Beware the carefully scripted puffball "town halls" that have been organized by CNN and NBC to help Joe Biden's campaign. As Biden makes a virtue out of having tiny, underpopulated "campaign events" for the TV cameras, these provide the fraudulent illusion of Biden engaging with undecided voters. The questions are toothless and designed to promote answers that impress the audience as being thoughtful and measured.
The first words out of NBC anchorman Lester Holt's mouth on Oct. 5 were the following: "Good evening, everyone. Welcome to tonight's town hall, where we are surrounded by dozens of undecided voters." Listening to the questions asked disqualifies that claim.
For example, Holt presented Ingrid Gilliam-Alexander as "undecided but leaning toward Biden." She insisted President Donald Trump was "bullying" Biden at the debate and said: "I'm worried that it knocked you off your game. How do I know that you're able to forcefully lead this country moving forward when being faced with unforeseen challenges and other bullies?"
Surprise! On her LinkedIn page, she posted a video with the hashtag "#joebiden2020."
Or try this Holt introduction: "Our next one comes from Cassidy Brown in Orlando. Voted for the first time in 2016." Brown's question? "My youngest sister is in high school right now. And I knew whenever I was graduating high school and entering college that I wanted to obtain my degree and start a career before starting a family. Having access to birth control and safe reproductive health care was imperative in making that true for me. So, considering the new Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, what are your particular plans to protect women's reproductive rights in the U.S.?"
That sounds like a Planned Parenthood questionnaire, not an undecided voter. Sure enough, on her public Facebook page, Brown reposted a meme in 2019 from the "VOTEPROCHOICE" Facebook group showing a protest sign that reads, "You're pro-life until the baby is poor, transgender, black, gay, Mexican, disabled, sick, etc."
This is ironic since the "right to choose" is often reserved for eliminating disabled or sick unborn babies.
Or try Michelle Cruz Marrero, presented by Holt as someone who "used to be a registered Republican but voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016." She professed, "As a mother of a police officer and the wife of a retired police officer, served 28 years, the term 'defunding the police' is of concern and troubling. ... With that being said, I would like to know what you and your administration's policies in reforming the police -- how those will come about, how -- how they will be best handled to ensure police officer safety and the public -- citizens' safety as well."
It turns out that Michelle Cruz Marrero can be easily found on Facebook posting on the "Cubanos con Biden" page. She's no undecided voter. After the event, she wrote: "Biden was eloquent and I hope that this clarified all questions regarding the false narrative of 'defunding the police' and that he seeks to reform the police and make it a better place for all of us to live in."
The valentine continued: "He is intelligent. He is elegant. He is poised and he has a plan. He does not dismiss COVID and the future of our country rests on this election and a vote for Trump is a vote for insanity. This country needs Biden. We need Biden. ... He will save America and he will restore the country we had before this monster took over."
The proper description for this NBC "News" event is an infomercial. Holt was selling Joe Biden like Larry King hawks Omega XL diet supplements and Prostagenix prostate pills. Can we expect more of the same at the Oct. 15 "town hall" debate, with a much larger audience?
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.