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Donald Trump: Please Don't Equate Presidential Debates and Football

Even a child can figure out how to watch two things on at the same time. Photo by Kari Jasus.

Published in ChicagoNow, August 1, 2016

Come on, Mr. Trump. Now you are claiming the Presidential debate schedule, set up 18 months ago by the bi-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, is unfair because it conflicts with NFL football? Are you kidding?

Sadly, I think you are not. This is how you play the game. You are actually claiming the debate on Monday, September 26 that conflicts with the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, and the debate on Sunday, October 9 that is the same time as the game between the NY Giants and Green Bay Packers, are part of an evil Hillary plot to diminish the ratings for the debates. Just how dumb do you think your fellow Americans are?

Let me share the thoughts of one outraged woman – me. First, I don’t watch much football. I don’t enjoy seeing huge men tackling each other with extreme brutality, causing concussions and career-ending injuries. But I respect the right of others, including my husband, to enjoy it. So, let’s focus on the HUGE conflict these games will present for the debate audience.

It occurs to me that very few folks watch anything on network television at the time it is actually broadcast. Between cable boxes and streaming, we pretty much control what we will see and when we will see it. So, if someone must see the Falcons-Saints game in real time, that person could also watch the debate later, or even on a different day.

I highly doubt that Hillary Clinton has anything against the NFL or wants to manipulate the debates so fewer people see them. In fact, I’m guessing she is eager for folks to see them. My thinking is that you are the one who wants to have fewer than three debates and/or wants them to be scheduled for days and times that will draw the smallest audience. I suspect you understand you actually have to know stuff to engage in a policy debate, and that calling Clinton “Crooked Hillary” won’t cut it.

And you lied when you claimed the NFL reached out to you about this conflict in fear it would wreak havoc with the ridiculous profits they make from televising the games. Compared with all of the other lies you have told (according to the nonpartisan organization PolitiFact 78 percent of what you say) this one is minor.

What gets to me this time is how making a fuss over debate scheduling insults the intelligence of Americans. If we want to watch NFL football live, we can also figure out how to view a Presidential debate at our convenience. To have a debate on a religious or national holiday is disrespectful. To have one at the same time as a football game? Not so much.


by Laurie Levy
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