Tuesday night’s first presidential debate was an awful mess and Fox News’ Chris Wallace is to blame.
Sure, Joe Biden showed up with pants on and didn’t spend 90 minutes talking about kids rubbing his legs in the pool or “you know, tha thing.” With the overplayed dementia narrative, the bar was set that low. So, Uncle Joe pulled it off and Wallace made sure of it.
Failure to be Fair
Wallace pressed Trump on how much in income taxes he paid in 2016 – repeatedly – while failing to question Biden on his family’s dealings in China, Ukraine and Russia while he was Vice President. Biden enriching his family while exerting undue influence on foreign countries is a far more important topic than how well the president’s accountants legally used the tax code to minimize his IRS liability.
Wallace asked the president if he would condemn or disavow white supremacists and militias or something. A ridiculous question at best and a slanted jab at the worst. When Trump asked Biden to condemn Antifa, Wallace let old Joe get away with a crap answer calling Antifa an idea, not a group. That’s not condemnation of the extreme left, that’s a coward’s response.
Protecting the Challenger
Biden blew it at several points in the debate, but Wallace either ignored terrible responses or outright covered for them.
Biden said that hospitals would charge women more for the pre-existing condition of being pregnant than they would charge men. Umm, what? Zero follow-up from Wallace.
When Biden got confused about his own energy plan, Wallace started to read the talking points for the plan to him. Then, Biden said that the Green New Deal would be revenue-neutral – which it isn’t – then said he didn’t support it – which he does. Wallace didn’t point out contradictions but instead tried to move on.
Softball – Hardball
Wallace presented two different sides of himself during the debate. Tough, hard-hitting questions went to Trump first so that Biden could have a few minutes to formulate an answer. Softballs went to Biden first.
Wallace used liberal phraseology to corner Trump and go light on the former vice president. Using terms like “race sensitivity training” and “re-imagining policing” are straight from BLM-land. And even with that, Biden screwed the responses into the ground.
In Biden’s world, we need law and only “a little bit of order.” He also said that police need a psychologist or psychiatrist to accompany them on calls in order to do their jobs properly. Who thinks like this? Wallace just brushed off Biden’s obviously unrealistic “reimagining.”
The questions weren’t serious, the moderator was neither “invisible” nor fair as he had promised, and Joe Biden met the incredibly low bar that everyone had set for him.
And the next two debates probably won’t go much different.