News In 5 Minutes

News When You Want It

Obama Pal Gayle King Bemoans Interruptions, Thinks ‘Fly of Color’ Had Symbolic Meaning



CBS was unamused Wednesday night, tearing into Vice President Mike Pence as a disaster and lacking respect for Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) by interrupting her during their vice presidential debate. Led by Democratic donor, Obama family friend, Cory Booker friend, and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King, the network painted a picture of a losing effort by a Vice President, who was also served a dose of an irony with a “fly of color” on his head during an exchange on racism.

By far, King was the most annoyed with Pence being an interrupter, but she herself showed rank hypocrisy in having repeatedly interrupted fellow debate coverage co-host Norah O’Donnell.

 

 

Everything seemed to be routine with O’Donnell going first and then co-host John Dickerson, but O’Donnell couldn’t even finish tossing to King because she was perturbed Pence was even allowed to debate. Her reasoning? Well, King said “people were wondering why” he didn’t “listen to the CDC rules” of isolating after COVID exposure (regardless of him having tested negative for a week).

Seconds later, King added she wished “there were thought bubbles” over the heads of the candidates and quipped that even the fly that landed on Pence’s head must have been in disbelief and disgust with his answers on racism.

And when it came to Harris being on the defense, O’Donnell seemed irked Harris insufficiently fought back on some of Pence’s attacks, but King chalked it up to Harris being a respectful individual not wanting to stoop to his level of badgering (click “expand”):

KING: [B]ut a couple times — many times I kept thinking I wish there were thought bubbles so we could see what they were each thinking because many times, more on Mike Pence’s side, I have to say, where he didn’t answer the question, he would pivot to something else. There was at one point where Kamala was asked a question directly about social distancing at the White House — at the White House Rose Garden. And you could see Kamala’s face like yeah, now what are you going to say. At one point when they were talking about systematic racism, I think this is interesting timing that a fly would land on Mike Pence’s head at that particular time when he said that there really wasn’t systemic racism. You saw the fly going say what? I mean, it was very interesting, that was, I don’t want to call that a highlight but that was certainly a memorable moment.

(….)

O’DONNELL: But Mike Pence was masterful.

KING: He was.

O’DONNELL: You may not agree with anything this administration does, but in terms of his debating style, he repeatedly did not answer the question that was posed to him about the record of the Trump administration on a number of issues. He pivoted and used the time to deliver a direct attack against Joe Biden’s long record in Washington and I was stunned because I thought that Kamala Harris, the former prosecutor and skilled debater, you know, from many of the primaries would be able to make sure that it was the Trump record that was on defense and many times it seemed like Kamala was on defense.

KING: I think she was trying to follow the rules, though. I mean, I think she was paying attention to uninterrupted conversation, keep on your time cues, and he did not do that.

For his part, Dickerson and O’Donnell took note of the interruptions prior to King with the former having said: “They were mostly on the Pence side…but he did kind of a slow jazz version…as opposed to Donald Trump’s version.”

O’Donnell added after King’s pontification that “[o]ur team was following closely and the Vice President Mike Pence interrupted Senator Kamala Harris twice as often” and signaled that Pence’s sexist performance would hurt the campaign with “suburban women.”

O’Donnell then tried to toss to correspondent Nikole Killion at the debate site, but was sidetracked by an interrupting King to lament how she often found herself annoyed with Pence’s rebuttals. Oh, the irony!

For good measure, King had an assist in the liberal hackery from White House correspondent Paula Reid, who had nothing but gripes to share (click “expand”):

REID: The Trump-Pence campaign does not want this election to be a referendum on its handling of COVID. And you saw here, the debate from the very first question, the Vice President was on the defensive trying to put the administration’s handling of this pandemic in a positive light. As you noted, Senator Harris described it as a historic failure. The Vice President defended the response, saying they always put the health of the Americans first. He also made a series of false statements. For example, he said that the administration banned all travel from China at the beginning of the pandemic, that is not true. He was also asked about a ceremony in the Rose Garden several days ago that now looks like it was likely a super spreader event. He also said that that was mostly an outdoor event when in fact there were large parts of it were indoors. No mask, no social distancing.

O’DONNELL: Paula Reid, thank you.

