25 September 2016 | Ready for Their Closeup

No, I won't be watching the farce that is the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but not for the reasons you might think.

First: this is not a debate, this is a show. With Trump, it's a freak show, but that's not my primary objection. It's that this is yet another Media Whore moment, who will be breathlessly telling us "who won," and "what so and so needs to do next." And given that expectations for Trump are so pathetically low, he'll be lauded just for showing up and deemed the winner. Mark my words.

As for the second part, "what so and and so needs to do next," is already directed at Clinton. We'll be duly informed that she failed to the heightened expectations of a serious political candidate because she either didn't smile enough, looked exasperated, or didn't come back with some zinger to an expected Trump insult. This is a man, after all, who has decided to bring 1990s tramp Gennifer Flowers to...well, to do what is unknown. In any case, because Clinton is the only serious candidate, it's highly likely that she'll need to answer for Trump's shortcomings as well.

No, my friends, this is a Media Whore moment through and through. We'll hear a brand new narrative, no doubt introduced by the impossibly stupid choice of Lester Holt (of NBC) to "moderate." It's hard to fathom that in a country where there is a National Speech & Debate Association, the Commission on Presidential Debates needs a member of the media to participate. Why? Have you seen the debate "topics"? Here they are: America's Direction, Achieving Prosperity and Securing America. How nebulous can you get? With real debates, the issue at hand is always on point. Of course, this goes back to my first point: this is not a debate, it's a show. Elections are not decided on debates: at this stage, if there are any people who truly are undecided, these people are not paying attention and are numerically insignificant to move an election one way or the other. What sudden political wisdom can emerge from Trump, who, I repeat again, sees fit to invite a woman who had an affair with Clinton's husband 30 years ago in order to rub it in her face? Again, he will be declared the winner when he just shows up.

The Trump camp has made it clear that they don't want a moderator to fact check anything. So, he's asking for a license to lie at will. Again, if this were an actual debate, there is no way such a demand would be treated as anything other than a joke, accompanied by a stern warning not to try it again. However, this is about optics. This is about one serious candidate who will be judged by the criteria of the Media Whores who are taking their optics lessons from the one completely unserious candidate.

That's infotainment, folks.

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