T: To go back to our favorite subject … I noticed today that the NPR podcast and the New York Times blogrolls are working on the “Trump wins debate number two” narrative already. NYT put the bad microphone story at the top of their news feed, over Cuba and all the other stuff.
J: I saw some of that today, some of the “what Trump needs to do” articles… and if he remotely does it they’ll crown him the winner.
T: NPR is telling millennial women to freak out over Monica Lewinsky.
J: There’s plenty of other stuff there.
T: I wrote a comment on the NYT trump thing – they are treating the race like a game show.
J: They want that comeback narrative to be true.
T: There is plenty of media out there covering the real stuff, but the aggregators are focusing on the comeback stuff.
J: Most of the news I’ve seen is about Trump’s possibly drunk early-morning tweets against Machado, the Miss Universe.
T: I doubt he was drunk. He might have been drugged, though. He was clearly sick during the debate.
J: Donald’s surrogates have been desperately trying to spin the drugged tweets, but all that’s doing is making sure more people talk about them. He just cannot let any slight go, no matter how small it is. He keeps proving that he is temperamentally unfit for the presidency. And now he’s threatening to bring in Bill’s sexual past. All of Trump’s advisers have warned him to stay the hell away from that angle… glass houses and all. It would blow up in his face.
T: NPR thinks it’s a done deal; apparently he’s been hitting it on Twitter. I can’t say he has for sure, though. I’m only on Twitter a couple of times a week, and I get the hell off and shower as quickly as possible whenever I do..
J: I don’t Twitter much either, so I can’t say, but all of the commentators I’ve seen, both sides of the aisle, say it would be an extremely bad idea for him to go there. First, it would hurt him with women, and second it would paint him as a hypocrite.
T: Third and 15, own 8 yard line, down two touchdowns. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Not that anyone can tell the difference. Trump sounds desperate in his sleep.
J: He hasn’t brought Bill up, not that I’ve seen, except for the backhanded reference after the debate. And no Lindsay Scott in sight. (Editor’s note: Scott caught a 92-yard TD pass in the final minute of the 1980 Georgia-Florida game.)
T: Is Trump in a place where he can even throw short, let alone run the ball? As far as I’m concerned he already said it, and I think the women who heard about it think the same thing. You can’t “sort of” screw somebody.
(added later) This would be some world class foreshadowing, except we had no idea what was coming.
J: This debate is critical for him, even more than the first one was… he can’t afford another schooling.
T: He’s going to be graded on a curve … describe the curve you expect. First Hillary, then Trump.
J: Expectations will be high for Hillary, especially coming off the first debate… the town-hall format is a bit of a wild card, because the questions that come are unpredictable, but her experience and policy background should enable her to at least answer pretty much any question in a coherent fashion, if not really connect with people.
T: She was confident and controlled in the first one, and the narrative is that she schooled Trump.
J: Trump’s expectations will be lower, at least among his supporters… they’ll play the “not a politician” card.
T: So what’s a win for Hillary? Can she win simply by pissing him off?
J: Again, the format is a wild card.. I harbor a hope that someone will ask him a question that really pisses him off, and leads to more drugged tweets
T: Trump has never been able to keep his cool, or catch himself when he starts losing it.
J: If he keeps his cool and at least somewhat answers the questions he’s asked that’d be a win for him.
T: Or apologize afterwards, not that he ever apologizes. My take: Hillary has to get him to lose his cool enough that people are staring at him in horrified awe to win. The media has treated the race, from the start, like one of those old daytime game shows, where the only thing that matters is the very last game. The media wants a close election so bad that they will put both thumbs, one leg and an anvil on the scale if they have to. An Acme brand anvil.
J: What do you think the chances are that we get a horrified-stare moment? I’d say 40%.
T: What’s the demographic layout? Who is going to be in the audience?
J: I don’t know; I don’t think it’s preselected, I think it’s a lottery, each party gets a set number of tickets.
T: I’m thinking the horrified stares won’t come from older people, so Hillary will need some youngsters; college students, maybe?
J: Some 23-year-old kid will ask the question, Trump will blather, and the whole place will be like “WTF?”
T: Is there any chance in hell that Hillary doesn’t bring up (1) Cuba, (2) Machado,; and (3) that stupid tweet with the taco bowl?
J: 1) and 2) no, 3) maybe, depends on if she can find the opening for it.
T: The debate is sponsored by KFC, so maybe not number three.
J: Doesn’t Yum Brands own Taco Bell too?
T: Who would be the perfect sponsor? How about sound-reduction headphones? Trump’s yelling away, Hillary is trying to get a word in edgewise, then the listener puts on the ‘phones and it gets reeeeaaalll quiet.
Then he plows into an abutment because he’s watching the show on his phone while he’s flying down the freeway at 70 miles an hour.
J: The second Presidential debate, brought to you by Bose noise-canceling headphones
T: I guess Machado is a big television star in Latin America.
J: She is, she’s all over Univision.
T: Five day story – pretty long for this cycle, almost getting into Kahn territory.
J: Latest poll shows Clinton up 4 in Florida; the poll was done 9-27 to 9-29, so after the debate.
