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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Presidential Debate Debates

By on March 10, 2019 in Writing


The Democratic National Committee has set a dozen debates for those wanting to replace President Trump in the White House on November 3, 2020. Six will be held this year.

It’s been announced Fox News will not be hosting any of these debates, in part because of a New Yorker article outlining how President Trump confers with Fox News hosts as well as the numerous interviews he does with the outlet at many of the MAGA rallies. There is also concern about reports Mr. Trump was fed questions as a candidate in previous debates. And in keeping with the way Fake News is not supposed to operate, according to someone we all admire, former DNC operative Donna Brazile fed questions to Hillary Clinton prior to a CNN debate.

Obviously, the President is pissed. Which means he had to tweet that he won’t participate in any debates held by “Fake News” when both parties have candidates next year. He expects to be the one from the Republican party which is a pretty good expectation.

It’s also something we see all the time from Mr. Trump: you did this to me so I’m going to do this to you. Maturity isn’t in his skill set, among other helpful characteristics.

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace is the best of any Sunday talk show questioners and he would have been terrific in trying to get a candidate to actually answer a question, something he does every Sunday. 

Democratic National Committee co-chair Tom Perez may say that Fox News viewers will tune in and not listen to anything because each loves Mr. Trump, so it’s a waste of time. I say, it’s one moment when a responsible DNC could provide an example of talking to the other side, a reason we have debates in the first place.  

Sophomore Sophistry

By on January 18, 2019 in See It Here, Writing

President Trump has shut down the government for weeks because Democrats won’t fund his border wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the State of the Union Address can’t be delivered because the Secret Service would have to work with no pay to protect members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries and members of the Supreme Court who would attend the event on Capitol Hill. President Trump cancels the use of a military jet……and so on and so on.

This is the guy who wrote–or was the author of the ghost-written book, called “The Art of the Deal.”

“I never get too attached to one deal or one approach…. I always come up with at least a half dozen approaches to making it (a deal) work, because anything can happen, even to the best–laid plans.

I think the President should spend some of the time while being “alone” in the White House, to stop watching television and read the book. Most people see numerous ways to end the shutdown: one is actually talking to Democratic leadership.

If he could grow up too….oh never mind.

TV Show Presidency

By on May 2, 2018 in Writing

If I have learned one thing from President Trump since January 2017 when he took the oath of office, it is that anything he does reflects a TV show because he is always worried about ratings.

Recent tweets are about his approval ratings being so much higher than that of Barack Obama during the same time he was in office. He tells us the ratings for any show on which he appears always results in higher numbers.

This all reminds me of the close of every Batman show back in the days of black and white—“Tune in Next Week when the Caped Crusader takes on Mr. Freeze…” The President does a variation on that theme with “a decision in the next few days” regarding increased tariffs or “I’ll decide soon” regarding the venue to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

It is sad to seen Wolf Blitzer and his all-too-familiar “Breaking News” banner tell us the President will let us know “soon” where the meeting takes place. MSNBC and Fox do the same thing. TV (and Trump) know that “Breaking News” makes us pay attention.

I applaud President Trump for being smart enough to work the room. He says nothing and can still be a success at doing it. But I wish “the room” would was smart enough to turn off the TV.

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