Sunday, September 25, 2016

Our Man Holt

It's all about her:
Monday’s debate is not the only way Clinton hopes to restore a sense of inevitability to her candidacy, but the audience will dwarf those at rallies. “She takes it very seriously,” said (Communications Director Jennifer) Palmieri. “She’s going in front of tens of millions of Americans, maybe even 100 million Americans, to persuade them why she needs their vote.”
There they go again. Ask not what Hillary can do for our country. Remind voters, over and over and over again, that it's the country which owes her their votes. I highly doubt that anybody needs to be persuaded of her profound neediness at this stage of the game.

As a testament to its confidence in its candidate's debating skills, the campaign is imperiously announcing that it will be up to moderator Lester Holt - not Hillary - to toss Donald Trump's mendacious word salad down the food disposal. The Clinton-friendly Guardian obligingly takes the onus off Hillary right in the headline: "Habitual Liar Trump must be curbed in presidential debate." Ask not that Clinton herself call him to account. This is a woman who is highly accustomed to being waited upon. Don't ask her to curb anything. She presumes she has media chauffeurs like Lester to do that.

"Right ho, Jeeves," I imagine her pouting to Holt. "Carry on, my man. Please do bail out your Bertie like a good chappie and remove this vermin from my presence, wot?"

The Guardian puts it only slightly less condescendingly:
Clinton’s concern stems from Trump’s fast-and-loose rhetorical style, which has been attacked by newspaper fact-checkers but proved devastatingly effective on TV, first against his Republican challengers in the primary and, more recently, in a candidate forum on national security in which he was allegedly allowed to airbrush his past support for the Iraq war.
“She will respond when he misrepresents her own record, but given the historic nature of how much Donald Trump lies, it cannot be only on her,” Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters by phone on Friday.
“If the moderator is not willing to stand up and challenge lies, [then] to not do that is to give him a very unfair advantage”.
Trump did not live up to the Code of the Plute-sters by airbrushing his support for the Iraq War. He should have hurled great big globs of oil paint on the canvas like Hillary Clinton did. In the drawing room. With a knife.

If Team Clinton gets its way, the marathon session of Trumpian lies and moot fact-checking will reward her with neither the time nor the space to get a word in edgewise. She can just stand there and save her precious breath and roll her eyes before delivering a few canned talking points at the end. Not only will she play hapless Bertie to Holt's brilliant Wooster, she's even positioning herself as Fay Wray to Trump's King Kong, with Holt acting the part of the intrepid rescuer.

 It seems to me that as a war hawk whose claim to fame is "muscular" national security experience, she'd be able to fight her own rhetorical battles on a debate stage with an aged orangutan.

She's setting herself up as her own straw-woman before she even gets started. Let the sexist attacks fly. Let the sympathy vote be milked

Playing Holt and Trump off each other: is that Clintonoid triangulation, or wot?

Whatever the theatrics and the outcome of the first debate, we can already predict the spin. Both sides will claim victory as they simultaneously claim that they were bullied, by their opponents and by the media alike.

If the voters have little to do with this process now, other than being cowed and bamboozled into serving the needs of their favorite plutocrat, you can only imagine how the ultimate winner will treat them come November.

And no matter the vitriol being hurled between their Pater and Mater and their staffs of high-level servants and publicists, heiresses Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton both display a regal sangfroid about the staged nastiness. You see, it's all totally for show. Only the little people are conned into choosing a side to fulfill their dreams of belonging and participating in democracy, if only as bit players for a relative minute.

"We were friends long before this election, [and] we will be friends long after this election," she (Chelsea) said. "Our friendship didn't start in politics, it certainly is not going to end because of politics. I have tremendous respect for Ivanka."

One really must respect the chutzpah of an enormously wealthy woman who helped her Daddy swindle people out of millions of dollars in a Baja California real estate scam. Of course, Ivanka and other Trump spawn settled out of court, with all terms remaining strictly confidential.

Because when you're a dynasty, you're just like a bank. You're too big to fail and you're too important to jail. 

Neoliberal Death Match 2016 isn't a literal fight to the death between two plutocrats, of course The life spans of the wealthy are actually increasing as the wealth divide increases to epic proportions.

It's the center ring of the circus act which disguises the class war of the rich against the rest of us. Why else put all the pressure and the pre-emptive blame on a highly-paid journalistic servant? If Trump and Clinton fumble, it certainly won't be their fault. And they never perform without their safety nets.

It's all on Lester Holt, acting the dual roles of ringmaster and butler.