T: She is probably going to win Florida now. Florida might move independently of the trends, though, so it’s not really a swing state.
J: Between the Cuba thing and the Machado thing, I agree; and Trump has no path to 270 without Florida. Even the heavily white population up north can’t prevent it if the Latin vote gets motivated. Even if he won every other battleground state he’d still be short. The Blue Wall is holding… that plus Florida = 271
T: Well, there is always a path. But it requires him moving the polls his way to within at least a percentage point. If the overall spread is less than a point, he has some demographic advantages. Losing Florida would mean he has to get behind the blue wall, but there are blue states that are not polling well for Clinton in context.
J: I don’t sweat the national polls too much A lot of his gain in them is red states getting redder. Clinton is up 67.5 to 32.5 in polls-only on 538. It’s starting to slip away from Trump, makes the debate even more critical. He simply HAS to not fuck it up.
T: Funny thing is – I bet Trump’s attacks on her weren’t all that inappropriate
J: They were bad enough, calling her “Miss Housekeeping” is pretty racist.
T: She did gain a shitload of weight, and it wasn’t like she was applying for a unisex job with no physical expectations. Miss Housekeeping … have you seen “Devious Maids?” And she tried to run somebody over with a car.
J: Granted, if you’re a beauty queen you should know that there’ll be some expectation that you keep yourself in shape.
T: I get the sense she was a real problem… that he wasn’t just talking about her weight. I mean, Trump is an old misogynist – we all know that – but that doesn’t mean Machado is some sort of victim here.
J: No, she allegedly drove the getaway car.. she was never charged with anything, and that was AFTER her time as Miss Universe anyway.
T: Do you think her year with the title she was Little Orphan Annie? Or was she a coke snorting binge eating monster diva or something?
J: She wasn’t a saint, she said as much herself, and there’s pretty much no denying that. But it doesn’t justify racism.
T: I’m not defending Trump, or making a point about Machado, so much as pointing out that Trump’s worst moments never seem to match his worst actions. Trump has done dozens of criminal, indictable things, yet the only thing that ever sticks in the public craw is when he gets in twitter fights with cute and fuzzy people. How shallow are those swing voters? We like the story because Trump deserves adversity, but is it really a fair story? Probably not. I’d much rather be hearing about the bribe in Florida, the Cuba stuff, and the self-dealing.
J: In the grand scheme of things, this shouldn’t have been as big a deal as it has been…but Trump’s refusal to let it go has blown it out of proportion. Those are, or should be, much more worrisome things when considering who ought to be President. We don’t really want a racist xenophobe as president, but we got along with them in the first half of the 19th century, and the nation survived. But we REALLY don’t want a dishonest, corrupt grifter as President.
T: We are still growing into our new communication abilities. Social media is like a teenager who just learned how to drive. So we focus on the shallow stuff. Because it takes too long to work up any angst about complicated, slow to develop stories.
J: Watergate took over two years from beginning to end.
T: I don’t think it would make a ripple today.
J: We as a country don’t have that kind of attention span any more, if we ever did.
T: We don’t have that central authority in the media now. There is no Walter Cronkite, no Edward R. Murrow.
J: No, we don’t have that kind of journalism anymore, no one asks the tough questions.
T: We are decentralized. I think the questions still get asked, but we don’t wait for the answers.
J: There’s no one like a Mike Wallace who strikes fear just walking into your office. When Wallace interviewed you, you knew you couldn’t lie… he knew the facts probably as well as you did.
T: How about this? A major network clears its entire schedule on November 7th, and does nothing but report everything about Trump, all day. I don’t mean he said/she said stuff, but the serious stuff. Cuba, Florida, self-dealing, overseas connections, etc., and a full, comprehensive analysis of whitewater, Benghazi, the emails, and whatever else for Hillary.
J: That would be great to see but it would never happen.
T: One night one candidate, the next night the other. Whomever hosted it would become our next Cronkite, so choose wisely, guys.
J: Megyn Kelly… LOL
T: She roasted ole Kellyanne the other day.
J: Yes she did. I was amused.
T: She have any non-Fox future?
J: Apparently either she or O’Reilly will be leaving Fox at the end of the year, they don’t want to pay both of them.
T: Fox is like the Baywatch of cable news shows … work there and you are typecast as a vacuous boob forever.
J: Murdoch would rather keep Kelly than O’Reilly, O’Reilly has said that he wants to retire. But Kelly might not want to stay, she might want to see what she’s worth on the open market.
Kelly is probably the most respected on Faux News.
T: She will still have to be deloused, but we have programs for that.
J: She might want to angle for a job with the Big Three.
T: She will probably pivot left once she gets out of there, but she won’t want to jerk left. Gradually shift, oh so slowly … they should probably keep her off Bill Mahr for a few months.
J: Yeah, probably. She’s been pretty tough on Trump. To be fair, she’s done a decent job of actual journalism.
T: I am pretty sure if Fox news got rid of their bimbos the ozone layer would grow out of control, like the deer population right after gun control.
J: The peroxide market would crash.