This “update” is not satire, just sad.
The world’s reaction to the first U.S. 2020 presidential debate has been uniformly humiliating and “in line with multiple Pew Research Center reports finding that America’s international image has suffered during Trump’s presidency.”
“The chaos of the event has left allies and rivals alike questioning the state of American democracy and the country’s place on the global stage,” writes the New York Times.
Franceinfo.fr. describes it in one word: “cacophonique.”
The German public broadcaster DW also uses one word, albeit not a very diplomatic one: “clusterf*ck”
The Guardian uses two words: “national humiliation” but also, “Donald Trump ensures first presidential debate is national humiliation.”
The Times in the UK is somewhat more verbose: “The clearest loser from the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was America.”
The German Der Spiegel newsmagazine tweeted: “The debate was a joke, a low point, a shame for the country.”
Our adversaries were, let’s say, gleeful. China’s Communist Party’s the Global Times: “Such a chaos at the top of U.S. politics reflects division, anxiety of U.S. society and the accelerating loss of advantages of the U.S. political system.”
An announcer on Russian state TV: “The candidates behaved like their voters — brawls on the streets of American cities have not let down for several months. America is divided and inflamed.”
But it may have also been a setback for Putin. The Daily Beast:
In spite of their best efforts, Moscow’s mouthpieces had to concede that the debate was nowhere near the finest hour for their preferred candidate. The host of Russia’s 60 Minutes Evgeny Popov conceded, “All the while we’ve been thinking that Biden is feeble, but it turns out he isn’t. He was able to handle the debate well and acted in an absolutely normal way.”
Caution: This piece contains satire.
In case readers missed it, Trump won last night’s first presidential debate by a landslide.
This morning’s headlines say so.
Starting with the
horse’s fox’s mouth, Fox News: Trump clearly defeats Biden in first presidential debate
If you still don’t believe Trump clearly defeated Biden, here is what the other little foxes are saying:
• Breitbart: “Donald Trump Won the First Debate”
• The American Spectator: “When Trump Won the Debate”
• The Gateway Pundit: “They Know Who Won: Thoroughly Defeated Democrats Urge Joe Biden to Cancel Future Debates”
Somewhat more modestly, American Greatness whispers, “Trump Wins Round One, Barely” and Spectator USA admits, “The debate was no disaster for Biden — but Trump won.”,
Of course, there are always the “outliers,” the Trump haters, the Fake News, who are claiming otherwise.
For example, the liberal Washington Post headlines, “Trump sets the tone for the worst presidential debate in living memory.”
James Fallows at The The Atlantic has the temerity to call it: “A Disgusting Night for Democracy.”
Even more outlandishly, Politico refers to it as, “An Epic Moment of National Shame: The Debate Was an Embarrassment for the Ages.”
Whatever glitches occurred during an otherwise perfect Trump debate, they must all be blamed on moderator Chris Wallace who gave a “disgraceful one-sided debate performance,” according to Tom Tillison at bizpacreview.com by “often siding against President Donald Trump.”
As the debate progressed, Wallace appeared to team up with Biden, shutting the president down, failing to fact check the former vice president over some of the most obvious and easily debunked lies, and moving the subject along when it became inconvenient for Joe.
And if Wallace’s failures weren’t bad enough, Biden — in stark contrast to Trump’s calm, courteous, truly presidential behavior — constantly interrupted Trump, called Trump — of all things — a “clown” and even told the perfectly behaved Trump, “Will you shut up, man?”
Charlie Sykes at the Bulwark , describing the “merdfest” the debate was, says, “Well, that was awful. As in, screaming, feces-throwing monkey ghastly.” He adds, “And [Biden] spoke for all of America.” [No satire here]
Resuming the thread, regardless of Biden’s interruptions and “feces-throwing monkey ghastly,” Trump was able to get his message through.
At one point in the debate, as part of his “teaming up” with Biden, Wallace asked Trump to denounce white supremacists. Not to be bullied by Wallace, Trump seized the opportunity to dog whistle — using a bullhorn — to the “Proud Boys” to “stand back and stand by.”
The Proud Boys are so proud and appreciative of Trump’s endorsement that “In one major group, the users made their pinned post an image of the words [“stand back and stand by.”] surrounding a golden wreath that the Proud Boys have taken as their logo.”
Of course, just because Trump “innocently” calls upon an extremist group, by name, to “stand back and stand by,” one should not jump to conclusions.
Trump explained everything this morning by saying:
I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. I mean you’ll have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work.
Now the truthful, satire-free headlines:
• NBC News: Trump’s last best tactic: Burn it all down
• Washington Post: Trump’s scorched-earth nihilism will cost him the presidency
• New York Times: Tuesday’s Debate Made Clear the Gravest Threat to the Election: The President Himself
• New Yorker: This Is So Unpresidential: Notes from the Worst Debate in American History
• Washington Post: The debate was a nightmare, and a fitting summation of Trump’s presidency
• Esquire: The President’s Debate Performance Was Pure Fascism
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.