When Did Debate Moderators Become More Important Than Those Debating?

I think the nation is past the need for Presidential election debates. And I KNOW the country is past the need for the partisan moderators we have seen grill candidates in at least the past three presidential elections. Chris Wallace, who is supposedly and middle-of-the-road, hosts a Sunday morning talk show at FOX News. He reportedly is a Moderate. But in his turn on the Moderator microphone, Wallace became a debater instead, joining Joe Biden to pile-on Donald Trump.

As everyone knows, the Debate Commission at the last moment changed the scheduled second debate format from in-person to virtual. Their stated reason for the change was for the personal safety of the workers, media pundits, and the debaters themselves since President Trump was just completing a personal tangle with COVID-19. The Trump Campaign went bonkers, and the President immediately determined to NOT participate in a virtual debate. It was canceled.

All eyes turn to NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker as she prepares to host the third and final presidential debate tonight.

President Trump and Joe Biden will square off at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, in a 90-minute debate starting at 9 p.m Eastern. Welker, 44, has been the White House correspondent at NBC News since 2011, after working as a news reporter in Rhode Island. But Trump supporters who took issue with stern questioning by previous moderators like Chris Wallace and Savannah Guthrie may find themselves wishing for those combative hosts after Welker is done with the president.

Welker comes from an established Democratic family — who have poured cash into party coffers, and to Trump opponents, for years. Her mother, Julie Welker, a prominent real estate broker in Philadelphia, and father, Harvey Welker, a consulting engineer, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and close to $20,000 to Barack Obama alone. There was also $3,300 for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and $2,100 for Hillary Clinton’s doomed 2016 presidential effort against Trump. Another $7,300 was contributed to the Democratic National Committee between 2004 and 2020.

Though Kristen Welker’s party registration is not listed today, she was a registered Democrat in Washington, DC, in 2012 and Rhode Island in 2004.

Throughout Welker’s tenure as a White House correspondent, she has earned a reputation for a scathing style of questioning. “Mr. President, yes or no: Have you ever worked for Russia. Yes or no?” she demanded during a confrontation in January 2019. The treatment stands in stark contrast to her handling of Democratic politicos. In March 2016, Welker was busted on live television tipping off Hillary Clinton’s Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri about at least one question she planned to ask her during a post-debate interview in Michigan. At the time, Clinton was locked in a fierce fight for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Bernie Sanders. “I’m going to ask you about Flint,” Welker said of the Michigan city’s infamous water crisis.

Welker deleted her Twitter account last week, heading off a complete look at her past statements and views. It was later restored. “Anyone who’s ever dealt with Welker knows she’s an activist, not a reporter. The White House press team views her the same way they would AOC or Pelosi if they walked in the office,” a senior White House official said.

Tonight’s Debate: All-In

“She’s always been terrible & unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters, but I’ll still play the game,” President Trump tweeted about the Moderator. “The people know!”

Tonight’s debate is crucial for the President, who refused to participate in an Oct. 15 showdown with Biden because organizers wanted a virtual debate in light of the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis. He enters the debate trailing Biden in preelection polls nationally, and in key states though the Biden lead has almost vanished. This will likely be the last chance for both candidates to reach a vast audience before Election Day on Nov. 3.

Welker hasn’t commented, but plenty of colleagues and competitors testified to her fairness and professionalism. They said she would do great when moderating Thursday’s showdown between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. “Kristen is one of the toughest, fairest reporters you’ll ever meet,” tweeted Kathryn Watson, a White House reporter for CBS News.

Despite his recent attacks, many people have praised Welker’s reporting during the Trump administration – including Trump himself. After the second debate was canceled this month, Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller told Fox News Welker would do an “excellent job” hosting the third one. “I have a very high opinion of Kristen Welker,” Miller said. “I think she’s going to do an excellent job as the moderator for the third debate. I think she’s a journalist who’s very fair in her approach, and I think that she’ll be an excellent choice for this third debate.”

Calling on Welker during a news conference in Switzerland in January, Trump complimented her for landing a weekend anchor gig on NBC’s “Today” show. “They made a very wise decision,” Trump told Welker.

Summary

The daily IBD/TIPP polls have each day this week indicated the Biden lead that was once in double-digits has not just slipped but plummeted to its lowest numbers. Why is that? In part because of the feeling many Americans have after the revelation of the alleged wrongdoing by BOTH the Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden, and by the former VP himself. That Hunter MacBook Pro left at a Delaware computer shop for repairs contains tens of thousands of damning texts, emails, and even pictures. The pictures are said to contain those of Hunter doing illegal drugs while having sex. The pictures include at least one underage girl.

