By Dave Andrusko
“It was the best of times”– if you were Joe Biden interviewed by George Stephanopoulos last night– “It was the worst of times”– if you were President Trump verbally mauled by Savannah Guthrie.
I expected Guthrie to come armed with a baseball bat and Stephanopoulos carrying Down pillows, but even I was surprised that Guthrie would be so anxious to hammer the President it was 20+ minutes before someone at the “town hall” was actually allowed to ask a question. BTW, when he was not interrupted—early and often and repeatedly–President Trump was in fine form.
You knew going in Guthrie would be upholding the “honor” of NBC News. Let me explain.
The same media types who have accused President Trump of everything but sabotaging Apollo13 were incensed that NBC News agreed to air a town hall meeting with the President the same hour ABC News would have its love fest with Mr. Biden. They feared more eyeballs would be watching the charismatic Trump than the deadly dull Biden.
Margaret Sullivan, a “media columnist” for the Washington Post, was typical. “By giving Trump a town hall to rival Biden’s, NBC is playing into his ratings obsession — again,” the headline all but shouted.
Guthrie would have been obnoxious in any event, but “carrying the torch” for “journalists” added fuel to the already existing flame.
As I written many times, President Trump is absolutely fearless. Joe Biden would no more give an interview to a reporter who might ask him a tough question than refrain from recycling long-since debunked lies about President Trump, as he did again last night.
We reposted part of a column by Tim Graham today in which he contrasts President Trump’s courage with Mr. Biden’s timidness. Graham wrote
Axios [a media outlet that conceded Biden had got to where he is “with lots of luck and shockingly little scrutiny”] didn’t note that President Trump submitted to a rough interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios that liberal outlets everywhere exploited, while Biden has not.
President Trump submitted to a rough interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that liberal outlets everywhere exploited. Biden’s gone nowhere near Wallace.
President Trump was lambasted as a moron for granting a pile of interviews to Washington Post “legend” Bob Woodward that liberal outlets everywhere exploited. Biden has not.
Two additional quick points.
First, Mollie Hemingway live-tweeted the Trump town hall –thanks to Twitchy.com–for assembling them). Here are a couple of gems:
Who knew Trump was debating Savannah Guthrie?
So could someone explain to NBC what a TOWN HALL with a PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IS? That means questions from *VOTERS* and answers from the *CANDIDATE.*
Even the Biden voter has asked better questions than Savannah Guthrie. The only good questions came from the voters.
Second, Ed Morrissey of Hot Mail, no particular fan of President Trump, noted
Otherwise, however, this event went pretty smoothly for Trump. He turned on the charm during the audience Q&A, to the extent that the questions actually came from the audience members themselves. One woman who was described as a lean-Biden Republican told Trump he had a “great smile,” and then delivered a well-composed question on immigration and Dreamers.
In conclusion, the following subhead from The Guardian manages in one sentence to capture all the media’s myopic self-absorption and inability to see how unfairly the two candidates were treated last night:
Biden at ease while Trump struggles under pressure
President Trump didn’t “struggle” except to try to get a word in edgewise.
Of course, Biden was “at ease.” He was given the magic carpet treatment by a former Clinton aide.
As I wrote over at “18 days out from November 3rd. What do we know?”
No one can know now, but I wonder what the audience watching President Trump being treated not only rudely but disrespectfully will come away thinking?
My guess is most people, even though who didn’t intend to vote for him, will admire his composure and grace.