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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Why the media will get the debate wrong

The Atlantic reported on September 26, 2016, "Clinton Keeps Her Cool.

"The Democrat’s command and poise left her rival looking frustrated, peevish, and out of sorts."The story said, "Monday brought the first debate of the presidential season, but it often felt like two separate debates. One, from Hillary Clinton, was wonky, crisp, and polished; if not always inspiring, it was professional and careful. The other, from Donald Trump, was freewheeling, aggressive, and meandering, occasionally landing a hard blow but often substance-less and hard to follow. But the two debates intersected at times, sometimes raucously, as Trump repeatedly broke in to interrupt Clinton.

"It was a commanding performance from the Democratic nominee. Clinton delivered a series of detailed answers on subjects ranging from race to the Middle East to tax policy. Meanwhile, she delivered a string of attacks on Trump, assailing him for stiffing contractors, refusing to release his tax returns, fomenting birtherism, and caricaturing black America. She stumbled only occasionally, but left few openings for Trump. She remained calm and often smiling as Trump repeatedly attacked her and interrupted her answers—doing it so often that moderator Lester Holt, often a spectral presence at the debate, finally cut in twice in short order to chide him. (Vox counted 40 instances; Clinton made some of her own interruptions, but fewer.) Clinton displayed a sort of swagger perhaps not seen since her hearing before Congress on Benghazi."

The Atlantic reported on October 9, 2016, "Donald Trump's Disastrous Debate.

"The Republican nominee needed to turn around his campaign. Instead, he threatened to jail his opponent."

The story said, "The Republican candidate, in the middle of the worst stretch of an often-turbulent campaign, was peevish and erratic, frequently interrupting his opponent. He seemed even more ill at ease than he had during the first debate. Once again, he inhaled noisily over the microphone. And once again, he delivered a string of inaccurate statements. With Republicans abandoning Trump in droves just 29 days before the election, Trump seemed content to drive all of them off — perhaps even his own running mate."

The Atlantic reported on October 20, 2016, "After the third and final presidential debate of 2016, the only uncertainty remaining in this race is what Donald Trump will say in his concession speech."

The Atlantic was typical of press reaction to each debate

Now either President Donald John Trump lost all those debates or the media got the debates all wrong.

If the former is true, then debates don't matter. If the latter is true, then the media doesn't matter. Of course, both statements could be true.

But I don't know enough about the electorate to weigh accurately the relevance of the debates.

I do know the media, and I do know why they misreported the debates. They wanted Donald John Trump to lose.

Take Debate 2. The Atlantic said, "The Republican nominee needed to turn around his campaign. Instead, he threatened to jail his opponent."

That is inaccurate. He did not threaten to jail his opponent.

Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper hosted the debate. Donald Trump had just launched into the email scandal and cover-up. Let us go to the transcript.

Raddatz: Secretary Clinton, I will let you respond.

Clinton: Everything he just said is absolutely false, but I’m not surprised. In the first debate, I told people it would be impossible to be fact checking Donald all the time. I would never get to talk about anything I’d want to do and how we’re really, going to really, make lives better for people. So once again, go to We have literally Trump -- you can fact check him in real time. Last time at the first debate, we had millions of people fact checking so I expect we will have millions more fact checking because, you know, it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

Trump: Because you would be in jail.


Cooper: We want to remind the audience to please not talk out loud. Please do not applaud. You are just wasting time.

Cooper's snippy comment showed just how hard Donald Trump's line stung, and just how much the media will go out of its way to protect the Democrat candidate. 

I am not going to predict the outcome of tonight's debate in Cleveland. History shows incumbent presidents lose their first debate but the track record shows Biden couldn't debate a squash and Donald Trump could take on Lincoln.

As Mollie Hemingway's friend put it, the media already has decided who won the debate. My only suggestion is that her friend better research boxing terminology. I believe the term "throwing in the towel" would be more appropriate as it is the boxer's side calling the match rather than just the referee.

