Lawrence takes a dive: Let's face it. On cable news, "campaign coverage" is an endless string of distractions, diversions and cons.
Speculation about primaries give way to speculation about VP picks. Meanwhile, almost everyone killed some time last night discussing the New York Times' front-page report about that "debasing encounter" with Candidate Trump back in 1990.
On MSNBC, Lawrence landed the get. The Times reporters who assembled the farce appeared as part of a twelve-minute segment. During this segment, they pretended to answer the questions which Lawrence pretended to ask.
Basically, the Times reporters filibustered. Lawrence took a dive.
You can watch the entire segment here; MSNBC hasn't yet provided the transcript. That said, Lawrence failed to require answers as the Times reporters skillfully killed off the time.
We discussed the incident yesterday. It concerns the part of Sunday's front-page report which actually appeared on the Times front page.
Two basic questions required answers. After the filibustering began, Lawrence pursued neither one:
The two basic questions:Just to be clear, Lawrence basically knew that these were the basic questions. Indeed, this was the first question he posed to the New York Times pair:
1) Why did you describe Rowanne Brewer's experience with Trump as a "debasing encounter?"
2) Did Brewer tell you she found the encounter flattering, as she has now widely said?
O'DONNELL (5/16/16): So she says that she didn't think it was a demeaning moment at all. Did you get that from your conversation with her?In essence, that's the basic question! In response, Michael Barbaro staged the first of the segment's three or four filibusters.
Lawrence never really sought an answer to that question. That said, this was his second question:
O'DONNELL: I haven't heard her dispute anything that appears within quotation marks. But she's saying that you then add an editorial interpretation of what she said.At that point, the filibustering started in earnest. Lawrence knows how to return to a basic question. He just never did.
I mean, what do you make of that, where she says "I actually thought it was flattering that he complimented me in the bathing suit?" Did that come across in your interview?
Lawrence spoke to the Times reporters for almost nine minutes. They avoided those basic questions. He agreed to let them.
At one point, Michael Barbaro actually said this: "There actually is no dispute over the reporting in the story."
We aren't making that up! Barbaro actually said that. Lawrence actually let him.
Within the guild, it's Hard Pundit Law. You simply don't challenge the New York Times.
Everyone knows that it just isn't done. Lawrence proved it last night.