How does this impact Joe Biden? The emails and texts contain details of meetings, emails to and between Hunter and corporate leaders at companies in Ukraine, China, and even Khazakstan that detail massive financial transactions between those foreign corporations and several American entities with which Hunter Biden is an official. Several of the emails and texts implicate Joe Biden for receiving large sums of money as part of these transactions.

Debate Prediction:

If President Trump refuses to fall into the personal trap in which he found himself in the first debate, if he addresses specific Joe Biden political actions from his past, many of which were controversial and very damaging for U.S. minorities along with Biden/Harris suspect plans in a Biden/Harris Administration, he should do well. However, he MUST keep from going-off on Biden in personal ways and stick to policies.

But there’s one sure thing that will just give him a three-count at the ending bell: he MUST bring the Hunter Biden/Biden Family Corruption case into the debate conversation using just the facts and get Joe — without badgering him — to respond on the merits of the case. Remember: no one from the Biden Campaign or any Biden family member or even Joe himself has claimed that the emails, texts, or pictures are not real or labeling them as “fake.”

Being calm, civil, and appearing not to be angry will be a tall order for the President. Though I am confident those around him have given such advice ahead of the showdown tonight, it remains to be seen if President Trump will set aside his disgust for all of the one-sided attacks on him and his administration and just address specifics during the debate. If he can do those things and refuses to hit below the belt, I think Joe will hit the mat at the end of the show!

The Biden 900-Pound Gorilla Just Will NOT Go Away

The corporate media has refused to cover the substance of the New York Post’s bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden’s recovered laptop and emails, not because there’s nothing to the story or because the emails are fake, but because the story itself is, on its face, harmful to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

That’s not to say news outlets haven’t been writing about the Post’s reporting. They’ve decided to cover the meta-narrative—the story about the story—while studiously ignoring what Hunter Biden’s emails reveal about his family’s overseas business dealings and influence-peddling.

Here’s how it works. Instead of aggressive follow-up reporting on the content of Hunter Biden’s emails, which is what you’d expect from news organizations, we’ve got a wave of process stories about the “anatomy” of the Post’s “dubious” reporting, censorship stories about Twitter and Facebook, and wild conspiracy theory stories about a rumored Russian disinformation plot.

Last week when all this broke, the focus quickly shifted from Hunter Biden’s emails to a decision by Facebook and Twitter to censor the Post’s reporting, and, in Twitter’s case, lock the Post’s official account for posting “hacked” materials (there’s no evidence the emails were hacked). When Twitter tried to walk back but also justify its draconian policies, the media reported on that, and when a handful of Republican senators announced they’d be subpoenaing Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over the imbroglio, the media reported on that, too.

What they didn’t report on is the obvious thing the emails reveal: Hunter Biden was trading on his family name overseas, and Joe Biden, despite his many denials, seems to have been aware of this and might have even been a part of it.

Understand what’s going on here: The media will report almost any aspect of this story, no matter how tangential or relatively insignificant, rather than grapple with the story itself.

Almost nothing is too trivial on this front. Over the weekend, we got stories in The New York Times and New York Magazine about behind-the-scenes dissent from a handful of anonymous Post employees who thought the Biden story shouldn’t have run. The Times article goes into great detail about whose bylines were attached to the Post’s reporting, how long each reporter had been at the paper, where he or she had worked previously, and the process top Post editors went through before publication.

Same for the New York Magazine article, which also dismissed the substance of the Post’s reporting—“supposed” scoop, “purported” emails—while quoting anonymous Post reporters pontificating about how they’ve been “bracing” for the Post to “go pro-Trump before the election.”

What meager follow-up reporting on the substance of the emails we have seen has almost all been to undermine the Post. The Washington Post, for one, was quick to “fact-check” the Post by casting vague allegations on its reporting while failing to offer any new information or insights into the trove of emails detailing Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals.

Even more embarrassing have been outlets like CNN and USA Today, which, citing unnamed sources, breathlessly speculated that the FBI was investigating whether the emails were a possible “disinformation campaign” originating from—where else?—Moscow. (Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Monday laid these rumors to rest, saying the recovered laptop and emails are “not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”)

The Media Can’t Handle The Truth

The media’s preoccupation with the chain-of-possession of the laptop and the emails—are they “hacked materials” or are they part of a shadowy plot hatched by the Kremlin?—is meant to distract the broader public about what the laptop and emails actually contain.

After all, the last thing a media establishment in cahoots with the Democratic Party wants to do is ask substantive questions about any of this. Why did a Ukrainian oligarch thank Hunter Biden for an introduction to his father in 2015 when the elder Biden was the Obama administration’s point-man on Ukraine? What did Hunter Biden mean when he told a Chinese energy firm that a lucrative deal would be “interesting for me and my family?”

