Someone (Chanel Rion) Doing Trump-Style Tulsa Rally Math (High AF)

Conspiracy Theories

Donald Trump's rally Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a disaster. It's best to move on and forget it ever happened, which I presume is the post-Trump Republican strategy. However, dummies are out there pushing conspiracy theories: The media is maliciously painting Trump as a loser when he's actually winning like Charlie Sheen in 2011.

Sentient knockoff perfume Chanel Rion, a correspondent for far-Right propaganda outlet One America News, decried the “manipulated system on the Left" that acknowledges objective reality. She doesn't just report the president's paranoid fantasies. She's fully committed to them.

RION: This item that's on the forefront of the campaign and the Trump White House. And that is a system that is manipulated not only by the Left but by press and by those who are pushing a specific agenda. For example, the rally that we just attended back in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The fire marshal in Tulsa is going around telling the press that only 6,200 people ... were actually inside BOK Arena.

Yes, the Tulsa fire marshal is IN ON IT. Rion's not sure what IT is but she doesn't like it. (IT is “math.")


Then the Chanel Bot 9000 started malfunctioning.

RION: (T)here is a mathematical certainty, we were eyewitnesses down there, the full half of that arena was packed.

Rion is going with the “Stadium Is Half Full" approach, because she can't accept the Emperor has no fans. My wife and I once saw a terrible production of Othello in New York. People bolted at intermission, and the director begged everyone remaining — including us for some reason — to clump together in the front of the theater so the actors wouldn't cry. But that wasn't during a pandemic. Trump supporters didn't even have the sense to social distance inside a literal rightwing echo chamber.

Fire departments admittedly use less precise methods for measuring crowd size than Rion's highly scientific “looking around." Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump's 2020 campaign, claimed that 12,000 people “made it past protesters" (so brave!). Even if this lie were true, and it's not because it's a lie, the total is well below the BOK Center's maximum occupancy. The Trump campaign expected such a huge turnout, it set up an overflow section outside that they had to take down in disgrace. Let's watch.

OUCH! Trump Rally overflow area closed down EMPTY - Trump extra speech cancelled www.youtube.com

So what's Rion's point again?

RION: (W)hen you look at an example like a rally and how the Left is manipulating the numbers just to portray the campaign in a bad light, they're having a field day with something like mail-in ballots.

Huh? Yeah, I can't even. I think the “idea" — if I'm generous with the word — is that Democrats want to “rig" an election against a president so popular he turns out Gallagher-sized crowds.

Rion laughably claimed that the polls showing Joe Biden wiping the floor with Trump were “voter suppression" unlike the GOP's actual voter suppression. In the same segment, Rion talks about how Trump is opposed to mail-in ballots (during a pandemic) for BS reasons.

RION: The campaign views these national polling numbers as 2016 2.0.

I'm not in a rush to help these guys but if you insist you're winning when you're losing, it's hard to turn things around. Yes, there's still a chance Trump could win, but Biden is pulling away in swing states and is outperforming Hillary Clinton in key demos. The dynamic of the race is also much different than in 2016 when many voters wanted change and a disruption to the status quo. Trump certainly delivered in the most monkey's paw way possible, but now voters want competence and stability so they can leave their houses and not die.

RION: Back in 2016, around — between June and November, 261 national polls placed President Trump as trailing Hillary Clinton. Only six percent of those polls even gave President Trump a shot — 16 polls out of 261 national polls, just for perspective. And President Trump ultimately won the presidency in a landslide.

It was not a landslide. He won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by less than one point. He also lost the popular vote. The fundamentals are also against him, as he's an incumbent during an economic recession (at best) and social unrest. For God's sake, don't ignore the polls or the empty stadiums.

Or, you know, keep doing what you're doing and we'll laugh derisively at you on election night. That also works.

[Media Matters]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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