KING: I thought that was a very interesting exchange because I thought we heard for the first time when Mike Pence was asked to explain it doesn’t seem like you were following your own guidelines. He said well, we leave it up to the American people. We tell them what needs to be done and then we leave it up to the American people to make their own judgment and to make their own decision. I thought, even in that moment, I thought that he was deflecting. He never did answer the question about you are a not following your own rules.

The hosting trio ended their coverage with a wrap-up that, in essence, admitted they would be quickly leaving the debate behind and moving back to their narrative about the infected President.

Instead of leaving it there, King had to complain about Trump invoking God in saying him getting the virus was “a blessing in disguise” and had to be “triggering and painful” for those with lost loved ones and talk about how such a horrible illness could be turned into a positive.

O’Donnell tried to sign off, but King wouldn’t allow it because she had to bring up the “fly of color” and how much she was looking forward to Saturday Night Live:

I still keep going back to that fly because you know, number, I’ve never seen anything like that. It was a fly of color too, that came at a very opportune time and that is the Saturday Night Live skit — skit waiting to happen on Saturday. Can’t wait to see it.

CBS’s latest instance of it having no concern for journalistic conflicts of interest were brought to you by advertisers such as Amazon and Volkswagen. Follow the links to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcript from October 7, click “expand.”

CBS News: The Vice Presidential Debate
October 7, 2020
10:33 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: And that concludes the first and only vice presidential debate from Utah in which we know that the plexiglass in between them did not stop the interruptions of either the moderator or the candidates. Kamala Harris coming out strong in the beginning, noting that the way the administration had handled the COVID-19 crisis was the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country and then Mike Pence coming back tough as well, essentially accusing the Biden plan of being exactly the same as what the administration has already done. Joining me here John Dickerson, Gayle King, I want each of your take, John.

JOHN DICKERSON: Well, I think if you look at the global situation, the Pence-Trump or the Trump-Pence campaign was in — is a difficult spot, the polls are going in the wrong direction, Joe Biden is competing in states where Donald Trump should have it locked up. Donald Trump is personally sick and had a bad first debate, so in that environment, Mike Pence did well. His boss will be happy. You mentioned the interruptions. They were mostly on the Pence side, almost entirely on the Pence side but he did a kind of slow jazz version of interruption as opposed to Donald Trump’s version.

GAYLE KING: Yeah.

DICKERSON: And he didn’t answer, you know, as they’ll teach you in debate school, you answer the question you want to, not the one that is asked. The question is whether his performance keeping the issue on the economy, attacking Joe Biden, all of which may have scored him points in the nano second, the Biden campaign had a helper, two pieces of plexiglass, which are there because of the ongoing pandemic and that is the bigger story that exists outside of this debate stage tonight and so that is something we need to keep in mind when we think about the debate and the larger story going on.

O’DONNELL: And yet, Gayle —

KING: People were wondering why Mike Pence was even on the stage, if you listen to the CDC rules, you’re not even supposed to be in contact with other people when you’ve been exposed to someone who has coronavirus which we know the president does. But I thought Susan Page set the tone early when she said listen, the American people deserve to have a conversation. They deserve to have a civilized conversation, which I think for the most part we did, but a couple times — many times I kept thinking I wish there were thought bubbles so we could see what they were each thinking because many times, more on Mike Pence’s side, I have to say, where he didn’t answer the question, he would pivot to something else. There was at one point where Kamala was asked a question directly about social distancing at the White House — at the White House Rose Garden. And you could see Kamala’s face like yeah, now what are you going to say. At one point when they were talking about systematic racism, I think this is interesting timing that a fly would land on Mike Pence’s head at that particular time when he said that there really wasn’t systemic racism. You saw the fly going say what? I mean, it was very interesting, that was, I don’t want to call that a highlight but that was certainly a memorable moment. And the moment with the young girl, Breklynn Brown, we will know who she is by tomorrow and the question she asked. If you all can’t get along, how can we get along? I think that’s a very important question.

O’DONNELL: But Mike Pence was masterful.

KING: He was.

O’DONNELL: You may not agree with anything this administration does, but in terms of his debating style, he repeatedly did not answer the question that was posed to him about the record of the Trump administration on a number of issues. He pivoted and used the time to deliver a direct attack against Joe Biden’s long record in Washington and I was stunned because I thought that Kamala Harris, the former prosecutor and skilled debater, you know, from many of the primaries would be able to make sure that it was the Trump record that was on defense and many times it seemed like Kamala was on defense.

