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Let's also consider the failures by the two Cretin News Network sock puppet "moderators" who never held Trump to answer a question once.

Starting with the Kennedy-Nixon "debate" (which I watched), these "debates" have been a scam by TV media to make people think the networks have any real value. Not one of the debates - including K-N - has ever had any measurable effect on the outcome of the election. They are performative bullshit like kissing babies and last Thursday's was the worst.

The Cretin News Network, like the rest of Cable News, the WaPo and the NYT, have lost half their viewers/readers since 2020 and are under the gun by the intergalactic widgetmakers who own them to become "profitable" again, so the widgetmakers can sell them off to the first rube who comes along who thinks they still have value. These places have a vested financial interest in promoting a Horse Race, to generate "engagement." That's why they normalize the monster who will send them to the tent city "re-education camps" the gargoyles of "Project 2025" are planning, if the Press Corpse is successful in their treason.

I had the privilege of working in politics for Willy Brown, one of the smartest guys I ever met. His strategy for political success was "keep the polls in mind but ignore them and run like you're ten points down till the only polls that matter close."

As to the Professional Dimocrats of the Bed Wetters' Caucus - these are the morons who freaked out when Bill Clinton "lost" the debate to Perot in 1992, and when Barack Obama "lost" to Rmoney in 2012. They're the political equivalent of the Coward in "Saving Private Ryan" who got everybody killed at the end because of his cowardice.

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Spot on.

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"Rmoney". That's good! He got killed by that "47% tape" as much as the "proceed, governor" town hall debate.

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Jun 30·edited Jul 1

I can see the CNN people might not have wanted to jump in as fact checkers. but an English friend pointed out that in the UK Trump would have at least been made to answer the question posed rather than jumping off into a stump speech.

I've got to point out that losing a debate regarding the issues at hand is worse if one of the issues is whether age has blunted your abilities. It's worse to be a once capable debater gone down-hill than it would be to just be a poor one.

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A pharmacist friend of mine pointed out what an effect cold meds can have on an 81-year-old. It would explain why he started off the debate slow and got more energetic - as the meds wore off - and then why he had so much energy at the rally afterwards and again the next day.

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Jun 29·edited Jun 29

"Most of us haven’t been in close proximity to a terrifyingly consistent malignant narcissistic sociopath in our lives..." I was married to a malignant narcissistic sociopath for way too long. I couldn't divorce him until my daughter (I refer to her as my daughter because he did nothing for her) was old enough and could speak to what he was like. She was also beginning to argue with him so I had to get her away from him. I could not have her spend time alone with him under joint custody. I got sole custody and no visitation, in exchange he paid no child support. She was diagnosed with PTSD and has been in regular therapy since (undergraduate and graduate degrees). I hate to admit it, but it took me a few years to realize that not only is there no "debating" someone like that, you can't even have a discussion, you can't yell louder or use more insults because nothing has any impact. You can't use logic, you simply live in chaos. Luckily, I could tune him out and I learned many years later that I'm on the autism spectrum. We learned to simply avoid him as best we could. He liked the family room so we found somewhere else in the house. My daughter had after school activities and spent time at friends houses and I worked. On weekends we left the house to shop or visit with friends, see movies, etc. We were both academics so I encouraged him to go to academic conferences or visit his relatives two states away. I did not know about the Gish gallop but he used the same approach with me and the gaslighting is non-stop. I knew immediately who Trump was when he came on political scene. I do, however, love Seth's suggestion of seeing Trump without the bronzer, the ridiculous hair and too long tie. I may have to wash my eyes after seeing it, but it would be staggering.

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Yes. I had a similar marraige. I wish I had left much sooner. I couldn't leave with 2 kids. He never did any child care. I was terrified of his response. I had terrible fears of the divorce. It was much worse than I imagined. I recognized Trump as who he is immediately. He also was worse than I could have imagined as president.

