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MSNBC’s Town Hall With Donald Trump Was Disgraceful


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The media’s coverage of Trump has been soft, insufficient, and without substance.

Isaac Chotiner

Feb. 17 2016


Is Donald Trump in trouble? After facing hostile questions from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Wednesday night—they comprehensively laid out his flip-flops, presented him with damning videotape, and asked him to explain the inconsistencies in detail—Trump was confronted by hostile audience members at MSNBC’s televised town-hall forum. When a Muslim questioner got up to ask why he had said such bigoted things about minorities, Trump seemed to struggle while Scarborough forced him to respond. The candidate looked uncomfortable, unhappy, and somewhat lost. It could be a turning point.


If only. Of course, none of this actually occurred Wednesday night, just like it hasn’t occurred once this entire campaign season. Instead, Scarborough and Brzezinski hosted what appeared to be a rehearsed and “safe” town hall, in which American voters asked the candidate such hard-hitting questions as “Why did you decide to run for president?” and “how will you set yourself apart” from other Republicans? It was completely worthless television, except in one sense: The program highlighted the many ways in which the media’s coverage of Trump has been soft, insufficient, and without substance.




If the softball questions weren’t enough to make you feel like you were watching a rigged entertainment program, everything else about Wednesday night’s event also had a ring of cynicism to it. CNN was hosting a “town hall” in South Carolina with several of the other candidates, and MSNBC clearly wanted to compete. They did so by managing to get the biggest ratings draw in the race to appear with his favorite hosts. (Trump often appears on Morning Joe.) It’s true that there have been moments when Trump and Scarborough have gotten tense with each other, but it has always been papered over, presumably because it’s in both of their interests. MSNBC has certainly not been uniformly easy on Trump, especially during its evening programs. But the networks’ reliance on his ratings—a problem that is especially acute at CNN—means that they need to maintain a certain amount of politeness when dealing with the real estate magnate.



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Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:14 am


Somebody noticed.


The most unpopular part of Obamacare now has a champion in the Republican presidential field. Via the Right Scoop, Donald Trump was asked on Thursday night by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “If…there’s no mandate for everybody to have insurance, what’s to—why would an insurance company not have a preexisting—insure somebody with a preexisting condition?” Trump replied, “Well, I like the mandate. Okay, so here’s where I’m a little bit different. I don’t want people dying on the streets. And I say this all the time.” Scissors-32x32.png


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