Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith and media: 9/30/20

IMHO: Here’s how they did. And by “they” I, of course, mean President Trump, former Vice President Biden and moderator Chris Wallace at last night’s presidential brawl. I mean debate. No, I actually mean brawl.

Donald Trump: His belligerent rhetoric continues to undermine his very defensible record – particularly regarding the economy (including minority unemployment and income inequality data) and foreign policy (where “peace through strength” is working). His case against sending out unsolicited ballots to millions of Americans (and the problems that has already produced) is also, despite what the media says, quite strong. Too bad his stage persona last night played right into his critics’ hands. Most egregiously, he failed to take the opportunity to clearly condemn and disassociate himself from racists and white supremacists when it was presented to him (though, despite the media and Democratic narrative, he has done so in the past). For undeniable proof of this, check out the video below (particularly beginning at the 2:40 mark). Of course the remarks below were scripted but I think they present a truer reflection of his true reasoned thoughts and his actions than is presented by the Democratic Party or its corporatist multinational media supporters. Too bad the in-control guy in the video below didn’t show up for last night’s debate.
Debate Grade: D

Joe Biden: True, the blithering, confused idiot of Trump supporters’ fantasies didn’t show up but the guy who did was obnoxious in his own right. Calling the current President of the United States a “clown” may send thrills up the legs of his supporters but it is itself unpresidential. Plus, the guy who’s spent months promising to return us to so-called “normalcy” absolutely refused to say whether or not he would go along with the destabilizing push among members of his party to pack the Supreme Court. He claimed that to answer the question either way would itself become an issue. Actually, saying “no” would put the issue to bed. Not answering it keeps it alive. Also, his current claim to be a big supporter of the police and law and order is belied by his utter silence on the issue of the violence and riots during his own convention.  And he never did take the opportunity to name a single law enforcement group that supports him. Most worrisome is the fact that his campaign turned his “WILL YOU SHUT UP, MAN!” retort (when Trump pressed him on the Supreme Court packing issue) into a crass T-shirt you can buy for $30. Add this to the utter intolerance the Democratic Party displays for debate of any kind (from abortion to climate change to you name it) and you have to wonder if “SHUT UP” won’t be their general retort should they gain power.
Debate Grade: D (though, by the strange standards of current times, he probably “won” the debate)

Chris Wallace: Didn’t he want to say his goal to be “as invisible as possible” during the debate? Well, he failed on that score. He seemed more obsessed with getting all his questions in than providing an atmosphere for these two guys to actually engage each other on the issues. It’s totally appropriate for him to step in when they’re talking over each other but, (to quote Joe Biden) “Come on, Man!,” let them talk to each other. Plus, while Wallace’s questions were appropriately tough for Trump, they were noticeably less so for Biden. Except for asking him if he’d support packing the Supreme Court (while failing to follow-up on his evasion), he never asked him why he avoided the issue of the violence transpiring in American cities during the Democratic Convention. Nor did he press him to explain why exactly his son’s lucrative dealings with foreign governments isn’t a legitimate campaign issue or ask him about how the subject of Russian collusion seems to be turning around to be a problem for the Obama Administration and the Democrats. And, never mind voter fraud, how about the potential problems for voter disenfranchisement unsolicited mail-in ballots pose? Why no questions about that?  Chris Wallace has a well-deserved reputation for being a tough-but-fair interviewer – but, IMHO, that reputation took a hit last night.
Debate Grade: D
Note:
Trump may have a legitimate case for reelection (especially given the alternative) but, if you’re criticizing your treatment by the moderator (even with some justification), chances are you lost the debate.

Overall Grade: D worst presidential debate ever

****

On the bright side: Then Came You is releasing via Fathom for one night only screenings in select theaters nationwide today (9/30) and will be available on-demand and digital on October 2nd.

Synopsis: A recent widow (Kathie Lee Gifford) embarks on a journey around the world with her late husband’s ashes and a plan to visit locations immortalized in the movies they loved watching together. That plan takes some unplanned twists and turns during her first stop thanks to a rather quirky Scottish innkeeper (Craig Ferguson).

Review: A refreshing concoction of crisp and funny dialogue, likable characters, breezy chemistry (especially between Gifford and Ferguson), charming Scottish scenery and old-fashioned romantic comedy makes Then Came You a perfect tonic for anyone seeking a reason to smile in a tumultuous year. Gifford, BTW, wrote the screenplay and co-wrote (with Brett James) the six (quite good) songs featured in the film’s soundtrack. Since seeing the movie last week, I’ve actually found myself humming its title tune. That certainly doesn’t always happen.  In any event, for its pure entertainment value and unabashed (yet tart) celebration of love, Then Came You is Highly Recommended.

****

Coming Attraction: Love and Mercy: Faustina, the 2019 Catholic-themed movie about the remarkable story of the life of St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy devotion is returning to theaters for one night only on October 5th, the Feast of St. Faustina. Details here.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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