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I'm sorry you had to go through this but I know that you're a very brave person and in a better place now since you're no longer married to him. I was "lucky" that I was living in CT, a very Blue state, got a protective order and had female judges in family court. They didn't always rule the way I wanted, mostly in my favor, but I have to say they were fair. I was also privileged in that I was in a high-paying job (and could work extra) and could afford an attorney, as well as half the cost of a guardian ad litem (attorney investigator because of my daughter) and half the cost of a court appointed psychologist (he wanted "reunification" with my daughter but he went ballistic at her office so that didn't happen). It gets very expensive. Soon after the divorce I had to file charges of criminal harassment against him. I also had to hire my divorce attorney so the prosecutor would take it all seriously. I ended up with a 10-year protective order. He pleaded nolo contendere, these men cannot accept responsibility. He died two years ago (bad lifestyle) so there is some karma.

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Patricia, I relate to your experience with a malignant narcissistic sociopath because I too was married to one for 30 years. It took years to see the patterns of speech & behaviors-the insults & rude & crude behavior that worsened over time. My ex and Trump could be twins in appearance and behavior and disregard for anyone. Therefore I recognized the same in Trump as he campaigned, in his rallies and in the debates. His idea of winning a debate was to loudly insult & dominate. I had been aware of Trump before he entered a presidential race several years earlier but dropped out after a week. I expected him to drop out in 2015 and I was sickened when he became the Republican nominee. He was both rude & clownish and I fully expected Hillary to win. My heart was set on Hillary. Trump has many of the same mannerisms, same reasoning style, same insults and same self-adulation as my ex. People who fit into this category would be astonished to realize how others see them. I always thought my ex believed he was a god with the right to judge insult and abuse anyone and that no one else had that right. It’s the same with Trump. We easily see and know the dangers to our country if Trump is elected again. You’re right about abuse affecting us for so many years. The mental and emotional damage is extreme. If Trump wins the 2024 election the damage done to the USA and with our standing with our allies will be extreme.

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I'm sorry that you had to experience this but you were brave and divorced him. It's truly sad that there are probably a lot of us out there as well as so many women who suffer in abusive relationships. Republicans also want to get rid of no-fault divorce knowing that most abused women can't "prove" it in a court of law. I think women voters are going to surprise pundits and men in general in November.

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If it weren’t for women voters begun by the Suffragettes where would the USA be? Women 🦾! 🦾 to women!

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Thank you for this. I do think there’d be value in a written transcript of Trump’s “performance” w/the factcheck in bold after every lie. Time consuming I’m sure … anybody got an intern interested? It’d be a service.

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I am working on exactly this. Stay tuned.

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Color coding would be eye-opening. Green for true, yellow for mostly true, orange for mostly false, and red for liar-liar-pants-on-fire.

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The transcript of Biden really helped.

I'm sharing this wherever I can.

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The media is a malignant narcissist

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Jun 30·edited Jun 30

CNN developed procedural rules for this debate, but there were no rules about speaker content or moderator fact-checking. While Joe Biden is a rule-follower, Donald Trump is a rule-breaker and a convicted law-breaker. Just look at the difficulty judges have had in controlling and containing Trump's out-of-court and in-court behavior --- in courtrooms where judges are used to seeing lawbreaking civil and criminal defendants show up every day. Put Joe Biden in a rules-based environment, he will do what he expects is the norm for a standard debate; he will even look towards those same moderators in astonishment when Trump says some obviously ridiculous lie. But put Donald Trump in that same environment and he will break all the norms and use it as a forum for his vile lies, distractions and disinformation. If there's a September debate, I would love it if Biden, upon hearing the first of Trump's lies, broke the "4th wall" of the TV camera's view by saying something like this: "Folks, since Mr. Trump cannot stick to the conventions of a debate, let's review some facts about him to assess his fitness to serve as President of the United States...." and go on to enumerate all of the lawsuits, bankruptcies, indictments, failed policies, violations of emoluments, etc., and keep doing that for each of the very short time segments he is allotted. (Besides the cold medicine that he was probably having to take, Joe Biden over the previous 2 weeks or so had crossed the Atlantic 3 times for meetings in Europe; I'd like to see anyone over the age of 50 do that and not experience some serious jet lag....)

