Debate Moderator's Reaction to Biden's 2020 Election Resurfaces - Fairness Called Into Question


There are plenty of reasons the presidential debates this year are starting so early and being held via President Joe Biden’s rules.

Part of it, no doubt, has to do with the fact that presumptive GOP nominee and former President Donald Trump thinks, not wrongly, that he can manhandle the declining Biden on stage, and the sooner, the better.

However, by accepting the ground rules, he also opened himself up to some serious risk — particularly when it comes to the hosts.

The first debate takes place Thursday on CNN. Going into enemy territory is already a dangerous move, but it’s doubly dangerous when you consider half of the duo that’s moderating the debate.

“The debate, which will be hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash in Atlanta on June 27, will mark the first in-person showdown of the 2024 campaign between President Joe Biden and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump,” the network said in a news release on June 15.

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“Both candidates have accepted the network’s invitation and agreed to accept the rules and format of the debate, as outlined in letters sent to the campaigns by the network in May.”

The release went on to note the particulars of the debate: It’s 90 minutes long with two commercial breaks, podium positions determined by coin flip, all that boring stuff nobody should really care about.

Then came the stuff people should have cared about when this got released but didn’t.

“Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak,” it said.

Should Trump insist on a different debate moderator?

“While no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on the stage, candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water,” the release said.

“Some aspects of the debate — including the absence of a studio audience — will be a departure from previous debates,” it continued. “But, as in the past, the moderators ‘will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion,’ according to the network.”

Emphasis ours. Emphasis very much ours. Because, you see, video is forever, and we remember Tapper’s reaction four short years ago when Biden was finally declared the winner of the presidency.

“It’s been a time of several significant and utterly avoidable failures,” Tapper declared on Nov. 7, 2020. “Most tragically, of course, the unwillingness to respect facts and science and do everything that could be done to save lives during a pandemic.

“It has been a time where truth and fact were treated with disdain. It is a time of cruelty or official inhumanity such as child separation … but now, the Trump presidency is coming to an end.”

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He concluded, “It must be said, to paraphrase President Ford: For tens of millions of our fellow Americans, their long national nightmare is over.”

Great. Why not just let Biden moderate the debate himself? Oh, wait — he lacks the capacity. I forgot.

Remember, this is the shill who will be asking the questions, whose team decides when microphones are muted, and who “will use all tools at [his] disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion.”

To be fair, while it still leans hard to the left, this was during the Jeff Zucker era at CNN, where the network resembled nothing so much as the WWE of liberal politics. I’m halfway surprised that, after he gave these remarks, Tapper didn’t seek out the network’s token conservative contributor, Scott Jennings, and hit him over the head with an aluminum folding chair.

While the tenor of CNN may have changed slightly for the better, Jake Tapper is still the same Jake Tapper who was willing to say those words. Whether or not he believed the words — it certainly sounded like he did — they came out of his mouth freely and without compulsion.

We are now to expect this man to fairly moderate an event not sanctioned by the usual Commission on Presidential Debates? Because others on social media didn’t:

Yes, Joe Biden may be a physically and mentally desiccated husk of his former self, which was never a mentally spry specimen anyhow.

It doesn’t matter, however, if the fix is in — and by letting Tapper have any part in this event, Trump and his team have opened themselves up to one of the great rigged fiascoes of recent political memory.

At the very least, this choice proves that the establishment media demands respect for objectivity it not only hasn’t earned but has flouted.

Let this clip be a reminder of just how deep that contempt for fairness goes.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture