so consuming, because it is audio and video. I still think radio won, but I am a bias RadioLab Listener. Radio makes you feel a part of the conversation and TV is almost escapism, because the viewer becomes a disembodied spectator. Ira Glass accented this slightly near the end. When a person is listening to radio, the sound goes through the listener and something comfortable is roaming around in their head while they still interact with the world. Radio is a confirmable part of the environment and is not The environment. I believe that is why we pipe music and radio into everywhere we can. Radio does not make the place, it just makes the place better. When watching TV it is better to watch in the dark, like in a movie, where the viewer can disconnect from the world and focus on another place all together. If a listener of Radio turns off the lights and listens to music or other audio, their mind will fill with images and build a world where they are a part. That is a personal opinion based on my perception of the experience.

May. 11 2009 12:15 PM

Yes, please make the event available to those who don't live in NYC or didn't get tickets.
Jad: free pointer: radio is infinitely superior because:
1) You can listen while doing something else (drive, cook, clean, eat, take a bath, you get the "picture"). Therefore no waste of time, unlike TV which, even if, best case scenario, you actually learned something through (a rare occurrence), still took up precious time.
2) Because they can listen to radio while doing something physical, people who are kenetic learners can actually learn more. For example: I listen to the radio while knitting, and the fact that my body is engaged while my brain is tuning in makes it easier to understand and remember what I'm listening to.
3) Radio forces you to imagine and visualize more. Therefore, more of your mind is engaged, and you get more out of it, brain-cell development-wise. Radio exercises your brain muscles way more than TV.
Not to mention how much easier and cheaper it is to buy and transport a radio than a TV, the safety aspects of being a radio listener (battery power in electrical outages, updates on weather and emergency situations, etc), less focus on the physical appearance of people (so less shallow a medium)...
GO Jad!!!! You can definitely win this!!

Apr. 27 2009 09:26 PM

Yes please record and publish...would not want to miss this! Preferably video...not to infer a bias...just so I can see the Visual argument.

I am sure Jad will give Ira a tough fight. I am also sure Ira could switch sides at any time and do just as well.

Apr. 20 2009 10:30 PM

Yes, I just saw this but it is sold out!
will there be a way to listen or view it at a later date?


Apr. 20 2009 04:51 PM

I would love to attend this but I won't be in the city at that time. Any chance that there will be a podcast for folks to check out?

Apr. 16 2009 01:09 PM

I just looked at the Greene Space tix site yesterday and missed this... any chance more tickets will be available on day of or there will be a giveaway? I would desperately love to go!! I am a huge Radiolab fan... Jad and Robert are always accompanying me (via podcast) on walks around the city.

Apr. 15 2009 10:25 AM
Mark Chrisler

For several years I was involved in a show in Chicago entitled "The Final Smackdown: Radio vs. Theater" which pitted Beau O'Reilly and company against... Ira Glass and cronies. Is this a coincidence?

Apr. 15 2009 01:52 AM
libby lynn

i would volunteer for a partial lobotomy to attend this.

Apr. 14 2009 11:00 PM

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