In the modern media, it is OK to get everything wrong all the time as long as you use the proper analogy.


  1. I guess I should write mine as well.
    Here goes; I'm not sure what kind of drugs they have Biden on tonight, very strong stuff, but it isn't counteracting the stupid pill he took at breakfast.

    1. Should I make that "breakfast in 1980?"

    2. biden was born stupid. Pills don't work as well as natural.

  2. New York Times 09/30/20 --- Tomorrow's headline:


    Hell, if you're going to make stuff up, at least GO ALL THE WAY!

    Don Reed, (Thank you, Mississippi State!)

  3. I don't think the media cares about accurate description or prediction now, if it ever did. They have locked in the demographic most advertisers seem to want so don't care about anything else. In fact Mark Cuban bragged about this a couple of days ago regarding his now less watched but still profitable America hating NBA team. So, to say the media doesn't understand or the press never learns, or like things, is both irrelevant and incorrect. They have in fact followed the lead of the NYT and CNN in shedding objectivity to lock in a loyal left opinion loving blue demo that their corporate advertisers pay them to please for mutual benefit. In that sense they are very smart and have learned a lot in 4 years, sorry to say.
    Hating on Trump has made them rich but helping to install Biden will give them prestige, and poverty. My guess is that when Trump wins they will be secretly very happy. No tears on election night this time, only simulated anger at their good fortune.

  4. Here's my headline for later tonight - "Biden the clear victor in this first round after only flopping around unconscious onstage for two minutes."

  5. I think they're going to need Maury Povich type bouncers to keep Biden from trying to literally fight Trump. (They'd be saving Biden from a certain ass kicking)
    I think Biden is so mentally weak and unhinged that with just the right provoking by Trump will set him off.

  6. Is Biden supposed to show up in person or is he beaming in from the oval basement?

  7. Paul Ryan holds the dubious distinction of being the only person to ever lose a debate to Joe Biden.

    1. When Sarah Palin debated Old Joe, she did such a good job that the Journolistas freaked out. It was after the debate that "someone" ordered a code red on Sarah.

      Despite the Democrat narrative that Sarah is a dumb chillbilly, it was her debating skills that got her elected governor.-

      First she beat the incumbent governor (Princess Lisa's daddy) in the primary, then she took on the former governor in the general. Both times she was heavily outspent.

  8. Absolutely Awesome article, Don.

  9. Gropin' Joe's biggest opponent is always Gropin' Joe.

    Show me a debate he ever really won. I think Trump will just let him beat himself.

  10. Being from the Tampa Bay area, I was very excited last night about the Lighting win. But all I could think about last night was what will happen tonight. Enter Bruce Buffer..."It's Time"!!!!

  11. I'm sure glad I hauled my TV to the dump.

  12. The debate ran nearly the same as the above transcript so I feel better about it. yesterday, i posted here that Wallace was the wildcard in this debate and I was right. His biased against Trump was obvious from the beginning with accusatory and combative questions and allowing Biden extended lies a platitudes while shushing the President whenever he attempted to call out Biden's lies. Wallace assured himself praise among his fellow elite media gasbags but he did not serve the public well. He knew this NYT Trump tax report garbage was a nothing burger yet he wasted time with it anyway.
    Debates changed nothing but it will be infuriating today when MSM spins this as a Biden victory.

  13. Biden did quite well, but was allowed latitude for big lies and insults not given to Trump for minor exaggerations who was also being debated by the clearly biased moderator.
    My big takeaway is that Trump is looking much older this year and quite tired. I suspect they played with the lighting angles a little to highlight shadows on Trump's face; if so, his staff should wake up.

    Trump has to discredit his opposition. He should have hammered away at how the media, including the moderator, ran with an entirely fake story designed to destroy his Presidency and he should stop treating Biden - who was directly involved - as an honorable player and call him out on national TV as a crook, a liar and a traitor and someone whom the American people should never elect.

    And he needs to take it easy the day before a debate so he doesn't look so rattled and exhausted.