Monday’s Debate Is Not An Episode Of ‘America’s Got Presidential Talent’

My friend Joel Silberman was on MSNBC talking about what to expect at the debates. He talked about how important it is for the media to not lower the bar for Trump.

This isn’t Dancing With the Stars, or The Voice or America’s Got Presidential Talent. We’re talking about the leader of the free world so let’s ask some real questions and hold them accountable.


Monday’s debate should be a place where both candidates get asked serious questions and are expected to give serious answers. The performance should be judged by how well each answers those questions. But that is so BORING! The mainstream media knows that, so they do everything they can to make the debates more dramatic and exciting. “Live questions from social media! Live audiences to cheer and boo! Gotcha questions!”

Trump won his debates partly because he’s been running for Entertainer in Chief and has delivered. (The last funny Republican was Bob Dole, so the media knows Trump is a rare bird.)

The media played along with Trump as Entertainer in Chief because it’s more fun. Serious policy answers are boring and don’t get ratings.

Trump knows he isn’t going to win a debate based on having good policy answers, he’ll win because he has the best zingers and “In your face, liberals!” one-liner positions on everything. People remember, “Well, there you go again.” from Reagan, which makes sense because as an actor he knew how to deliver a well-timed line. This is Debate Theater not a debate.

My question for Monday is, “Will Trump pay any price for not having deeper answers to serious questions?”

Some people in his camp might think he needs to show knowledge about the issues, they will be ignored. That stuff is for liberal nerds and policy wonks who read blogs and know the names of Supreme Court Justices. His voters just want to hear zingers and see swagger.

Roger Ailes, the un-incarcerated serial sexual harasser, is advising Trump. He’s not going to tell him to bone up on Aleppo. He’ll advise him on how to say the things his Fox audience loves. He’ll remind him, “You don’t need to satisfy Holt and the liberal media, they are already in the tank for Hillary. You need to satisfy your base. Show them you are the alpha and are in control.”

(I’ve watched a bunch of clips of Trump on The Apprentice. He knew how to control the moment. Now some of that is editing, but his confidence in the setting is what comes across. Even if his reasoning, when you look at it later, is clearly capricious and loopy, he still “wins the interaction” especially if there is no one there to follow up and question him. )

Karl Rove and Karen Hughes believed, and showed time after time with Bush, that “It’s better to look and sound strong than to actually BE strong.” When they didn’t want to talk about a plan, they classified it. When it didn’t work, they changed what the goals were. Details are for underlings. It’s about the look and the attitude. You want policies and positions? Sure, if they can fit on a tweet. That, Trump can do.

Which Media will show up?

When Tamron Hall asked what to expect from Trump, Joel responded. “That’s the wild card, isn’t it? Which Donald shows up?” That will depend on which Media shows up. Will it be the media that don’t feel it’s their job to point out lies and errors, as Chris Wallace of Fox News said? Or will it be the media that understands the winners’ policies will mean life or death to millions? And when the Media gets their answers will they accept them without follow up or demand more?

In the distant past, the metric for success by the journalist moderator were good questions that let people see the knowledge, competence and character of the candidates so voters can decide. I think the last time we saw that was when the League of Women Voters were in charge. If we have a moderator who sees the job like that, then Hillary will nail the debate with knowledge and competence.

If that is how Holt approaches the debate, Trump will try to move to be light and funny. He’ll kick the policy details down the road. If Holt then doesn’t ask for more detail or accepts vagaries, Trump wins because Holt has let Trump set the rules.

Hillary understands Debate Theater, she knows how to play the zinger game. Zingers actually can be very powerful. I hope someone is writing some new ones for her. She’s come up with a few good ones in the past. “A man who can be baited by a tweet” and “Delete your account.”

Here’s the deal, we need the media that shows up to hold each candidate to the same, “Millions of lives are in the balance” standard. Because that is the reality. If they don’t, and let him control the moment and the depth of the debate, Trump will have a real shot at winning the debate, and perhaps the election–and that’s not entertaining at all.

It’s Lost In Space’s 50 Year Anniversary. Reboot Time!

Today over at io9 Katharine Trendacosta mentioned the casting of Will Robinson for the new Lost In Space reboot. She ended it with this line.

Honestly, all this show needs to do is have a robot yell “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” at Jenkins and most people will probably be happy with it. Honestly, it’s not like it can be worse than the 1998 film.

I really liked the 1998 film, the father son relationship, the great action special effects and the sexy outfits for the crew. But it did have some massive CGI problems, especially with their space monkey.

One poster, Angrier Geek, had this to say 9/20/16 4:49pm Oh, that fucking monkey. That’s how you know everyone in Hollywood is on cocaine. Only a drug addled mind thinks that’s a good idea.

