Whenever he finds himself unable to speak substantively on a subject matter, whenever a blatant lie is exposed, whenever he faces criticism for his most recent affront to [insert minority group here], Donald Trump finds a way to pivot his attention towards the biased media.
Heading into Sunday night’s debate, the entire country was still trying to make sense of audio released last week of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Once it became clear that the recordings were a topic of interest to moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper, Trump kicked his pivoting into another gear.
The very first question of the debate came from an audience member who wanted to know whether each candidate were modeling appropriate behavior for America’s youth. Though not explicitly about the Trump recordings, Cooper took the opportunity to bring up the tapes in a follow-up question and gave both candidates a chance to respond. Or at least, tried to.
“So, she’s allowed to do that, but I’m not allowed to respond. Sounds fair,” said Trump, after spending 30 seconds responding to Clinton’s pointed criticism of his bigotry. And his contempt for the moderators only descended from there.
Moments later, after spending several minutes of back and forth conversation about Hillary Clinton’s questionable use of email while Secretary of State, Donald Trump demanded to know why the moderators weren’t bringing up Clinton’s emails.
The moderators, incredulous that Trump had forgotten their question from mere seconds earlier about Clinton’s emails, tried to steer the debate along.
“Nice,” quipped Trump. “One on three.”
On and on he went, attacking the moderators almost as much as Clinton herself. He wondered why the moderators interrupted him more than her. He lashed out when they again debunked the lie that Trump opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning. He expressed his displeasure that the moderators were giving Clinton more time to answer their questions than him.
On that last point—Trump actually ended up having more than a minute of additional speaking time than Clinton—one Twitter user summed it up perfectly:
“When you’re used to preferential treatment, equal treatment feels like discrimination.” pic.twitter.com/aBTPmglodr
— Courtenay Hameister (@Wisenheimer) October 10, 2016