From Agence France-Press (sacre bleu!)
The journalist, a 35-year television veteran with 16 years under his belt at NBC, has selected three topics for the debate: America’s direction, achieving prosperity and securing America.
The 90-minute debate will be organized into six 15-minute segments, with two dedicated to each of the topics.
Holt will be the only person on the set with the two candidates. He has not revealed how he is preparing for the face-off, the first of three presidential debates ahead of the November 8 election.
The much-anticipated first debate is expected to draw tens of millions of American viewers. The two remaining debates, on October 9 and October 19, will be moderated by other journalists.
Holt, known for his calm and courteous manner, and a bass player in his spare time, probably will have uppermost in mind the recent flap caused by one of his NBC colleagues. (Matt Lauer).
It wouldn't do to be anything other than calm and courteous during a multicourse dinner party, especially when a couple of sensitive rich people will be asked about achieving prosperity as they sip their designer water. The unflappable, Woosterish, multimillionaire Lester Holt is supposed to break the ice and balance the trays and spill the beans without spilling any actual champagne. All this smooth service is to be provided with an earpiece in each ear so that he can hear the breathless fact-checkers above the clinking cacophony.

 Wealth is such a delicate topic. The rich do hate talking about their money and their war profiteering and their deals while they profess to care about the lesser people for purposes of further self-enrichment. Unless they're Donald Trump, of course. His fans love him because he exposes his fellow miscreants as well as himself. He makes himself one of the hoi polloi even as he brags about ripping them off. They don't care how much he lies or how ignorant he sounds, as long as they can wallow in a billionaire's mud-mind and feel some secure hate in the process.

Hillary Clinton has yet to find a way to let people in to her own cosseted world. It's the pathetic neediness - for privacy and for power. She simply doesn't share very well. She feels that she is owed and she can't hide it, even as she campaigns for the votes of increasingly distressed people.

And if Lester Holt invites her to apologize for her recent deplorable "basket of deplorables" remarks to the millionaires of the Cipriani Club, I suspect that she will respectfully decline: 

 "It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them."-- P.G. Wodehouse.


Ste-vo said...

Oh Karen...thanks for that humanizing tidbit of Lester being a bass player in his spare time. It is so pleasant to learn that these people have a homey side! It reminds me of the Leadership team at
Chances are good that I will never meet any of them and that is a good thing. I will never meet Lester Holt either, and my secret wish is that Matt Lauer would go the way of Brian Williams. Now you know my secret wish.

Elizabeth Adams said...

Lester graduated from the same high school I went to, three years before I did. With his vocal talent, he was doing the announcing at our high school football games and half-time marching band shows. He did local radio after that, and the rest is history.

However, his choice of topics -- "America’s direction, achieving prosperity and securing America" -- is nauseating. Each one of those topics is answerable with the subject of war. Which, as it happens, HRC is an expert at justifying and initiating and perpetuating. Neither candidate can effectively discuss a plan aimed at improving the living situation of U.S. residents. "Securing America" will include Homeland Security-style efforts against brown-skinned people, not protecting brown-skinned residents from militarized police.

Jay–Ottawa said...

There is still time to think about doing something else Monday night. But on the off chance you haven't by now made up your mind about November 8, you can always read the summaries and spin on Tuesday morning.

Ste-vo said...

Jay, I am going to watch the debate at a neighbor's place since we have no TV at the lake and have not turned it on at the house-in-town. So that being said, we, the neighbor and my wife and I are making it more of a social interaction. She is coming out to the lake for an early light supper, then meeting at her place about an hour before the big event for snacks, most likely VT cheeses, good crackers and alcohol...lots of alcohol. I think that there will be a lot of talking about the recently passed summer, although the guise of the whole-get-together is TO WATCH THE DEBATE. Fall officially began on Thursday and there were frost warnings over the weekend. Life goes on, until it does not.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Bread and Circuses: it worked in Rome. It worked in Spain a hundred years ago with the variation Bread and Bulls. And it works today in the US with a google of diversions undermining action. One only needs to capture another person's eyes to own the other, mind and body. The richest corporation in the world happens to be called Apple––as in the apple of your eye.

Among the hypnotic diversions, the quadrennial presidential debates, which entice millions of citizens away from deeper thought about real issues and into the dead end of watching political celebrities playing gotcha.

Tonight you too can be one of the anticipated 100 million Americans duped into sitting still to watch a modern variation of Bread and Circuses (while raiding the frig from time to time): Bread and Rhetorical Games. As long as TVs work, no matter how insipid the content, the streets will remain empty and quiet.

Jamie said...

I was friends with a very nice woman who cleaned house. One day I was watching MSNBC in the run-up to the Iraq War. Lester Holt was walking like a giant over a huge map of Iraq. My friend pointed this out to me as revolting. I hadn't noticed it, but upon reflection it was a great metaphor for the upcoming war. Holt is a warmonger ... I just hope upsets both candidates.