The Debate Tactic Trump Should Use

There have been two recent instances when major television networks edited out comments made by Bill and Hillary Clinton, respectively, that would harm her chances to win the presidency. Clearly that is precisely why the Pravda-like monitors in the media hit the delete buttons.

Bill Clinton said the Hillary Clinton “faints frequently.”  CBS excised that comment completely and the edited version showed Bill Clinton saying she fainted “rarely” (no doubt because she chooses to “power through” her various maladies –that seems to be the company line all her flacks are using in the media.

The second recent editing job occurred in the wake of the terrorism bombings in New York and New Jersey. This time the culprit was CNN (or “Clinton News Network”). Joe Concha in The Hill:

According to an ABC News transcript below, Clinton called the attacks in New York and New Jersey "bombings" before criticizing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — who also referred to the explosion as a "bomb" — in an attempt to show contrast between the temperament of the two candidates, who are deadlocked in the polls.

Clinton: I’ve been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attacks in Minnesota. Obviously, we need to do everything we can to support our first responders, also to pray for the victims. We have to let this investigation unfold. We’ve been in touch with various officials, including the mayor’s office in New York, to learn what they are discovering as they conduct this investigation. And I’ll have more to say about it when we actually know the facts.

Reporter: Secretary Clinton, do you have any reaction to the fact that Donald Trump, immediately upon taking the stage tonight, called the explosion in New York a “bomb” … ?

Clinton: Well, I think it’s important to know the facts about any incident like this. That’s why it’s critical to support the first responders, the investigators who are looking into it, trying to determine what did happen.

But in showing Clinton's comments moments after they were made, CNN edited out the first sentence when she said, "I’ve been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attacks in Minnesota." The soundbite starts with Clinton's call to support first responders. 

In a CNN.com article entitled "Trump says 'bomb went off in New York,' " reporter Jeremy Diamond doesn't mention Clinton used similar language until the seventh paragraph of the story, after contrasting statements by Trump and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The press has since largely slammed Trump for referring to the explosion as a "bomb" too soon.

Other major media outlets also failed to mention Clinton in focusing on Trump:

When the two nominees first meet onstage, at the very first opportunity Trump should take control of the debate by turning on the “journalists” and asking them about these Pravda and 1984-like tactics. Trump should take a page from Saul Alinsky (recall Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, was an acolyte of Alinsky’s):

Pick the target, freeze, it, personalize it and polarize it.

We know Trump has no compunction on taking on the media. Alinsky also counseled that ridicule was a very effective tactic. Trump could ridicule the excuse CBS offered to explain away the excision of Bill Clinton’s comment that Hillary faints frequently: that it was used to save time ( 1.7 seconds!)

Mitt Romney could and should have responded similarly when Candy Crowley infamously butted in and lied during his debate with Barack Obama in 2008 when she falsely corrected Romney’s statement that Barack Obama did not refer to the Benghazi attacks as terrorism. Romney blew it. Trump should learn that lesson. He can also learn a lesson from his adviser Newt Gingrich, who went after CNN’s John King during a debate in 2008 when he questioned Gingrich about his ex-wife.

Gingrich said he did not want to take time to respond to answer the question but would --and did he ever:

I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that," Gingrich said, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.

"I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate," Gingrich added.

The former House Speaker went on to denounce the story as "false" and accuse the media of raising the issue to protect President Obama.

"I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans," Gingrich said.

A ploy like this in the debate (and early on put the media on the defensive and cast skepticism about all their future questions) would most likely be welcomed by much of the public because the public trust for the media is at an all-time low. Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes admitted (almost proudly) that the reason his show as able to land coveted interviews with Barack Obama was because, “ I think he knows we’re not going to play gotcha with him.”  Would Kroft have meant the types of questions candidate George Bush had to deal with during a 1999 surprise quiz when he was asked to name the foreign leaders of a slew of obscure nations? The headline of the Washington Post said it all about the goal of the trivia quiz: “Bush Fails Quiz on Foreign Affairs.” He “failed” a quiz on foreign affairs because he could not name the president of Chechnya and other assorted questions that a governor of Texas would not necessarily be expected to have at his fingertips.  Did anyone in the media ridicule Barack Obama for saying Hawaii was in Asia or that they speak Austrian in Austria?

Will this “win” the debate or the election for Trump? No, but he will be performing a public service by revealing to all the Americans watching (it is projected to be the most watched presidential debate in history) that the media -- as is true of so many institutions -- has been corrupted by bias and that mainstream media do not have a monopoly on news and certainly cannot be trusted to give Americans the truth, unless one confuses Pravda (translated it means “truth) with facts.

