More importantly, how's your old man?: Yesterday, commander-in-chief Donald J. Trump conducted a short press event. The second journalist permitted to ask him a question sensibly asked him this:
REPORTER (8/14/20): You congratulated Marjorie Taylor Greene in a tweet. You called her a future Republican star. Greene has been a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory. She said it’s something that would be worth listening to. Do you agree with her on that?We expect to discuss QAnon all during the upcoming week. That said:
In effect, Trump had been asked if he agrees with—if he believes—the world's current craziest claims. That strikes us as a significant question. The commander's reply went like this:
TRUMP (continuing directly): Well she did very well in the election. She won by a lot. She was very popular. She comes from a great state and she had a tremendous victory so absolutely I did congratulate her.As you can see, the commander had absent-mindedly neglected to answer the question.
Please, go ahead. Go ahead, please.
Obviously, the commander didn't realize that he hadn't answered the question. Indeed, when he said, "Please, go ahead," he was prompting some other reporter to ask him some other question!
The original reporter tried to request an actual answer to her actual question. She tried this oldest trick in the book and, needless to say, she failed.
The commander in chief just kept asking for a new, different question. Quickly, a new reporter complied. This is the way it went down:
ORIGINAL REPORTER (continuing directly): That conspiracy theory, do you agree with her on that? That was the question.The new reporter just wanted to ask the commander how his brother was doing!
TRUMP: Go ahead, please.
NEW REPORTER: I just wanted to ask you what ails your brother Robert and how is he doing?
(Just for the record, no. As best we can tell, this new reporter wasn't from OAN!)
We thought it was worth recording the way our nation's "press corps" functions in this convention speech/press event setting. The second reporter could have deferred to the first—could have asked the commander in chief to answer the original question.
That said, he had bigger things on his mind. Forget all that silly-bill QAnon stuff! He wanted to know how El Jefe's brother was doing!
The brother of the commander is ill. It would have been perfectly decent for someone to ask that question at some point this day. But there you see the fatuous conduct which frequently drives these events.
Mr. President, do you believe the world's craziest claims? That's the perfectly sensible that first reporter had asked.
Six more reporters got to ask questions. No one returned to that point.
Starting Monday: Anthropologists talk about QAnon and about us. What is our "human race" like?