Month: September 2020

Background Briefing: September 30, 2020


Trump Turned Last Night’s Debate Into a National Shame and an International Embarrassment

We begin with the embarrassing display from our nation’s leader last night in the first presidential debate in which Trump’s verbal bullying meant to drown out any glimmer of truth Biden could put forth to the American people, resulted in national shame and international ridicule. Nicole Hemmer, an associate research scholar with the Obama Presidency Oral History at Columbia University and author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics joins us. She is the host of 1A2: The Story of Charlottesville, a six-part podcast series on the white power terrorism in Charlottesville in 2017 and we discuss Trump’s response to a question from the moderator Chris Wallace “Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups?” to which Trump replied, “Sure I’m willing to do that…Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I tell you what…somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left.” Trump endorsement of the violent white power Proud Boys street gang has its members swooning over their president’s support and they plan to answer Trump’s call to show up a polling places in November with their assault rifles to “monitor” the vote.


Trump’s Bullying Was Meant to Drown Out the Truth

Then we examine further the grotesque display of an angry, contorted bully spewing a constant stream of lies meant to drown out anything Biden had to say in an effort to throw him off track and overwhelm the impact of his message to voters. Amanda Marcotte, a feminist author, blogger, and a writer for Salon where her latest article is “Trump is scared sh**less. He can’t handle the truth, so he wouldn’t let Biden talk,” joins us.


The Impact of the Trump Tax Scandal on the Debate

Then finally we speak with Edward McCaffrey, the Robert C. Packard trustee chair in law and a professor of law, economics and political science at the University of Southern California and author of Fair Not Flat: How to Make the Tax System Better and Simpler. He joins us to discuss his article at CNN “Trump’s taxes tell a tale of debt and desperation” and assess the impact of the recent revelations about Trump’s taxes on last night’s debate.