I thought that was probably right, so I envisioned how the monkey happened, how it got in there, what happened with the CGI and finally what the fallout was.

Scene opens in New Line Cinema studio executive’s office.

Studio Exec: We need a cute alien. You know, for the kids! We can sell more toys with it. Administrative Assistant: How about we do a take on the Space . . . → Read More: It’s Lost In Space’s 50 Year Anniversary. Reboot Time!

How does he get away with death threats?

For the second time in less than a month, Donald Trump made a comment suggesting someone take a shot at Hillary Clinton because of her position on guns. Who might do this? “The 2nd Amendment people”. What might they do? “We’ll see.”

Once again, I feel it’s 2003 and we are leading up to the war in Iraq and nobody in the media is questioning the lame reasoning. “Surely the press won’t let that BS slide.”  But I’ve since realized that the media lets politicians on the right get away with saying all sorts of crap. In the case of death threats from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, they actually help him get away with them.

Here’s how it’s done, in 5 easy steps

“I think that [Hillary Clinton’s] bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. Immediately…Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay? It’ll be very dangerous.” [1]

1. Declare it’s a Joke!

At the start of the video Wolf Blitzer called Trumps’ comment a joke.  Instead of being taken seriously as a comment, Blitzer assigned the frame of the discussion as “a joke,” removing the seriousness of it. This is one way they helped Trump get away with death threats. “It’s a joke!”

2) Help prove its . . . → Read More: How does he get away with death threats?

ICYMI Stuntman Flies over Snake River Canyon on Evel Knievel’s X2 Skycycle

Because a certain short-fingered vulgarian sucked up all the media’s time and attention, you might have missed this really exciting and suspenseful story yesterday.

Stuntman Eddie Braun in the X2 Skycycle flying over Snake River Canyon AP ©2016, by Times-News and

Stuntman Eddie Braun successfully flew over Snake River Canyon on an exact duplicate of Evel Knievel’s X2 Skycycle.  Braun has said the rocket was identical to the model Knievel used for his failed canyon attempt on Sept. 8, 1974.

Months of testing was performed on the rocket designed by Scott Truax, whose father constructed the original “X2 Skycycle” for Knievel.

Truax followed his father’s blueprints down to the last bolt and deviated only by updating the parachute system.

Full story in Popular Mechanics

THIS is the event the news networks should have gone to yesterday instead of a hotel launch promo. THIS was a real suspenseful story, it has never been done successfully. The last attempt was 42 years ago. Braun could have literally crashed and burned, not just metaphorically.

THIS would have justified multiple film crews and live reporters at the location.

Link to KBOI full story and video Instead the media got conned. A few fought back though, Robert . . . → Read More: ICYMI Stuntman Flies over Snake River Canyon on Evel Knievel’s X2 Skycycle

Remember The Last Time The MSM Didn’t Do Their Job?


I’ve noticed some serious anger at the mainstream media coming from multiple sources lately. It reminds me of 2003, during the build up to the Iraq war. I, like many people, were thinking, “The mainstream media is going to do their job, right? They will ask the tough questions, sort out the BS from the truth, hold power accountable, you know, the stuff from the movies.” But they didn’t.

Some of us started blogging during that time as an alternative to screaming at the TV.  The MSM didn’t want me helping them be better, so I chose to defund the right-wing media, who were making the world worse. (They still are, but are getting a lot less money for it.)

After the disaster of the Matt Lauer interviews, I got the same sick feeling about the MSM as I had in 2003. “Wait, what? Are you KIDDING ME?” I suppose in the spring and summer people could forgive the MSM for going with the most entertaining candidate. I mean, would you want to cover the unctuous Ted Cruz for 9 months? I couldn’t take enough showers every day.

But this isn’t Dancing with the Stars, the winner of this contest gets the power of . . . → Read More: Remember The Last Time The MSM Didn’t Do Their Job?

Gun Nuts Can’t Handle Cocks Not Glocks Protest

Gun nuts just can’t take a joke. I saw a vicious video last week, my edited version is below. It’s in response to the Cocks Not Glocks protest at University of Texas where individuals with a concealed handgun license (CHL) are allowed to bring their handguns on campus, but people with sex toys can not, because they are deemed obscene.

The Cocks Not Glocks protest is a clever way to make a point. The TV stations can discuss the issue with a “Live from the University of Texas” stand up, state the current facts, make cute “We can’t say it on TV” comments about the rubber penises the activists are bringing, interview a few supporters, give their detractors equal time, then it’s back to Sunny Storm with the weather.

As far as media friendly protests go this one is pretty damn good. It has a message and makes a point. Even the way that TV stations have to dance around what they can’t show or say helps make the point of the absurdity of the situation.

