Debates for the Highbrow

Do you like your debates elevated, intelligent and well, smarter than a TMZ reporter?

Tonight at 9 p.m.  ET, Bloomberg Television (Comcast Channel 103 in Washington) will debut a new season of Intelligence Squared US (IQ2 US). Bloomberg PR describes it  as “the Oxford-style debate series that features world thinkers going head to head in a battle of ideas and persuasion.” The series describes itself similarly “as an exciting contest of ideas, wit and persuasion.” The idea behind the series is that they are to be highbrow debates sponsored by the Rosenkranz Foundation, a public policy institute founded by CEO and private equity magnate Robert Rosenkranz (his insurance holding company has assets over $5 billion; he’s a member of the Yale University Council and the Dean’s Council of Yale’s Architecture School; the philanthropic Rosenkranz Foundation donates to not only IQ2US, but think tanks, universities and the arts with a special focus on Asian art).

Not  sounding highbrow enough for you yet?

Some politicos and journalists to be featured in the new season’s debates include include Bob Bauer, White House counsel under President Obama; Nir Rosen, the controversial war reporter whose writings on Iraq have appeared in The Washington Post, The New Yorker, TNR among others; Ayyan Hirsi Ali, author of “Infidel” and fatwa victim; and Peter Bergen, terrorism analyst for CNN.

Tonight’s debate:  “Treat terrorists like enemy combatants, not criminals.” Four-star general and former CIA Director  Michael Hayden and Marc Thiessen, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, will debate David Frakt, former lead defense counsel with the Office of Military Commissions, and Stephen Jones, who was lead defense lawyer for Timothy McVeigh, mastermind of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Bloomberg first began airing these “highbrow” debates last year and aired 11 debates, including one on cyberterrorism in Washington. The next debate is scheduled for Oct. 11:  “Islam is a religion of peace.” WAMU in Washington will be presenting tonight’s debate on Thursday at 9 p.m. (ET).

Find out how to buy tickets… Buy tickets here. Watch the promo here.