KING: I think she was trying to follow the rules, though. I mean, I think she was paying attention to uninterrupted conversation, keep on your time cues, and he did not do that.

(….)

10:38 p.m. Eastern

O’DONNELL: Our team was following closely and the Vice President Mike Pence interrupted Senator Kamala Harris twice as often. He interrupted her, the Vice President interrupted her ten times during this debate when suburban women are certainly a key constituency, does that matter, or the content of what was said, certainly in this debate, is at issue. I want to bring in Nikole Killion.

KING: Well, I think people understand if you want to finish a thought. I think everybody gives you a pass on that, but many times, he would finish that thought and then kept going. A few times, I was thinking, this is a long two minutes — very long two minutes that is happening here.

O’DONNELL: Right, but he interrupted her.

KING: Yes.

O’DONNELL: Yes, is the point there.

KING: I heard him. I heard him.

(….)

10:40 p.m. Eastern

PAULA REID: The Trump-Pence campaign does not want this election to be a referendum on its handling of COVID. And you saw here, the debate from the very first question, the Vice President was on the defensive trying to put the administration’s handling of this pandemic in a positive light. As you noted, Senator Harris described it as a historic failure. The Vice President defended the response, saying they always put the health of the Americans first. He also made a series of false statements. For example he said that the administration banned all travel from China at the beginning of the pandemic, that is not true. He was also asked about a ceremony in the Rose Garden several days ago that now looks like it was likely a super spreader event. He also said that that was mostly an outdoor event when in fact there were large parts of it were indoors. No mask, no social distancing.

O’DONNELL: Paula Reid, thank you.

KING: I thought that was a very interesting exchange because I thought we heard for the first time when Mike Pence was asked to explain it doesn’t seem like you were following your own guidelines. He said well, we leave it up to the American people. We tell them what needs to be done and then we leave it up to the American people to make their own judgment and to make their own decision. I thought, even in that moment, I thought that he was deflecting. He never did answer the question about you are a not following your own rules.

(….)

10:56 p.m. Eastern

O’DONNELL: Weeks away from a consequential presidential election, already five million Americans have already voted, we just witnessed the vice presidential debate, and —

KING: First and only.

O’DONNELL: — the first and only. Let’s talk about — clearly, this election is a referendum on President Trump and Mike Pence and certainly the record on coronavirus, now that has infected the White House and the quarantine of most of the chief of staff at the Pentagon.

DICKERSON: That’s right and Mike Pence and Donald Trump would like this to be an election about the economy and preferably their record on the economy before COVID-19, not preferably, but that. But the problem is the polls have changed and that people are focused on COVID-19 and the President does not get good marks. And after this debate is over, we will go back to the story line which is that the President exhibited behaviors that lead to a super-spreader event and that’s the central story.

KING: Yeah.

DICKERSON: That is not the central story that the Trump and Pence campaign want.

KING: And the President just this afternoon said that it was a blessing from God that he got coronavirus and that it is a blessing in disguise, said no one ever who was — had corona and who has recovered from it.

O’DONNELL: Or someone’s who lost a spouse or a child.

KING: — or someone who lost someone Norah. I think when people hear that, I think it is triggering and painful some of it will be very interesting to see what happens as they move forward, how they are going to handle it I think many people thought when he went into the hospital he would come out with a different point of view, saying I understand. I really understand how hard this is, why this is so painful and that maybe there would be a different– certainly with wearing masks. We don’t even have that.

O’DONNELL: In the 2016, President Trump won the senior vote by about seven points. We’ve seen that Joe Biden is one the senior vote by 20 points according to some of these polls. A lot has changed. It’s not only the record on coronavirus but also health care and other issues in the economy, changing. There is lots still more to come and we’re going to continue to cover it here on CBS. Gayle King —

KING: Is there a highlight, I would have — I still keep going back to that fly because you know, number, I’ve never seen anything like that. It was a fly of color too, that came at a very opportune time and that is the Saturday Night Live skit — skit waiting to happen on Saturday.

O’DONNELL: That fly.

KING: Can’t wait to see it.

O’DONNELL: Alright, you heard it here first from Gayle King.



Source link