It's not humanly possible to sum up the third Republican primary debate, "moderated" (if that's the right word) by CNBC, any better than Ted Cruz did:
Let me say something at the outset. The questions that you have asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people do not trust the media. This is not a cage match.
And if you look at the questions: Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about.
With this statement - fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray - the last vestige of any shred of trust for the liberal media has been stripped from any Republican candidate for anything, and with a little bit of luck, from the American people as well.
For the first time, every single Republican candidate fully realized that the enemy wasn't on the stage, the enemy was sitting in chairs at the moderating table, and acted accordingly. In the last election season, only Newt Gingrich figured this out, and that only briefly; this time, everyone knows it.
In fact, and even more stunning, the media bias and arrogance were so vast and so visible that it helped the Republicans. Witness this bizarre exchange between Donald Trump and the misnamed Becky Quick:
QUICK: You have been very critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who has wanted to increase these number of H1b —
TRUMP: I was not at all critical of him. In frank, he’s complaining that we’re losing some of the best people … I am all in favor of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley.
QUICK: So where did I read this and come up with this you’re —
TRUMP: Probably, I don’t know. You people write this stuff.
It so happens that Ms. Quick was right: Mr. Trump had, indeed, criticized Mr. Zuckerberg about H1b visas on his very own campaign website. But Ms. Quick didn't know that! It apparently never occurred to her that anyone might ever challenge her to actually prove that what she was saying was true. After all, she's The Media! Doesn't that give her the privilege of defining truth as whatever she says it is?
With that risky and daring quip, The Donald slid out from under what should have been a telling blow, thanks entirely to journalistic malpractice. We can't help but recall Napoleon's observation that he'd rather have a lucky general than a smart one; Mr. Trump appears to be both.
Which brings us to the most devastating effect of the media's outlandishly blatant bias. It's not merely that bias has become so transparently clear that it can't help but create sympathy for Republicans in general, as most Americans prefer at least the appearance of fair play.
No, the worst misfire is that the media are burning up all of the Democrat's opposition ammo!
There is no way that Hillary Clinton and the Democrat machine are not already perfectly aware of every single bad thing any Republican has ever done, going back to wetting the bed in preschool, and quite a few more misdeeds that aren't even true. There's a reason she's not ranting about any of that yet: it's wiser to hold fire until just before the election when there isn't enough time for the Republican to effectively respond. With the help of liberal media allies, all that voters hear on their way to the polls is about whatever the scurrilous allegations happen to be regardless of truth or falsehood.
Not this year! The media is throwing up everything plus the kitchen sink, beclowning themselves and giving the Republicans ample time to thoroughly shoot down falsehoods, or even truthful attacks. Hillary won't be left with anything for an October surprise; she may not even have any zingers for the presidential debates!
In this regard, Bernie Sanders would be a better nominee since he doesn't go for zingers and mudslinging anyway. The Democrats would be wiser to choose a standard-bearer who doesn't rely on a supply of dirty tricks that's running desperately low.
Nevertheless, it's beginning to look as if the Democratic establishment and the media - pardon the redundancy - is every bit as clueless and non-self-aware as the Republican elites who set up this mockery of a debate. They will no doubt continue on the path they've started down, regardless of whether it works anymore, until every normal person is sick to death of it and them.
By the time election day rolls around, the Republican can simply shrug and respond with a Reaganesque "There you go again!" and all America will know who's the liar.
Except, if it's the other way 'round, as Mr. Trump demonstrated, nobody will believe the media even if they happen to be telling the truth because it's so rare for them to do so. But that's a problem for another day.
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.