Embrace Debate?

As the world’s worst repurposing for a failed game show set, aka the kickoff debate for the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination, gets ready to take place on a basketball court in Milwaukee, I have mild but admittedly morbid curiosity.  Most of the field that will show up to wage battle for the lion’s (well, relative to the dominant front-runner, pussycat’s) share of the 38 per cent of recently polled likely voters that haven’t already thrown their allegiance behind a no-show who will be prepping for his fourth indictment of the summer bore me, particularly Ron DeSantis, who I can tell doesn’t have much experience with this subject.  Frankly, compared to him, I’m far more experienced.

I was, believe it or not, a participant in a couple of debates for my high school.  We didn’t have a football team, we barely had a basketball team, I was a horrible athlete and it was a good way to get on the good side of the coach, the cherubic and proud Mr. Weiss.  Mr. Weiss tended to give more favorable grades to those who would actually try and go out for the team, and my best friend had that particular skill set–you know it as sucking up–down to a science.  So much so that even when he’d mockingly serenade him with this sweet little diddy from THE SOUND OF MUSIC, it would actually be something that Mr. Weiss would embrace as a compliment of sorts.

And lately, I seem to be capable of prompting a smattering of debate on my own.  For the first time in quite a while, a recent musing has motivated enough readers to actually engage in a back-and-forth.  It may not quite be the kind of volume that would scream “buy me!” to potential sponsors, but I’ll even take this degree of reaction to our views on Sony’s attempts to save A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN:

  1. How about it was a terrible show with an agenda that most people didn’t care to watch. And it got low ratings that didn’t justify its existence. End of story. . . . Kind of simple.


  2. Greg is right. What was once “broad”cast television has de-evolved into extremely niche programs, of which, the vast majority of viewers have no interest. Whine and moan about what women earn in women’s sports, but most women don’t even tune into the WNBA or professional women’s soccer, so it’s not hard to believe that this show would as well without the drawing power of Tom Hanks or Madonna, especially as the film wasn’t exactly a blockbuster across all ages and demographics.



It’s pretty clear to me what kind of people–none of whom I’ve actually met but who check out for a change not to be connected to spam or porn–these are.  The types of people who have exaggerated opinions that they feel compelled to express.   Some of these types will also spew propaganda and hate speech from more determined opinion-leaders, many of whom have their roots in ministries and churches.  Skills that are often honed in debating.

Our high school’s arch-nemesis was a meek, gangly parochial school student who once won a city title with the topic “Do You Dare To Be A Square?”  For as unassuming as this young man seemed when you’d stand across the room at a podium from him, once he had you in his sights he’d verbally pounce like a cheetah, challenging the points one would raise with the tenacity of Perry Mason and the disarming of a con man.  I am told this champion later became an evangelical preacher, which statistically means he is that more likely to be ignoring tonight’s gathering of the also-rans who will vying for attention, zeitgeist and relevance.

That group appears to be unmovingly supportive of Fat Orange Jesus, who won’t be showing up to face the intense questioning that FOX News’ Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier will serve up.  I’ll likely check out how far Chris Christie decides to take his trolling, as he appears to be far more interested in being the voice of the people who are willing to accept the reality that there’s virtually no chance anyone but “Cyrus” will get the nomination–all we can pray for is the pious hope that enough dirt will be offered to perhaps give some small sliver of that majority pause to consider handing him the keys to the locker that holds the combinations for nuclear weapons yet again, only this time an older, even more embittered version of the leader who was often dreaming of using it while he tweeted in his box-cluttered gilded commode.

As far as the others who somehow believe that this will be enough of a showcase to be considered as a possible running-mate. if not an alternative–spare me.  You are appearing on a network who has pre-determined your fate, as THE WASHINGTON POST’s Philip Bump used actual numbers and graphs to document:

(T)he gap in coverage between Trump and the eight candidates who will be featured in Fox News’s debate is stark.

We can measure that coverage by considering the number of 15-second segments in a given Fox News day in which a candidate was mentioned in closed-captioning — an unusual but useful bit of data compiled by the Internet Archive. Since Jan. 1, “Trump” has been mentioned in more than 47,000 such segments. This might include mentions of Eric Trump or Donald Trump Jr., but it’s very safe to assume that such mentions make up only a small part of the total. Eric Trump, for example, has been mentioned in 195 segments this year.

Doug Burgum has been mentioned in 196.

The next-closest contender on the Fox News mention index is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s been mentioned in about 12,000 segments. No one else has more than 2,500.

MacCullum is attempting to put as much as a positive spin on what she would like to believe is a silver lining to the reality that Mr. 47,000 will be “competing” head-to-head with FOX News X-ile Tucker Carlsen on Elon Musk’s excuse for a video pulpit.  Per THE HILL’s Dominic Maestrangelo:

MacCallum says former President Trump’s decision to skip the first Republican primary debate this week could present an opportunity for candidates to focus more on issues that are top of mind for voters.

“I think it’s kind of a golden opportunity for them,” MacCallum told The Hill during an interview Tuesday. “For all of them, I just think they’re going to get a little more room to breathe. I think there’s going to be a lot of focus on the issues that people care about, because that is the number one thing that we hear from everyone we speak with, is that they are just so hungry to move the conversation off of everything that’s been happening in the past and some of what’s been on [Trump’s] plate and hear about what matters to them.

But see, where I come from, that’s not debate.  That’s lecturing.  Posturing.  Teaching.

That’s what at least I attempt to do, but judging by what’s in my bank account this morning, that’s hardly a ticket to success.

What the octet of wannabees will be doing will command more actual viewers than FOJ and the frozen food heir will attract.  Note to Linda Yaccarino’s research team, or whatever they call that person at X:  Your methodology isn’t Nielsen, a view via scrolling isn’t a truly salable metric, and if your crazy boss forces you to try and spin anything that would even try and do an apples-to-oranges comparison that would try to indicate that more people actually saw your “X-cast” that who will watch FOX News tonight, if you thought the doubling down of the research community to unload on Yahoo! when they tried to spin that a Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars NFL game that started at 9:30 AM Eastern time somehow became the most-viewed NFL regular-season game of the season, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Fair warning: I’m motivated enough to lead that charge.

And with any kind of luck, I might get a few more people like Greg, Mark and Pete to “debate” me on it.

I actually do embrace debate, unlike the cowardly dotard who will be posting bail with donated money tomorrow night.

Mr. Weiss, you trained me well.

Until next time…

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