But from a “news” point of view the story is over.  I think there needs to be more stories in the media about this issue. Because marginally trained, uninsured, drinking-age college . . . → Read More: Gun Nuts Can’t Handle Cocks Not Glocks Protest

2 Bundy Ranch Thugs Who Threatened Feds Going To Jail

Gerald “Jerry” DeLemus (left) and Blaine Cooper on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, became the first of 19 defendants to take plea deals in the April 2014 standoff between U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents near Cliven Bundy’s property about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Ken Ritter (The Associated Press)  (OregonLive)

It was great to see this story last week. Angry white men go to jail.  It seems like everyone’s talking about angry white men (AWM) these days. Who are they? What are they angry about and what’s the deal with their lawns?

The politicians want to know the answers to these questions so they can get their votes. The mainstream media want to talk about them to help the non-angry white men understand why they must be appeased–instead of all others.

Fox News and right-wing radio just straight up pander to them. They also need to create more, since their viewers are dying off.

(Speaking of dying off, fun fact: If you compare two people with equivalent schooling and income, the Trump supporter will be the sick fat one. I’m not making this up. See WaPo study under the health subhead.)

I was listening to Micheal . . . → Read More: 2 Bundy Ranch Thugs Who Threatened Feds Going To Jail

Who’s the Trump Immigration Pivot For?

August 20, 2016 BuzzFeed News:

In Reversal, Trump Indicates To Hispanic Leaders Openness To Legalization For Immigrants In a Saturday meeting with his newly announced Hispanic advisory council, Donald Trump suggested he is interested in figuring out a “humane and efficient” manner to deal with immigrants in the country illegally, according to three sources. — BuzzFeed News Adrian Carrasquillo

This was exciting news since it seemed to indicate the pivot the mainstream media has been looking for since the primaries ended. So of course they jumped on it:

A Trump Deportation Reversal Hints emerge that he is rethinking one of his worst policies. –Opinion Wall Street Journal Aug 21, 2016

Is Trump Dumping His Plan to Deport 11 Million Illegal Immigrants?   The Fiscal Times -Aug 21, 2016

Donald Trump’s mass deportation plan now in question   CBS News – ‎Aug 21, 2016

But before the pixels on the MSM’s story were even dry, the right-wing news outlets were reassuring their audience that those stories are all liberal media lies. And we know this since their new house organ, Breitbart News, told them so explicitly.

Exclusive – RNC Official at Trump’s Hispanic Meeting Debunks False BuzzFeed, Univision Reports . . . → Read More: Who’s the Trump Immigration Pivot For?

Watch These Trump Supporters Who Want To Cage and Ship Out Mexicans

I just saw part of the Triumph’s Summer Election Special 2016 for Hulu on YouTube. In this segment a focus group of Trump supporters watch fake new Trump commercials and then give their take on them. It’s funny, clever—and scary.

The fake ads range from the ridiculous to the horrific. What is astonishing is how many of the members agreed with the ideas expressed, and wanted to help The Donald implement them. I’ve run and participated in focus groups before. People knew they were being recorded. If the group was going to be shown or broadcast, releases had to be signed. I would have been fine if my opinion on garlic-flavored Pepsi was released to the world on YouTube. (Note: I’m against it!) But after watching the participants in this focus group video, my first thought was,”They can’t be serious. They don’t REALLY believe that.” But what if they do?

When I first heard the violent rhetoric, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and hate coming out of right-wing talk radio I believed what a lot of people did. “It’s just an act to get ratings.” I thought that if you had a serious conversation with these people they would admit it. . . . → Read More: Watch These Trump Supporters Who Want To Cage and Ship Out Mexicans

Open Carry Rules For RNC, In Black & White

It’s only called ‘open carry’ when the man is white. It he’s black it’s ‘oh shit, he’s got a gun!’ #PhilandoCastile

— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) July 7, 2016

The Wall Street Journal gives the rundown of what is allowed in the area of the RNC.

Considering all open carriers: Who is going to be in more danger of being arrested for suspicious behavior before the event? During? After?

White men  Black men

I think many of the black men considering open carry will be arrested before the event on some trumped up charge, just to keep them out of the picture.  The ones who make it through will be fine, unless there is a panic. We all know what happened to the last black guy who open carried at a protest and there was a panic.

I believe many of the white men considering open carry won’t be arrested before the event. The government treats the white Republican men differently, even if they have a previous criminal history of protesting with guns. (See Bundy Ranch and Malheur refuge stories below)

I do predict that some open carriers will be arrested at the event. They want to show how peaceful they are and how . . . → Read More: Open Carry Rules For RNC, In Black & White