debate for kids who either:
1. are too unintelligent to do a real event,
2. can't do their normal event at a tournament and want to be in an event that's easy to win,
3. don't really like debate but want it on their transcripts,
4. don't have time for real debate, or
5. want to practice empty rhetoric.
Ted Turner invented the event so that he could use the "Crossfire" from CNN in a high school activity, but after its first year in existence he disowned it because the debaters were too rude and whiny. Hence the current name, public forum.
This event almost always has lay-judges, or mommy judges, as real debaters call them. The team with the best voice wins. The topic is always simplistic and changes every month. The emphasis is on dumbing down the world so you can explain it to an idiot.
1. I tried so many times to explain the parts of a disad to him, but it was just over his head, so he switched to PF instead.
2. We could only take 4 teams in policy, so they had to go in public forum. They still qualified to nationals, even though they'd never done it before.
3. She's really good at science. She won the international science fair last year, but she wanted to have debate on her transcript, so she's doing PF.
4. He used to love debate, but this year he's taking so many AP classes that he doesn't have time, so he just does PF.
5. She's running for student body president next year and wants to learn how to talk pretty, so she's doing PF.
That lay-judge forgot which team was which and marked the wrong team as the winner. Oh well, such is PF.
A relatively newer type of debate that gets dissed on by policy and LDer kids primarily because in Public Forum, you debate about current events, don't wear sweater vests, and actually have to use logic, sources, and speaking SKILLs to PERSUADE your judge.
Public Forum is meant to be a spectator event, meaning, unlike LD or Policy, you can't spam your judge and talk at 6 words a second. Policy, LD, and Congress kids usually diss PF, but end up getting raped when they try it because a normal person (i.e. your potential PF judge) doesnt want to see a short sweaty kid in a sweater vest talk about nuclear war caused by helping penguins and all other sorts of batshit not relevant to reality at a speed unfathonable to the human ear.
Side Note: PF kids might also be able to do sports and other athletic things because we dont research for 5 hours a day on the growing patterns of corn for the production of corn ethanol or some other policy shit. MEANING...we can probably kick your ass physically outside a round.
Policy Kid: "Public forum is so stupid! I'll try it at my next tournament and win!"
*After first PF round*
Policy Kid: "OW MY ASS!!!! I GOT RAPED IN THE ASSSSS! I DONT GET IT! I MINDLESS SPEWED RESEARCH AND MY OPPONENTS USED LOGIC AND BASIC INTELLIGENCE ACCESSIBLE TO AN EVERYDAY AMERICAN! HOW DID THEY WIN???"
Public Forum is a type of high school debate usually reserved for those who aren't necesarily the brightest kids. Set up by Ted Turner, Public Forum was used as a means to have high school debate become a 'spectator event', which was nearly impossible under the other forms. Because of this, PF is extremely simple and is about a topic, or "resolution", that changes every month. Arguements are very back-and-forth, however they may have no substance to them at all.
"I hear Billy was really interested in receiving a free "A" in his debate class; so much that he even took up Public Forum!"
An event not taken seriously by policy debaters and LDers. Also referred to as PuF.
"Winning public forum at Nationals is like being the smartest kid with Down syndrome."
To better understand Public Forum, look at definitions:
Joke: something said or done to provoke laughter.
Retarded: slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress.
Shit: an act of defecation
Synonym for Public Forum -
A-type-of-debate-that-holds-no-real-arguments-that-require-any-critical-thinking-and-or-intellectual-capability-itis. (A disease)
"Hey guys look, Public Forum."
Often referred to as PF by real debaters, this joke of a debate is for those who lack the intellect and intelligence to do Lincoln-Douglas (LD) or policy debate (CX). Public Forum is centered on current events, and is not focused on debate, rather speaking casually without actually learning anything. The team who wins is the team who can sound more like an idiot for the judge. Public Forum has no complex arguments like Topicality, Theory, Disads, K's, or CP's. The only three worse things are Congress, Parliament, and... Novice Public Forum.
"Dude, I just qualified for nationals in Public Forum!"
"Yeah, and I've never even debated before!"
"Wow, that Novice Public Forum round was intense!"
"I'm such a persuasive debater in Public Forum, I can show you why oil spills cause fish to die!"
- Actual Public Forum guy