Media Finally Notices That Trump’s An Asshole At Debates
Trump might've lost Tuesday's Democratic debate based on the facts and simple demonstrations of human decency but he did win the same tired game he's played for years now with the media, which immediately declared the debate a loss for everyone involved. It takes two people to make a bad debate: The ghoul who insults someone's children and the candidate who has children to insult.
The New York Times
The New York Times
That's right, New York Times, it was the debate that sucked, not the deranged president who crapped out crazy on the stage. If Trump had obeyed the rules, he'd have gotten his ass decisively beat because his record is the true shitshow. Instead, he was able to pull the entire debate, including Joe Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace, into the mud with him.
True to form, Susan Collins, who is more useless than a Betamax, said there was “fault on both sides" at the debate. Never go full Charlottesville.
Joe Biden participated in a gazillion Democratic primary debates where everyone behaved like normal people whose mothers liked them. But the media has implicitly encouraged Trump to be his terrible self ever since the 2015 GOP primary.
During a September 2015 debate, Jeb! Bush accused Trump of trying to bribe the former Florida governor into letting him build casinos in the state. Vanity Fair focused instead on how Trump bullied “low energy" Jeb! into submission.
The pundits who declared Tuesday's debate the worst in history have completely forgotten — perhaps as a positive outcome of shock therapy — the one where Trump boasted about the size of his junk.
Trump is the problem with debates, no matter the setting, the moderator, or the participants. The debate commission is considering new, harsher rules for the October 15 debate. The headlines frame this as a precaution in case “Trump or Biden break the rules," but Uncle Joe was raised right. He's not the one who needs reining in. It's Trump. It's always been Trump. He doesn't care about rules, and if the moderator cuts his mic five seconds in, he'll probably just kick the guy in the nuts. Biden doesn't deserve second billing in that shitshow.
Former Trump enablers Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough
opened their morning show Wednesday boasting about how they could've moderated a far better debate, which they demonstrated with a clip of Scarborough cutting off Trump while he was ranting about his racist Muslim ban.
BRZEZINSKI: Note to moderators who actually want to moderate a debate that stays organized and keeps both candidates in line: That's one idea. Cut the mic and mean it.
Yeah, the “Morning Joe" duo sure ended Trump's candidacy in December 2015.
What's interesting is that Brzezinski and Scarborough would later praise Trump's performance at the second 2016 presidential debate, the one just after the release of his bootleg “Grab 'Em By The Pussy" tape. Scarborough said Trump “dominated" Hillary Clinton, who was “unsure of herself." (She was on stage with a confessed sex predator, but whatevs.)
SCARBOROUGH: Donald Trump ... last night turned it up to 11. [...] For the Republican base, Donald Trump delivered the attack against the Clinton machine that the Republican base in middle America has been waiting for for years now.
Yeah, people used to think there was a “Clinton machine." It was a whole thing in the media. You'd give anything right now for a well-oiled "Clinton machine" against the coronavirus.
After Scarborough dismissed the "Access Hollywood" tape as something no Republican should've been "surprised to hear," which I guess makes it all OK, Brzezinski added that no Republican could've dismantled Clinton as effectively as Trump.
BRZEZINSKI: My God, it was epic. It was vintage Trump. He produced a daylong show that rocked the political world.
SCARBOROUGH: With his back against the wall.
Then the happy couple gushed over the clip of Trump promising to LOCK 'ER UP if he won the election. Thank God we know that he was only joshin' about using the Department of Justice for his own political purposes, and fortunately, no attorney general is corrupt enough to ever go along with it.
Prior to the second 2016 debate, Trump held a press conference with four women who'd accused Bill Clinton, who was not running for president, of sexual assault. He baselessly accused Clinton of mistreating these women. He also stalked Clinton on the stage like a gross perv with no respect for personal space. Yeah, that was a shitshow, not Rocky III.
The future Never Trumpers now bemoaning the death of democracy seemed fine with Trump bullying Clinton, who warned us about putting a monster in the White House. Trump has no impulse control and is mentally incapable of learning from anything that happens to him, but it shouldn't surprise anyone if he believed his awful behavior at debates had consistently worked in his favor.
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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).