The press isn’t interested, just like they weren’t interested in a recent U.S. Senate committee report on the Bidens’ complex financial transactions in Ukraine and elsewhere. I mean, if you’re not curious why the wife of the former mayor of Moscow would pay Hunter Biden $3.5 million, then you’re not going to be curious about any of this other stuff.

To be clear, it doesn’t matter what the Post or any other news outlet actually reports or how airtight their reporting is. It doesn’t matter that no one, not even the Biden campaign, has denied the authenticity of the emails in question. It doesn’t matter that Fox News has independently corroborated one of the emails that indirectly references Joe Biden as one of six recipients of “remuneration packages” from the aforementioned Chinese energy firm. It doesn’t matter that the laptop came from a Delaware computer store and not, you know, Russia.

The mainstream media will not, under any circumstances, treat this as a serious story. The same media establishment that was willing to perpetuate a years-long Russia collusion hoax, for which it relied on an outlandish dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, will not countenance the Hunter Biden laptop story—no matter what.

They won’t do it for the simple reason that it will almost certainly hurt Biden’s White House bid, and they can’t have that.

Then There Is “Social” Media

It’s the election equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting, “Na-na-na-boo-boo!” Joe Biden keeps ignoring questions about his possible role in the business dealings of his shady son. He keeps losing his temper with reporters who dare to insist that he has an obligation to answer legitimate public concerns. Most of the Biden-supporting media insist that the New York Post’s big Hunter story is a dud, and so publish endless malicious snark about how shabby the paper’s standards are. Twitter and Facebook keep saying that they were obliged, according to their own codes of practice, to stop the story circulating online, even though we all know those codes are applied with ridiculous inconsistency.

But stories don’t just disappear because one political side can’t stomach them. The truth has a nasty habit of coming out, and the uproar around the Biden campaign won’t disappear just because the Biden campaign wants it to or because Mainstream Media just ignores it. No intelligent observer is all that surprised to learn that the sources for the New York Post story were Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon. It is perhaps depressing that investigative journalism often relies on scoops delivered on a plate by political operatives with an agenda, but that’s the world we live in. Sources have motives, often malign ones. Who knew?

The problem for the Biden campaign is that most people probably don’t care too much about whether the story is ethically sourced. They care about whether it is true. Is the email allegedly found on Hunter Biden’s laptop suggesting that Joe Biden met with a board member of Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian mining company which was paying his son $50,000 a month, true? Or is it fake? What about the email suggesting the “big guy” would get 10 percent of equity from a deal with a Chinese company? Is that invented? If not, who is Mr Big? Is it, as has been alleged, dear old Joe? That seems like a story of public interest worth looking into, given that Biden is close to being elected the leader of the free world. To get to the bottom of it all, just check Twitter and Facebook. Wait: they’re out of this controversy!

It’s funny that the New York Times, Vanity Fair, CNN and others seem to have spent considerable resources attacking the New York Post over its reporting, which only heightens the sense of a cover up. They seem to have little appetite for disproving the story, which would actually make it go away. What Team Biden and all their media boosters can’t seem to grasp is that this information isn’t going to evaporate, no matter how many “intelligence officials” claim that it was released as part of a Russian disinformation campaign. We’ve all learned the hard way not to believe everything intelligence officials tell us when it comes to Russia and U.S. presidential elections — especially those who signed that letter sent to the DNI claiming it originated in Moscow.

Besides, there is still another side in the media war, Team Trump, and they aren’t shutting up. The hope in the Biden campaign is that most Democratic voters are so partisan these days that they just won’t be interested in a story that originated in TrumpWorld. But there’s probably more on that laptop and the clamor to answer questions about its contests will not be silenced. The Hunter Biden story is not going away. It could end up giving Donald Trump four more years in the Oval Office.

That’s all going to happen regardless of what the Social Media Giants and the Mainstream Media outlets decide to do: ignore or allow it to go live. It’s out there! Tens of millions of American voters are plugged in and waiting for answers — you know, the “truth.” It’s now almost a one hundred percent certainty that the emails and the laptop ARE Hunter’s and ARE real. Why? We’re in the home stretch of a presidential election. There’s no way a candidate would face confrontation of this without declaring in a demonstrative fashion that the exposed emails and pictures are a farce and are not Hunter’s.

Do they think this story will just fade away or that Americans have short memories? I really do not think they are that blind and certainly are not stupid. Because Joe Biden made himself invisible this week, it is apparent that they are beside themselves and are struggling to find a way to tackle this war with this blight on the Biden Campaign. “If” Biden really decides to debate tomorrow evening, you can bet they’ll have some way to continue to deflect from addressing this head-on.

Why would they do that? Simple: someone would have to tell the truth. And Democrats are not known for that being fundamental in their politicking.