What’s On the Other Hand?

Hi, I’m Jon Fortt. I’m an anchor and reporter at CNBC, where I’ve worked for more than 12 years. Before that, I was a senior writer at Fortune. Before that, I was a senior editor at Business 2.0 magazine. Before that, I was a writer, editor and digital content producer at the San Jose Mercury News.

I love a good debate.

That’s how On the Other Hand started. One of the higher-ups at CNBC wanted me to appear on Squawk Box, the morning program, once a week. I decided if I was going to do that, I wanted it to be special. Distinctive. So I proposed a segment where I passionately argue one side of a contentious issue in tech or business, then I say “On the other hand,” and argue the opposite side just as passionately.

Why do that?

Aside from the entertainment value of seeing someone blatantly contradict himself? There are a few reasons, actually.

  1. Debate is a great way to learn. It’s more fun to collect information when someone’s making an argument. It’s more memorable. Emotions get involved. Do I agree with this person? Is he making sense?

  2. Debate is a great incentive to study. Nothing motivates me to do my homework like having to state a position and defend it. I knew the segment would force me to think about the most contentious issues each week and weigh different perspectives.

  3. Maybe I could model civility, in a weird way. Our culture right now has gotten toxic in that it’s fashionable to take extreme positions and demonize people who disagree. Maybe by arguing two sides of an issue each week, I could show people it’s possible to respect the other side.

Join me

Be part of a community of people who are willing to listen, and even … dare I say … change our minds.

Subscribe to On the Other Hand with Jon Fortt

learn the issues as one man argues with himself about tech and business


Jon Fortt
Fortt Media: A media company seeking the light of cross-cultural understanding.