Weekend’s best video: GOP intro and ‘Bern Your Enthusiasm’

Some of you may think the best thing on TV was a football game, but I beg to differ.

The above and the below beat that by a mile.

As wonderful as good satire (below) can be, in this year it’s hard for deliberate comedy to match real life (above) on the campaign trail…

11 thoughts on “Weekend’s best video: GOP intro and ‘Bern Your Enthusiasm’

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    That GOP debate intro raises a number of questions:

    • What did Ben Carson think was happening?
    • What did Donald Trump, who amiably joined him, think was happening?
    • Were their earpieces not working? Or did they not have earpieces? And if not, why couldn’t they hear what the audience could hear? Were the intros not on the P.A. in the auditorium?
    • Why did ABC have the moderators facing the audience as they made the introductions, so they couldn’t see the bizarre foul-up happening behind them?
    • Why did ABC keep its camera on the wings as this farce played out, showing tout le monde what was happening while their moderators remained clueless?

    And you can no doubt think of others…

  2. Karen Pearson

    ABC kept their camera on that because it made more entertaining TV than just staring at the moderators. As you pointed out, it beat the SNL skit for comedy.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      See, I don’t think so. The camera was already trained on where the candidates were coming in from the wings when the confusion started. I think that was a planned shot.

      Then, when everything went haywire, no one was able to pull it all together and fix it.

      One of the moderators said something about the noise in the hall being so great that neither the moderators nor the candidates could hear. Maybe that’s it. Maybe the candidates couldn’t hear their names being called, and the moderators couldn’t hear people in the control booth screaming, “Carson and Trump are stuck in the wings! They’re not coming out!”

  3. Norm Ivey

    I think the intent was probably to film each candidate as they came down the passage. ABC kept their cameras there because that’s where the plan had them. When Carson and Trump didn’t hear their names, they stopped. You can see the guy in the back trying to get Carson to go on out. Unfortunate and funny, but nobody’s fault. Carson referenced it during the debate. I think he was a little put out by it.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Something was seriously wrong with the lighting, too, I think.

      Trump’s hair seemed to take on a color and consistency that I had not seen before — more bizarre than ever. I couldn’t begin to tell where it was coming from and where it was going; it seemed amorphous.

      Carson, who always makes me wonder whether he’s fully awake or not, seemed to be squinting more than usual, enhancing the “can’t quite get my eyes open” effect.

      The lighting caused Martha Raddatz’ right cheekbone to cast such a deep shadow that it looked like a deep trench dug into her face — which I don’t think is the case; I really think it was bad lighting.

      But maybe it was all just my TV…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Some people will cry “foul!” on that Martha Raddatz observation, but that’s because they misunderstand. I’m sticking up for her. Professional lighting engineers shouldn’t make people who are no longer 25 years old look like that…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Of course, now that I look at photos of her, she just seems to have super-prominent cheekbones….

          As you know, I’m always being introduced to these moderators as strangers, since I don’t regularly watch national TV news…

  4. Karen Pearson

    You’re right that they’d set up the cameras to show each candidate as they came on, but they certainly could have moved it away when the confusion became obvious. They chose not to.

  5. Assistant

    On a not so light note, Ted Cruz’s answer on opiate addiction was quite moving.

    Well, Josh, as you noted, this is a problem that, for me, I understand first-hand. My older sister, Myriam, who was my half- sister, struggled her whole life with drug and alcohol addiction. My father and her mom divorced when she was a little girl and she was angry her whole life, and she ended up marrying a man who had been in and out of jail. She then became a single mom and she herself went to jail several times and she ended up spending some time in a crack house.

    I still remember my father and me driving up to get Myriam out of that crack house to try to convince her she needed to be a mom to — to my nephew Joey.

    She wasn’t willing to listen. She was not willing to change the path she was on. She was angry. I was — had just gotten my first job coming out of law school. I took a $20,000 loan on a credit card to put my nephew, Joey, in Valley Forge Military Academy — he was in sixth grade at the time, to pay his way through that.

    And about five, six years ago, Miriam died of an overdose. It was — the coroner ruled it accidental. We don’t know. She went to [bed] one night, had taken too many pills, and Joey walked in and found her dead.

    Cruz went on to provide guidance on what he sees as the solution to this problem including in that how an unsecured border contributes to it:

    This is an absolute epidemic. We need leadership to solve it. Solving it has to occur at the state and local level with programs like A.A., and counseling, and churches and charities. But it also has to be securing the borders, because you have got Mexican cartels that are smuggling vast amounts of heroin into this country.

    We know how to secure the borders. What is missing is the political will to do it.

    And as president, I will secure the border, we will end this deluge of drugs that is flowing over our southern border and that is killing Americans across this country.

  6. Phillip

    One immediate connection between the SNL skit and Sunday’s big game did immediately occur to me. The way Larry-David-as-Bernie-Sanders recoils from shaking the “germ-infested hand” is strikingly similar to the way Cam Newton seemed to think about and then immediately recoil from diving on the loose football that lay practically at his feet late in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, when his team was still down only 6 points.

    I’ve heard that described since as a “business decision” on Cam’s part.


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