Tonight, starting at 6 PM EDT on CNN and round two at 8 PM EDT on the same cable channel, the GOP will present its second debate from the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. As before, the first debate will lead off with the lower ranking candidates in the polls. This time there are only four that didn’t make the cut for the main event, while eleven will now occupy the main stage. Former Hewlett Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina will join the boys club for this round.
This will mostly be an event to try to counter the bombastic rhetoric of the front runner, real estate mogul and performance artist Donald Trump. Mr. trumps unscripted screed has dominated the regular and cable news station, so much so that some high profile figures are calling them out on it. HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher lambasted MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Matthews’ own show, “Hardball” for what Maher called non-stop coverage of Trump’s “rambling brainfarts”
When Matthews asked for his thoughts about how Trump could be pulling in the crowds and the poll numbers that he does, Maher’s said the reason was that when it comes to how much live coverage the media gives the plutocrat, MSNBC needs only to look in a mirror.
“Why cover it, like he’s Churchill giving an important speech? Have you listened to these speeches?” Maher asked. “Trump is always saying other countries are laughing at us. This is why they’re laughing at us, because of what he says and how we are taking it seriously.”
Maher also brought up Trump’s attacks on his rivals for using teleprompters, saying that though people have been responding to his speeches, Maher described them as “brain fart, stream of conscious ramblings.”
Matthews responded that network news keeps Trump on in order to see how long he’ll last, to which, Maher supposed Trump could go on repeating the same points forever.
“He’s already repeating his material. He says this stuff in every speech,” Maher said. He finished the conversation by acknowledging also how, whether Trump is giving speeches or taking questions, he either disregards evidence contrary to his views, or promises “something terrific.”
So what happened last night? Yes, they did it again when during Chris Hayes’ show, they cut to complete coverage of Trump’s alleged foreign policy speech, which was mercifully shorter than usual and had nothing to do with foreign policy. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, apparently fed up with Trump’s babbling, cut away:
Trump was speaking in broad terms about doing good things for the military and veterans. Now, normally whenever Trump’s speaking on TV, cable news can’t resist it. But it appears this speech may have been a final straw of sorts, as Cooper just cut into the speech and very blatantly said they were told there will be specifics.
He informed viewers if Trump started giving specifics, they would cut back to his remarks. They did not.
And it didn’t even end there. At various different points throughout the evening, Cooper made a point of highlighting how Trump gave no specifics, which apparently people were led to believe would be in this particular speech.
What is even more pathetic is former Politico writer Maggie Halberman, now writing with a New York Times by-line, trying to convince her readers that Trump has become a more “disciplined” candidate. Really??? My guess would be that Ms. Halberman hasn’t seen or heard Trump’s last two speeches.
I really hate dwelling on The Donald but he is a useful tool in the sense that he is showing the GOP for what it truly is: a racist, egocentric, party of old white men who care only about catering to the 1% who support them. No offense to Dr. Ben Carson, who is a very close second in the polls. While he maybe an excellent neurosurgeon and a innovator in his field of medicine, he is out of touch with the realities of the vast majority of black Americans. It sad that instead of being remembered for his greatness in the OR, he’ll be remembered for his clueless presidential run.
We will be live blogging this event. I will be removing all sharp and hard objects from the room lest I be tempted to throw one at my TV. I will also have a pitcher of very dry martinis and, just for The Donald, a large bowl of home made salsa and tortilla chips.