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Monday, October 10, 2016

The Silence of the Lambs

I've been through this movie before, after many previous debates since 2000, but here we go again:  the cable TV pundit class (regular hosts and panelists) overpraising the GOP candidate's performance, only to be humbled minutes later by scientific polls showing the Democrat won easily.   We saw it again last night with an hour of claims--even on Dem-heavy MSNBC--that Trump "did well" and the debate was a "draw" or a "wash."  This was especially absurd given the previous 48 hours of hype from the same people that, after the Trump sex assault tape, he would have to offer up a boatload of contrition or his candidacy was over.

Well, guess what.  He did not.  In fact, he continued to call his comments merely "locker room talk" and pivoted, in the same answer, to how he would move like a bitch on Isis!  Yet few focused on that at all.  It was as if they had never made such predictions.  They had even been closely covering chances of the GOP booting him off the ticket and what would happen next.  Again: little on this afterward. 

Similarly,  many had, for two days,  warned that Trump would surely lose if he "went nuclear" and mentioned Bill Clinton's affairs and Hillary's alleged actions in relation to them.  So: not only did Trump go there--he also held a presser with three of Bill's alleged victims AND outrageously gave them front-row seats at the debate AND then blasted Bill and Hillary over this during the debate.  Yet after:  most of the TV pundits did not score this much against him.   Again: suffering from amnesia, or was it temporary insanity?

Chuck Todd even claimed Hillary looked "rattled." Trump, he argued, seemed more "in control."

I flipped continually between CNN and MSNBC and it was astounding how little attention was paid, for many minutes, to Trump's jaw-dropping promise to prosecute and jail Hillary (in a Nixon-like abuse of power) as they continued to give him high marks in the debate.  I was watching what seemed to be turning points at both cable channels when Van Jones and James Carville finally went ballistic on this.  Almost in shame, some of the others starting talking about it.  Or perhaps they had checked their Twitter feeds and saw what so many others were saying about this.  (Jesus, even children around the country probably responded quicker, asking their parents, "Why does that horrible man want to lock up that nice lady?")  This morning the Trump display of fascism made the top of newspaper front pages all over Europe.  Yet most of our own TV commentators shrugged it off for too long. 

Other Trump actions or comments that apparently did not bother most of them:  His dozens of outright lies; his interruptions and snorting that were sure to alienate many watchers;  his zombie-like lurking, as if sizing up Hillary's brains;  his proud admission that he had, indeed, not paid federal taxes for many, many years; and on and on.  Yet:  a wash!  a draw!  And then as the first poll result came in--a landslide for Hillary via CNN--they began to temper that.  But only then. Then the YouGov poll also gave it to HRC.  Update Tuesday:  And now Politico/Morning Consult scientific poll gives debate to Clinton by whopping  42%-28%.

And few even mentioned that Trump had claimed early in the debate that the moderators were against him, shouting bitterly that it was "three against one."  He seemed ready for a strait jacket at that point.  Every time he closed his eyes:  lies....lies.    

(Note:  Speaking of Presidents and the media--my new book on another attempt to "lock up" a threat--please go here for more on THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill.)


Ed Thomas said...

Yeah, and:
"the devil" with "hate in her heart" were certainly not elevating moments either. Good lord, are his surrogates from the minor leagues, or what.

Anonymous said...

Is Trump doing something with his voice or his charisma that favors this kind of amnesia? I was once in a board meeting with a con man. Three of the five of us in the meeting knew absolutely that he was a liar and an embezzler before we went in. Whenever the subject of money came up it was as though there was a fog in the room and one could not think clearly. After the meeting three of us met in the pub down the road, and it took the three of us half an hour to be completely sure we knew (what we had known for sure before the meeting) that the guy was a liar and an embezzler.

Michael Flynn said...

In modern TV debate for president, Trump is by and far the worst debater of all.

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on the post above about the meeting with the con man.
I am a very experienced psychiatrist-psychotherapist. I am currently treating four women who were married, and escaped (some literally escaped) from psychopath husbands. From each of them I heard the amazing report that their psychopathic partners were able to fog or control their independent thoughts. Only after they left could they realise the full toxic nature of their relationship. One well-educated and successful business woman ran screaming from her home. "I have to get away. It's a matter of life and death." She could not clearly explain the true depth of negativity and control until she had been separated from him for several weeks, and had during that time intensive supportive psychotherapy.

Anonymous said...

It's not easy, scooping up Trump's droppings and serving them up as if they were something appealing. Trump's hold on media is the transgressive spectacle of someone breaking the norms of simple decency. But when what he's been spewing is regurgitated by his surrogates, that vile stew hardly goes down easy. No sympathy for the surrogates, of course, as they knew what they were elbowing their way into.

Ruby S Jones said...

Correction!! Those were not Bill Clinton's "victims". They were people CLAIMING to be Bill Clinton's victims. If they were victims, he would have gone to jail. See: Arkansas Project. See: Richard Mellon Scaife. See: David Brock's "Blinded by the Right".

Chris Andersen said...

If a pundit's commentary changes after getting a poll on the debate then their opinion isn't worth very much in the first place. If you really believed Trump did good in the debate then the results of a poll shouldn't change your mind.

Pundits like to criticize pols for being overly influenced by polls, but many of them are just as malleable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out once again that the media is trying to be "objective" in the face of a candidate who defies the very fabric of training of journalists. Yes they were biased (though Anderson and Radditz were clearly prepared for the dogfight) but it must be an arduous task to fight against the training to be "independent" and "objective" I look forward to the books that will be written about this period and the reformation of the R party.

Jaydmedia said...

Particularly disgusting was Chris Matthews and his locker room bonding with Giuliani over Drumpft's human shield of W. Clinton accusers. Chuck Todd going all out to venerate Conway as a "truly good person." She makes as much sense as Drumpft. If these faux news vehicles stopped creating the spectacle to legitimize themselves and started covering real and global news, the basket of deplorables would probably shrink.

Pluege said...

"Dem-heavy MSNBC"

really? immediately following the debate MSNBC aired interviews with:

wing nuts:
1. Kellyanne Conway
2. guiliani (who should be in an institution for the insane, not all over national TV)
3. hugh hewitt

on the dem side they were fair and balanced with:
1. James Carville
2. no one
3. no one

oh I forgot, 3 wingnuts to 1 Dem is liberal media bias - supposed to be no Dems ever

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