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You're aware that the Biden team set the terms of the debate including that they didn't want real time fact checking? Also, in terms of lying, Trump is the very worst. Biden is no hell either.

https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/19/politics/fact-check-biden-pennsylvania-campaign-swing/index.html

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Yes, I'm aware of that Jess, and didn't intend to imply otherwise.

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Seth, from a Wildcat ‘84. Excellent in substance, analysis, tone and point of view. Clear. Concise. And the reason why you should be on the political talk show circuit.

It is interesting to me how these candidates are being treated by pundits and the press the way women lawyers are treated by male judges appointed in the Trump era.

I’m not judged by my recitation of facts or legal argument. Truth doesn’t matter. Law doesn’t matter. Evidence doesn’t matter.

A woman lawyer, particularly an older white woman, is accused of “interrupting” proceedings when she lodges objections. She’s threatened with contempt for making a record. Her sociopathic male opponent lies about facts, procedure and law with impunity.

Judge blames older white woman lawyer for every delay in the case, every oversight. Especially his own.

Gaslighting is the new black. Robe.

In the moment it a whirlwind as you step through the looking glass into that courtroom— until the truth of it all is proven up by transcripts later on.

Misogynist Trump era Judges focus on how young or old, how pretty or not, the sex appeal factor, the clothes, voice and make up. They are conned by the con. Baffled by the BS. Lead into errors they have no pride or accountability for avoiding.

It’s maddening. I find myself hugging transcripts close as proof of who I am, what I got and what I gave.

This campaign is not America’s Got Talent. It is not a beauty pageant. It is more than a moment. It involves analysis of prior job performance, character and ethics. It involves comparison of world view and agenda: is he in it for me or he. Everything is at stake. Democracy. Freedom. Civil rights. Bodily integrity. Speech.

And, amazingly, the press is the judge ignoring its duty. Lazy. Fat and happy. Blaming the party they perceive to be weaker and more vulnerable. Judging on style. Eschewing substance and history. Ignoring lies.

Promoting chaos and drama.

It’s exactly the recipe craved by the sociopath.

If we are not vigilant it will take us down, the manipulation and lies, the sleight of hand, the vacuous mindless recitation of lies which will never be true no matter how many times repeated.

The press, like the judge, is protected. Plausible deniability. Mislead by a master manipulator.

For my client I have appellate courts.

For this, the country has none.

Thanks for your work.

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You’re correct that substance doesn’t matter to the con. If the debate was being judged as part of a high school speech meet, trump would have lost. He performs. That’s all.

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Thank you. I kept yelling, "He's Gish Galloping, call him out," to the TV, but the moderators either didn't know what Trump was doing or chose to ignore it, in either case enabling Trump's deluge of outrageous lies. I hope moderators for the next debate learn a bit about Gish Galloping because Trump's a master at it. And, I wish that pundits, news anchors, & news editorial boards (that's you NYTimes) would become much better informed before feeling compelled to opine on the slate of candidates for the next presidential election.

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Idea: media news outlets should receive hundreds of copies of the Strongmen book by Ruth Ben-Ghiat and assign it as reading to their employees…

It will never happen but it’s a good idea. Being able to set what’s happening now into a historical context of the patterns of authoritarian personalist rule is eye opening.

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I definitely agree. And, they should also require their employees to read Ruth Ben -Ghiat's excellent newsletter, "Lucid."

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I agree 💯

I believe it’s the greed of money over country of mainstream media that wants to keep the 2024 election looking close so that people will continue to tune in that feeds the false narrative of Joe Biden.

Biden has already proven himself to be a phenomenal president. All the facts are available. Democrats just happen to be terrible at messaging.

