Commander-in-Chief Forum: Another Press Failure

There is no way that Donald Trump should have even a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the presidency. It shouldn’t even be close. Hillary Clinton is as qualified as any candidate in history and she is running against the most unqualified candidate in history. Clinton, whether or not you believe she has faults, is not a complete buffoon. The problem is, the press wants a horse race, no matter what it would mean for the American people. Last night’s ridiculous “Commander-in-Chief” forum showed just how badly the press has fallen down on the job.

This hour-long piece of shit was breathtaking in its stupidity. First of all, it was only an hour long and it was split between the two major-party candidates. Worse, though, Matt Lauer, whose journalistic chops were already suspect, screwed it up even more. It was obvious that Lauer was trying to cram as many questions as possible into each half-hour-minus-commercials. Apparently, someone has told him that the questions matter more than the answers to voters. I say that because he seemed to be far more intent on getting to his next question than he was hearing and reacting to the answers. And the questions were nothing short of insipid.

The “forum” was supposed to be on “foreign policy,” but Lauer spent half of the limited time allotted him questioning Hillary Clinton on the asinine emails non-scandal and using that to question her judgment. Worse than that, he made it obvious that he seemed intent on proving that the email issue was some sort of dastardly crime.  At worst, the email issue is typical government silliness. When Bush left, the IT situation at the State Department was in tatters and there was no secure email system, so she used her own. If she took office in 2016, it might be a big deal. In 2009, it was not. Also, no one cares, except people who already hate Clinton and they use the issue because they have nothing else. Such a silly issue shouldn’t disqualify anyone from any office. Yes, even president.

And when compared to Trump… well…

Lauer’s “grilling” of Trump was even more absurd. Trump started with an outright lie; “I was totally against the war in Iraq. You can look at Esquire magazine from 2004. You can look at before that.” Not only is this a lie, it’s one that has been refuted repeatedly. Apparently, Matt Lauer doesn’t consume much news. Yet, Lauer was so intent on cramming in as many questions as possible that he apparently didn’t hear it because he didn’t even follow it up.

If you’re counting, he asked Hillary a question about her emails, she told the truth and Lauer followed up with four additional questions on it, but Trump told a bald-faced lie and not a single, solitary follow-up question was asked, let alone an acknowledgement that Trump had lied.

The entire “forum” followed suit. It was a complete joke. Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strong and popular leader and not only did he elevate Putin above President Obama, but when Lauer finally followed up on that one, Trump suggested that President Obama had done similar things as Putin, apparently implying that the President has punished and imprisoned critics and journalists for doing their job, even if he didn’t go into Ukraine and take Crimea. No follow up on that, though. Too many questions to get to, after all.

Likewise, Trump was able to lament the fact that the U.S. didn’t take all of Iraq’s oil after the invasion and he was able to reiterate his belief that “to the victor go the spoils.” Trump apparently thinks such a thing should be the basis for American foreign policy. Lauer never even followed up with that one, which would have only necessitated an explanation that we weren’t fighting against Iraq, but with them.

The only issue on which Lauer ever tried to press Trump for an answer was with the silly question as to whether Trump felt he is ready to serve as commander-in-chief.  Everyone in the world knows the answer is no, but no one will ever get Trump to say so. At no time did Lauer ever take the opportunity to demonstrate that Trump wouldn’t know foreign policy if he was drenched in it. Instead, Lauer’s inane rapid-fire questions simply allowed Trump to play to his core audience, who don’t give a shit if he knows anything because they see voting for Trump as an effective “screw you” to America.

The purpose of a forum like this one should be to give the average undecided voter the information they need to make a voting decision. Instead, Matt Lauer, like the rest of the press, failed in what is a basic mission, which is to expose the truth. Right now, we have a fully qualified politician with tons of knowledge and access to the best minds to run the country. Though flawed, no one can say she’s unqualified and the fact is, all politicians are flawed. Lincoln tried to suspend habeas corpus and FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court. No perfect person has ever been president. But the fact is, Hillary Clinton is running against a clown and a carnival barker who knows nothing, seems unwilling to learn anything and who is nothing but a pathological liar and authoritarian who thinks he can go into the White House and run the country like he’s run his businesses, including the four he’s driven into bankruptcy and the dozens he has had to close because they failed. There has never been a worse candidate for president in history and yes, I include George W. Bush in that equation. The press should be all over that because it’s the truth.

Once again, the press fails in what should be a simple mission.

About Milt Shook

A writer with more than 45 years in the political game (and let's face it, it is a game). I am a liberal because facts have a liberal bias, and I really like facts. If you like facts, you'll like this blog. If not, you'll have a hard time.


Commander-in-Chief Forum: Another Press Failure — 1 Comment

  1. If Herr Tantrumfuhrer is somehow elected, I’m inclined to place the blame not on the voters, but on the media, which has failed its mission in every single possible way in its quest for ratings and “access.” Matt Lauer is a prime example of someone who isn’t qualified to pick up dog shit, let alone be a part of the profession once known as “journalism” (RIP).