A second warning shot came just last weekend, when Clinton’s Praetorian Guard carried out a synchronized assault against Trump. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico and the Los Angeles Times all carried very similar stories accusing Trump of repeated lies.
To call that a coincidence would be a Clintonian lie. Those articles matched the talking points of her campaign, which also demanded that Holt “fact-check” Trump, which, of course, he did, while leaving her un-checked.
In short, the debate fix was broadcast on the front pages well in advance, yet Trump wasn’t ready for it. Although he didn’t make fatal mistakes and survived Clinton’s best punches, his meandering digressions, along with his failure to demand the answers from Clinton that Holt didn’t, cost him precious time and opportunity. As such, they fall into Peter Kihss’ category of “stupid answers.”
But here’s the other side of the story: Trump won’t suffer much voter pain, certainly not enough to put victory out of reach. His secret weapon is that his core supporters, including many independents, distrust the media nearly as much as they distrust Clinton.
Consider that, while most media professionals said Clinton won the debate, most online polls of viewers had Trump winning.
The split verdict reflects a theme that goes back to the earliest GOP primary debates. Candidates who blasted media moderators for being prejudiced against Republicans got rousing ovations.
The anger has grown more pronounced since Trump, the ultimate outsider, crashed the party to win the nomination. With media bias blatant on a daily basis, it is far more than a sideshow.
My in-box routinely contains letters from readers such as Gayla Chandler, who wrote, “So my vote for Trump is partially FOR Trump, but it is equally against both Hillary and media manipulation.”