They must learn to speak simplistically in direct messaging to the public. And name Republicans for who they are and stop expecting them to change.

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Exactly. "Keep the horse race looking close" turned out great in 2016, didn't it.

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Thank You! We are in a fight to save America, our democracy, We The People, our freedom, our rights. We can't be fooled again! We won't be fooled again!

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This is useful. Thanks, Seth. I'll need to read the entire transcript (thanks for the link) because it was about at the point where you stopped quoting it that I just couldn't handle watching the debate any longer and turned it off.

Is there any hope for the reinvention of a major media outlet, or the inception of a new one, that actually addresses substance with a critical-thinking approach? I can't stand most of them, not even NPR anymore (for a long while now). I get by with following independent journalists and commentators like yourself, but I daresay so many more people would consume their quality content if it were aggregated via some media partnership agreement and mass marketed somehow.

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Kamal Harris although looking distinctively upset while completely composed did an excellent job of smacking down CNN pundits. She aptly pointed out that they had not listened to Biden’s answers just as you suggest here. What I hated most about the debate was when moderators would say-you still have another 82 seconds…He didn’t need the time, he was Al 1,2,3 got out his point . Then allowing Tramp to not only use the debate for a stump speech but allow him repeatedly not to answer the question. They could have cut his mic. Said this is the question…and done that until he behaved. AND failed to ask about Project 2025. Biden at last reported count had 75 million individual donations to Tramps 1 million. That is a bank of votes.

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"But I will note that it’s instantly disqualifying, in any debate from CNN to middle school, to lie. If you know even the first thing about debating, you know that providing false information, or using false claims to make a point, or lapsing into hyperbole, or tossing out character attacks without any evidence behind them whatsoever, are all disqualifiers in a debate."

I don't know that a single instance of an argument relying on a falsehood is disqualifying--maybe it it--but I'm confident that any argument which proceeds from false premises is unsound. I would assume, then, that any scoring of the debate in the manner of amateur boxing or fencing would only count.arguments made from true premises.

I just spent a couple of hours going through three fact checks: WaPo, AP, and Factcheck.org. Even after eliminating statistical arguments made with a leg in Covid, exaggerations, and after giving debaters the benefit of the doubt regarding what they *meant* to say rather than what they did say, Trump out-lied Biden 10-1.

I would love for an NCAA debate judge to score the debate, with the question on the floor being, "Who should be the next POTUS?"

Thanks to Seth for putting the question in the proper light.

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So true. And corporate media: in the aftermath it's not enough to just "count the lies" in those fair and balanced fairy tales. Reading or text-to-speechifying that transcript shows the unhinged Trump snarling nothing but the SAME lies over and over again -- always to enshrine the planet's most "have-y" corporatists and bulldoze the underclass. But in the lies-counting game, every one of those calls to basically kill off the "millions of people to come in here from prisons, jails and mental institutions to come into our country and destroy our country" just adds up to "1", where there's absolutely nothing else coming out of the lunatic's mouth.

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I would say false statements add up to zero. "Joe Biden made up the story about suckers and losers" has the same value as "Covid was caused by flying monkeys"--i.e.. no value at all. By the way, Glen Kessler at WaPo has coined the expression of lies told over and over, even after being debunked: Bottomless Pinniccios.

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Thank you for sharing that portion of the transcript. It showed exactly what I knew it would...that Joe Biden answered the questions asked of him honestly and with actual information to back up his claims, while Trump did nothing but lie! I am so annoyed by the media's jumping all over Joe while the opponent is a convicted felon who lies any time his mouth is open. The "moderators" of the debate were worthless. They never forced Trump to answer a question he didn't want to answer, and they let him lie constantly. I am voting Biden all the way, but my vote doesn't matter because I live in California. I can only hope that swing voters saw Trump's lying and will vote Biden, too, because if Trump wins, our country will come to an end. Project 2025 is the most horrific plan I have ever heard of, next to Hitler's Final Solution.

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Love this post!!

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