The discussion was supposed to be about NYC Mayor Bloomberg's new initiative to hide cigarette brands from view in stores. It turned out to be a farce.
Ann Coulter used the duel as a springboard to portray gays as HIV-ridden economic parasites.
Her opponent, MeMe Roth, used it to portray smokers as pulmonary-disease-ridden economic parasites.
Both guests proved themselves to be full of shit.
As for Coulter, a known bigot, AIDS is far less expensive than, say, Alzheimers, and hardly limited to gays.
As for MeMe Roth's argument, smoking — despite laughable CDC "economic impact" studies purporting to measure the cost of tobacco, but completely ignoring huge tax revenues generated by cigarettes — the habit actually benefits the country economically, albeit in a ghoulish way.
A 1989 study, The Taxes of Sin: Do Smokers and Drinkers Pay Their Way?, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded: On balance smokers probably pay their way at the current level of excise taxes on cigarettes.
Since then, obviously, skyrocketing cigarette taxes have left even medical inflation in their dust.
More smokers-as-economic parasites agitprop: CDC "economic impact" studies claim smokers die, on average, 14 years earlier than nonsmokers, but don't include the enormous Medicare and Social Security savings entailed in that fact (assuming it's true).
The government benefits smokers don't live long enough to collect go to subsidize the equally — if not more — expensive deaths of nonsmokers when they kick, and all of them do, after collecting many more government checks on their way to the grave.