There have been two recent instances when major television networks edited out comments made by Bill and Hillary Clinton, respectively, that would harm her chances to win the presidency. Clearly that is precisely why the Pravda-like monitors in the media hit the delete buttons.

Bill Clinton said the Hillary Clinton “faints frequently.”  CBS excised that comment completely and the edited version showed Bill Clinton saying she fainted “rarely” (no doubt because she chooses to “power through” her various maladies –that seems to be the company line all her flacks are using in the media.

The second recent editing job occurred in the wake of the terrorism bombings in New York and New Jersey. This time the culprit was CNN (or “Clinton News Network”). Joe Concha in The Hill:

According to an ABC News transcript below, Clinton called the attacks in New York and New Jersey "bombings" before criticizing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — who also referred to the explosion as a "bomb" — in an attempt to show contrast between the temperament of the two candidates, who are deadlocked in the polls.

Clinton: I’ve been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attacks in Minnesota. Obviously, we need to do everything we can to support our first responders, also to pray for the victims. We have to let this investigation unfold. We’ve been in touch with various officials, including the mayor’s office in New York, to learn what they are discovering as they conduct this investigation. And I’ll have more to say about it when we actually know the facts.

Reporter: Secretary Clinton, do you have any reaction to the fact that Donald Trump, immediately upon taking the stage tonight, called the explosion in New York a “bomb” … ?

Clinton: Well, I think it’s important to know the facts about any incident like this. That’s why it’s critical to support the first responders, the investigators who are looking into it, trying to determine what did happen.

But in showing Clinton's comments moments after they were made, CNN edited out the first sentence when she said, "I’ve been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attacks in Minnesota." The soundbite starts with Clinton's call to support first responders. 

In a CNN.com article entitled "Trump says 'bomb went off in New York,' " reporter Jeremy Diamond doesn't mention Clinton used similar language until the seventh paragraph of the story, after contrasting statements by Trump and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The press has since largely slammed Trump for referring to the explosion as a "bomb" too soon.

Other major media outlets also failed to mention Clinton in focusing on Trump:

When the two nominees first meet onstage, at the very first opportunity Trump should take control of the debate by turning on the “journalists” and asking them about these Pravda and 1984-like tactics. Trump should take a page from Saul Alinsky (recall Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, was an acolyte of Alinsky’s):

Pick the target, freeze, it, personalize it and polarize it.

We know Trump has no compunction on taking on the media. Alinsky also counseled that ridicule was a very effective tactic. Trump could ridicule the excuse CBS offered to explain away the excision of Bill Clinton’s comment that Hillary faints frequently: that it was used to save time ( 1.7 seconds!)

Mitt Romney could and should have responded similarly when Candy Crowley infamously butted in and lied during his debate with Barack Obama in 2008 when she falsely corrected Romney’s statement that Barack Obama did not refer to the Benghazi attacks as terrorism. Romney blew it. Trump should learn that lesson. He can also learn a lesson from his adviser Newt Gingrich, who went after CNN’s John King during a debate in 2008 when he questioned Gingrich about his ex-wife.

Gingrich said he did not want to take time to respond to answer the question but would --and did he ever:

I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that," Gingrich said, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.

"I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate," Gingrich added.

The former House Speaker went on to denounce the story as "false" and accuse the media of raising the issue to protect President Obama.

"I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans," Gingrich said.

A ploy like this in the debate (and early on put the media on the defensive and cast skepticism about all their future questions) would most likely be welcomed by much of the public because the public trust for the media is at an all-time low. Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes admitted (almost proudly) that the reason his show as able to land coveted interviews with Barack Obama was because, “ I think he knows we’re not going to play gotcha with him.”  Would Kroft have meant the types of questions candidate George Bush had to deal with during a 1999 surprise quiz when he was asked to name the foreign leaders of a slew of obscure nations? The headline of the Washington Post said it all about the goal of the trivia quiz: “Bush Fails Quiz on Foreign Affairs.” He “failed” a quiz on foreign affairs because he could not name the president of Chechnya and other assorted questions that a governor of Texas would not necessarily be expected to have at his fingertips.  Did anyone in the media ridicule Barack Obama for saying Hawaii was in Asia or that they speak Austrian in Austria?

Will this “win” the debate or the election for Trump? No, but he will be performing a public service by revealing to all the Americans watching (it is projected to be the most watched presidential debate in history) that the media -- as is true of so many institutions -- has been corrupted by bias and that mainstream media do not have a monopoly on news and certainly cannot be trusted to give Americans the truth, unless one confuses Pravda (translated it means “truth) with facts.