“Win, lose, or draw”

I was reading Berlingske’s preview of tonight’s debate between President Trump and Joe Biden (I’m a glutton for punishment), and it was about what I’d expected.

At one point in the article, however, author Mikkel Danielsen notes that maybe the attacks predicted from Trump could be an advantage to Biden.

“[Det] mener flere amerikanske analytikere,” he writes.

And to back that up, he embeds a link.

This link. Which leads to an NBC article entitled, “First debate is Biden’s chance to cancel Trump’s attacks on his mental fitness. Or fall prey.”

That article contained this paragraph (emphasis mine):

Trump has repeatedly claimed Biden is unaware of his surroundings, cannot communicate without a teleprompter and calls him “sleepy Joe.” Allies have promoted misleading or false videos about Biden’s stamina, mental health and teleprompter usage. The Trump campaign has spent millions on ads arguing Biden is “diminished” and “slipping.”

I want to get back to everything else in that wildly slanted paragraph, but first let’s focus on the phrase I emphasized: false videos.

That phrase, like several others in the paragraph, has a link (this one) that leads to an August 31 article from Forbes, entitled “Twitter Flags 3 Posts From GOP Officials In 24 Hours For Spreading Misinformation Attacking Biden.”

That article is summed up easily enough in its opening paragraph:

In less than 24 hours, Twitter flagged three tweets from Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), White House social media director Dan Scavino, and the Trump campaign for spreading “manipulated media” in messages attacking Joe Biden, a sign that misinformation — pushed mostly by GOP lawmakers and the Trump campaign — is flooding the 2020 race in an election year that’s playing out primarily online.

(Misinformation is being mostly pushed by GOP lawmakers and the Trump campaign? In 2020? Misinformation is the fucking coin of the realm!)

Let me connect the dots: Berlingske says Trumps attacks on Biden could benefit Biden, on the say-so of “several American analysts,” and supports that with a link to an NBC article that points out that allies of Trump have spread “manipulated” media, including “false videos.”

And that claim is supported by a link to a Forbes article about Twitter flagging edited videos, the edits of which they judged to be designed to mislead.

Still with me?

Having read my way through Mikkelsen’s article, the next article that Berlingske wanted me to read caught my eye:

It’s four days old, and I don’t know how I missed it, but it was an odd place for Berlingske to be promoting it.

And here’s why: I clicked through to that article, and what should I find but manipulated media. A video edited to mislead.

Go ahead and click through to that article, which is also by Mikkel Danielsen, and watch the video.

Then watch this one… posted to Twitter by, ironically enough, NBC:

“Win, lose, or draw,” the questioner asks. It’s how he opens his question.

You’ll note that was edited out of the video Berlingske chose to use.

Do we or do we not agree that “Will you commit here today for a peaceful transfer of power after the election” is not the same question as “Win, lose, or draw, will you commit here today for a peaceful transfer of power after the election?”

Trump was answering the question as asked, which included the possibility of the election resulting in a Trump victory. And as anyone who’s been following the news lately knows, plenty of establishment lefties have been threatening (promising) all sorts of violence if Trump wins the election. His answer therefore strikes me as honest and direct: we will indeed have to see what happens.

You may disagree. Fair enough. Then tell me why the editor of the video Berlingske chose to use excluded the opening four words of the question. It wasn’t an accident: when you see the full video, you can see there’s hardly a breath between “draw” and “will.” It’s a very precise edit to clip those 1500 milliseconds off the video.

And the very same people that did that are raising an alarm about the fact that Trump (or his allies) are distributing videos edited to mislead.

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

# # #

I’ve got to loop back to that one paragraph, though, and to prevent you from having to scroll back up and remember what the hell I’m talking about, here it is again:

Trump has repeatedly claimed Biden is unaware of his surroundings, cannot communicate without a teleprompter and calls him “sleepy Joe.” Allies have promoted misleading or false videos about Biden’s stamina, mental health and teleprompter usage. The Trump campaign has spent millions on ads arguing Biden is “diminished” and “slipping.”

Let’s break it down.

Trump has repeatedly claimed Biden is unaware of his surroundings, cannot communicate without a teleprompter…

Indeed he has. But he hasn’t really needed to, because anyone following the campaign has seen for themselves that Biden sometimes does seem unaware of his surroundings and lost without a teleprompter.

and calls him “sleepy Joe.”

And he called Ted Cruz Lyin’ Ted, and Hillary Clinton Crooked Hillary, and Kim Jong-un Little Rocket Man. He calls people names. It’s ugly, and I’m not a fan, but it works, and he’ll probably keep doing it until it stops working.

Allies have promoted misleading or false videos

Allies of Biden have been rioting in the streets for months and promoting false and misleading videos, and allies of every presidential candidate in American history have promoted false and misleading media all the way back to the dawn of the republic.

“General Jackson’s mother was a COMMON PROSTITUTE brought to this country by the British soldiers! She afterwards married a MULATTO MAN, with whom she had several children, of whom GENERAL JACKSON IS ONE!!!” — Adams ally squib, 1826

I have to give Berlingske credit for saying what NBC doesn’t (emphasis mine):

“Bidens fortalelser er efterhĂĄnden blev Donald Trumps foretrukne angrebsvĂĄben: Med bĂĄde ægte og manipulerede videoer forsøger den 74-ĂĄrige præsident konstant at fremstille Joe Biden som en gammel, senil mand, der er mentalt ude af stand til at varetage embedet.”

Because that’s really the point, isn’t it? Even genuine videos present Joe Biden as… frail? Confused? Lost? Diminished? Take the adjective of your choice, but anyone suggesting that there’s nothing off about Joe Biden is simply not being honest.

Bernie Sanders had the rock star thing going for him. I hate the guy’s politics, but even I enjoy watching him. (And I enjoy watching Larry David’s impersonations of him even more.) I say that just to make it clear that I’m not so partisan that I can’t appreciate political mojo. Sanders has it. Obama has it in spades. But right now Joe Biden has all the political mojo of, say, Michael Dukakis… with hemorrhoids.

…about Biden’s stamina, mental health and teleprompter usage.

Would that be the same Joe Biden whose campaign apparently requested breaks every thirty minutes during tonight’s debate? Who has shut down his campaign one out of every three days in September before 10:00 in the morning? Who has barely exposed himself to the public in six months? Who has been seen actually saying out loud that he’s having trouble because he can’t see his teleprompter?

The Trump campaign has spent millions on ads arguing Biden is “diminished” and “slipping.”

“…arguing…”?

I think the word you’re looking for is “demonstrating.”

Maybe tonight Biden shows the world what a dynamo he really is, how tireless, how sharp, how quick, how clever, how full of piss and vinegar.

We’ll see.