I made brief mention of the NBC angle to Gropefest 2016 earlier, but it's worth a separate post. Allahpundit's sarcasm is warranted here: "I saw liberals on Twitter arguing in all seriousness over the weekend that an 11-year-old tape emerged when it did, a month to the day before the election and 48 hours before a must-win presidential debate, by sheer happenstance," he writes sardonically. Did anyone seriously believe that? One tale that's been peddled about the origins of a tape that ended up dominating the start of a presidential debate involved a former Access Hollywood producer suddenly recalling Trump's 2005 words during the Alicia Machado imbroglio. Enter gossip source TMZ with a more plausible account:
NBC execs had a plan to time the release of the Donald Trump audio to have maximum impact on both the 2nd presidential debate and the general election … sources connected with the network tell TMZ. Multiple sources connected with NBC tell us … top network execs knew about the video long before they publicly said they did, but wanted to hold it because it was too early in the election. The sources say many NBC execs have open disdain for Trump and their plan was to roll out the tape 48 hours before the debate so it would dominate the news cycle leading up to the face-off. As we reported, Billy Bush was bragging about the tape — in front of NBC execs at the Rio Olympics — in early August. NBC says it’s only known about the tape for a little more than a week… We’ve told you the plan got derailed by Hurricane Matthew. Execs decided the wall-to-wall coverage of the storm would mess up the plan to dominate the news with the Trump tape, so they were going to hold it until Monday. It didn’t sit well with some staffers who wanted it out pre-debate, so it was leaked to the Washington Post.
Add in rumors that network executives considered editing Billy Bush out of the tape, and none of this looks good for NBC. If they knew about what Trump said long before they brought that information to the public, in what way is that ethical journalism? They're not an opposition research outfit. They're supposed to be neutral arbiters. But reporting on what Trump said is completely legitimate; having an internal debate about when it would get the most attention (and do the most damage) is how partisan operatives think. None of this excuses what Trump said. The attitude about women he expressed -- especially in a professional setting while mic'd up -- is indefensible, which is not to say that people haven't tried. But this new detail once again highlights how many Trump supporters were naive to expect that his ability to manipulate the press and dominate the narrative on his own terms ("brilliant!" Rush Limbaugh gushed for months) would survive the GOP primary. Like Hillary Clinton's team, the press wanted to amplify and elevate Donald Trump throughout the Republican voting process, only to destroy him in the general. Which is precisely what's happening. We've heard a lot from certain conservative media types in the past complaining that conservatives keep allowing the media to choose the party's nominee. Never was that more true than in 2016. Again, I linked to this data in my morning post, but it's worth embedding separately, as a searing reminder of days gone by:
Also via AP, is the audio clip moving any votes? Not among Trump supporters, but it may be peeling off some GOP leaners -- and that green bar of independents should be worrisome for the Trump camp. Remember, this is all from before multiple women stepped forward to accuse Trump of following through on his "locker room talk:"
A fair amount of the movement away from Trump and toward Clinton in national polls has come from unaffiliated voters. Trump can ill afford to be turning more of those people off. I'll leave you with this, which must also be Paul Ryan's fault, or something:
.@KellyannePolls is refusing to answer — many times — questions on CNN about Trump's remarks on walking in on changing pageant contestants.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 12, 2016
One more: Read this piece about the current DNC Chairwoman and the shady move she appears to have pulled (and denied) while she was still at CNN. This appears to be highly unethical. Everything about this election feels polluted: