Carly cuffs him aside: Is bald-faced lying by White House candidates discouraged at this point in time? Is it against the rules any more?
Watching Candidates Trump and Fiorina, it’s becoming quite hard to tell.
Essentially, Trump is being held to no standard at all as he emits an ongoing series of apparent howlers. For today, though, consider what happened when Chris Wallace tried to challenge Fiorina.
Fiorina appeared as a guest on this weekend’s Fox News Sunday. Full of pep as he started, Wallace asked about her statement at last Wednesday’s debate—her highly dramatic statement about the anti-Planned Parenthood tape.
As everyone has noted by now, Fiorina’s account of what she saw on the tape is hard to square with real facts. For unknown reasons, Wallace seemed to think that he was allowed to question her about that.
He even played tape of what she said at the debate. Then, he popped the question:
WALLACE (9/20/15): I think it's fair to say your biggest moment of the debate was when you called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.Silly boy! “Do you acknowledge what every fact-checker has found?” the experienced newsman said.
FIORINA (videotape): I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation and if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.
WALLACE: First of all, do you acknowledge what every fact-checker has found, that as horrific as that scene is, it was only described on the video by someone who claimed to have seen it? There is not—no actual footage of the incident that you just mentioned?
Silly, silly boy!
Does Carly acknowledge that “there is no actual footage of the incident that you mentioned?” Why would she acknowledge that? Fiorina lives in a new type of world with a whole different set of rules:
FIORINA (continuing directly): No, I don’t accept that at all. I’ve seen the footage. And I find it amazing, actually, that all these supposed fact-checkers in the mainstream media claim this doesn’t exist. They’re trying to attack the authenticity of the videotape.Poor Carly! Famously, Diogenes tried to find an honest man. She’s now trying to find a fact-checker who actually watched the tape!
I haven’t found a lot of people in the mainstream media who’ve ever watched these things. I mean, they will claim somebody watched it for them.
I will continue to dare anyone who wants to continue to fund Planned Parenthood, watch the videotapes. And anyone who wants to challenge me, first, is going to have to prove to me that they watched it.
“I haven’t found a lot of people in the mainstream media who’ve ever watched these things,” the crazy lady improbably said to Wallace.
“I mean, they will claim somebody watched it for them,” she improbably added.
It isn’t like she isn’t willing to be challenged on what she saw on the tape! But first, a fact-checker will have to prove to her he’s actually watched the tape, probably through a statement signed by the entire Supreme Court.
We’re going to guess that Chris has never received an answer as crazy as that. Of course, had he prepared himself for the interview, he would have said this at that point:
“Well, Ms. Fiorina, I have watched the videotape, and this is what I saw..”
What are the chances that Wallace actually watched the ten-minute tape? We’ll guess the chances are somewhere between zero, Barbados and none!
Whatever! After a pause to catch his breath, this is how Wallace replied—rather, how he failed to reply:
WALLACE (continuing directly): You want to defund Planned Parenthood. So let's talk about what the organization actually does—4.4 million health services involving sexual diseases and infections, 3.5 million services in family planning, 935,000 services in cancer screening and prevention, 1.1 million other women's health services, and, yes, 327,000 abortions.She stamped her foot; he ran away. We’ll guess that Wallace hadn’t watched the tape—it’s known as “The Mika Brzezinski fail”—and that he didn’t have much to say as a result.
Ms. Fiorina, I understand that you want to end all abortions, but you're also willing to cut off funding for all of those HIV tests and breast exams?
We’re not sure we’ve ever seen anyone evade a fact-check in quite the way Fiorina succeeded with. Basically, we’re living in the Wild West as this pseudo-campaign takes its form.
When the crazies start making their ludicrous claims, it no longer seems to matter what they say. Mika has been most heinous of all at the blatant refusal to serve, but others aren’t far behind.
Tomorrow: Chuck Todd rolls over for Trump
What isn’t said on the tape: If you want to watch the ten-minute tape, you can just click here. The footage which Fiorina pretended to describe appears at the six-minute mark.
We’ve watched the tape again today. Please note:
A young woman named Holly O’Donnell makes the claims in question. She is describing something she says she saw and did.
On the tape, O’Donnell is identified this way: “Ex-Procurement Technician, StemExpress, LLC.” Please note:
At no point does O’Donnell ever mention Planned Parenthood. She never says that the procedure she describes was done for that organization.
Trust us! If O’Donnell had mentioned Planned Parenthood, it would be all over the videotape with bells and whistles sounding. O’Donnell never makes any such claim at any point on the tape.
The New York Times didn’t mention this point when it published its account of that tape. This is the way the world starts to work when CEOs lay all the gatekeepers off and traditional norms go away.