The mainstream liberal media went into the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden with the idea that the former vice president would win handily. Perhaps with visions of Hillary Clinton’s smooth, if unexciting, performances from four years ago, the left-wing pundits and reporters covering the event thought they could sit by and watch while Biden calmly made a fool out of the BAD ORANGE MAN. And if Trump managed to get in a few good lines, well, they could handle that with an avalanche of their precious “fact checks” after the debate was over and they were all crowing about how Biden had just secured the election.
It didn’t quite turn out that way.
Instead, Trump came in like a wrecking ball, demolishing everything – Biden, moderator Chris Wallace, any semblance of order and “rules” – in his path. If Trump wanted to use this debate to prove that he means it when he says that Biden and the Democrats are a clear and present threat to the United States, he could hardly have done better. This was not a man intent on having a nice, civil debate on differing policies; this was a man out to humiliate and destroy his opponent.
Did he succeed? Perhaps that question should be answered by looking at how Biden’s friends in the media responded.
“It will certainly raise a lot of questions … about the future of presidential debate between these two candidates,” said a nervous-sounding Wolf Blitzer on CNN. “I wouldn’t be surprised, by the way, if this is the last presidential debate between the president of the United States and the former vice president of the United States.”
CNN’s Dana Bash went as far as to call it a “shitshow” on live TV.
“Should there be other debates?” mused CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. “The vice-presidential debate is next and there’s supposed to be two more debates.”
“I have to say I don’t think the country is going to be yearning for another one of these,” replied David Axelrod. “I think Biden has a decision to make.”
These “cancel the rest of the debates” musings weren’t limited to the immediate aftermath on CNN, either. The Atlantic churned out an op-ed by David Graham calling for the cancellation of the next two encounters.
“Tonight was the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, and if there is any sense or mercy left in this nation, it will be the last, too,” Graham wrote.
“This is a disgrace, a low point in American debate history,” tweeted MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. “There is no reason, not one, that Joe Biden should participate in another debate.”
We’re thinking that if these pundits had the slightest inkling that Biden had “won” the night or would somehow benefit from his performance on Tuesday, they would not be calling on him to pull out of the next two.
Just a hunch.