The reviews from Tuesday night’s presidential debate continue to come in, and it’s abundantly clear that Donald Trump’s performance did not do him any favors with the types of voters he needs to win the November election. Polls show that Joe Biden came away as the clear winner.
Still, some in the corporate media have labeled the entire debate a “sh*tshow,” as if both candidates on the stage were responsible. They seem content with playing the “both sides” game and moving on.
But as CNN’s John Berman said Wednesday morning, these types of headlines “do a disservice” to the American people. They’re simply inaccurate.
“There are really no both sides here,” Berman said. “One person drove this event into the gutter, and that was the president. If it was a train wreck, it was the president who crashed the train. If it was a sh*tshow … it was the president who took the dump.”
JUST NOW: “If it was a shitshow, it was the President who took the dump.”
Making clear this was not a pox on all houses moment…or a “both sides” thing. Beware of the lazy headlines today.
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) September 30, 2020
I think some of the headlines actually do a disservice here. Just calling the debate chaotic, as The Wall Street Journal did, it’s inaccurate. There are really no both sides here. One person drove this event into the gutter, and that was the president. If it was a train wreck, it was the president who crashed the train. If it was an s-show … it was the president who took the dump. It was the president and the president alone who would not tell his supporters to be peaceful after Election Day. It was the president and the president alone who provided a new rallying cry for a group that the Anti-Defamation League calls hardcore white supremacists. The president was lobbed the softest of softball questions, asked to condemn violence from white supremacists groups. This is not a trick question, but the president wouldn’t do it. Instead, he told the Proud Boys to stand back and stand by. Stand by for what exactly? And overnight, we’ve seen Proud Boy supporters inspired by this comment, this new permission structure from the president. So that’s what happened on the stage a few hours ago.
There was only one adult on the debate stage
Just minutes into the debate, it became clear that of the two individuals standing on the stage, there was only one adult: Joe Biden.
As Trump spent 90 minutes ranting and raving like an out-of-control child, Biden used his time – at least when the president wasn’t hijacking it – to look into the camera and tell the American people what he planned to do as president.
There is no question that Tuesday night’s debate was a chaotic mess. But it was a mess that Donald Trump is solely responsible for making.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.
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