The Second Presidential Debate was held last night in St. Louis at Washington University, not far from the scene of last year's Ferguson Riots. The debate was formatted in a so-called 'Town Hall' fashion: a theatrical gimmick wherein some carefully vetted questions allegedly from the general public are allowed.
There were two moderators from the Corporate Media managing the whole affair. One was Martha Raddatz, who makes $2.5 million annually from ABC. She was formerly married to Julius Genachowski, who was the subject of a recent DNC leak. Anderson Cooper, a homosexual and multimillionaire heir to the Vanderbilt fortune, was the other moderator. He makes $11 million from CNN despite never having gone to Journalism school. CNN is owned by Time-Warner which has donated $812,000 to Hilary Clinton's political campaigns during the course of her career. Time-Warner has one of the largest lobbying PACs in the Beltway: expending $9.2 million in lobbying during the last two years alone; and $570,000 on 2016 political campaigns. According to OpenSecrets, eight Congressmen and Senators own Time-Warner stock.
ABC is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Co., which also has a sizeable Beltway PAC. Disney has shelled out a whopping $3.2 million to political candidates this year; including $177,000 to Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign. Disney has spent $5.7 million in lobbying during the last two years, and 35 Congressmen and Senators own Disney stock.
Does anyone wonder why we don't take these debates seriously?
As for the debate itself, it was mostly a series of personal attacks, although---to his credit--- Trump did renounce Mike Pence's recent hawkish stand on Russia. Trump seemed to indicate, without elaboration, that he intended to rebuild US hegemony in the Middle East and made some dubious comments about Iran's position in the Anti-Jihad Alliance. Clinton mostly repeated her talking points from the first debate, and overall, really nothing of any substance came out of this round.
Trump came across as the 'winner' at least on technical grounds. The losers, though, are going to be the Corporate Media who hyped an 11 year-old interview with Trump as some explosive scandal the night before the debate; and their attempts to smear Trump with it completely flopped. Though Anderson Cooper tried to push the issue and Hilary Clinton led off with it; Trump neatly deflected it saying, "They're trying to distract from the issues and make it all just about sex." Which was a soundbite Clinton apologists used in the late 1990s when defending Bill Clinton.
The other big losers are going to Republican politicians who rushed to throw Trump under the bus over these same tapes.
Mercifully, this election will be over in another month although the debates are giving us an ominous foretaste of the next four years.