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Here’s How The Media Are Lying Right Now: CNN’s ‘Tools’ For A ‘Civilized’ Debate

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CNN says it has “tools” to enforce a “civilized” debate between Trump and Biden. What they mean is there’s a plan to interfere.


This semi-regular feature is usually about some deceitful narrative the propaganda news media are pushing in recent days, but there’s a high-stakes presidential debate next week and it’s better that we use this installment to anticipate what will happen then.

CNN, the debate’s host network, said Saturday that both President Biden and former President Trump had agreed to the terms for participating, but the announcement included this alarming detail: “[A]s in the past, the moderators ‘will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion …'”

It was already the case that the candidates will have their mics muted during the opposing candidate’s time, eliminating interruptions of one another. So, what other “tools” will remain at the disposal of CNN’s miserable choice for moderators, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, so that they might “enforce timing” and, more insidiously, “ensure a civilized discussion?”

The way things are supposed to happen is the moderators ask questions and allow the candidates equal time to answer. Even with the new stipulation that a mic is turned down when it’s outside of a candidate’s allotted time, the basic concept shouldn’t change. But that’s surely not how this is going to work. By “enforce timing” and “ensure a civilized discussion,” what CNN means is that Tapper, Bash, and the countless producers in their ear pieces will cut off both Trump and Biden at their discretion, though for sharply different reasons.

Trump will have his audio killed because his plan is undeniably to lay into CNN and the media at large just as much as it is to flay Biden’s godawful presidency. Both are deserving of it, but Tapper and Bash are in control and aren’t going to just bend over and take it. The “tools at their disposal” in that event will be for the pair to drop Trump’s feed and insert their own niggling, irksome commentary about the former president veering “off topic” or failing to be “civilized.”

Biden, by contrast, will be saved by the mute. Rewatch the presidential debates of 2020 and it’s exceedingly obvious Trump’s frantic and frequent interjections during Biden’s time to speak hurt the former president. The more Biden is allowed to speak, the more unseemly his performance. Whether he’s musing about his dead son, his fabricated biography, or his indefensible record, he meanders each time into incoherence, leaving his audience as confounded as concerned. The purpose of cutting Biden’s mic will serve to mitigate that handicap.

As ever on the media’s turf, the deck is stacked against Trump. A live audience, invariably a Trump asset, won’t be present. He could have insisted that there be no interruptions or “live fact checks” (aka unsolicited opinions) by moderators, but there’s no indication he did and now CNN is essentially admitting it reserves the right for Tapper and Bash to act up as they please.

The lie hasn’t happened yet, but we already know what it is. It’s that Tapper and CNN will do everything they can to shield Biden and kneecap Trump, excusing the blatant election interference as simply an honest attempt to “enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion.”

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