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Journalists Steak Their Reputations on Trump 2024

What about the debate bingo? We're about to get to that. First, we'll note that we're not the only ones to have that idea, which is presumably an indication that a lot of folks worried it would be really boring. Here, among others, are the bingo games put together by Politico, The Washington Post, New Republic, and The New York Post.

We did not know about the others when we put ours together. And we're not bothered by the fact that those other outlets ended up on the same concept. What we're a little bothered by is that the idea was also used... by the Trump campaign. Here's their version:

It's all Ron DeSantis, with every square being 
insulting to him, like 'wipes snot' and 'red ears'

It's not very well done. Nonetheless, the fact that we were on the same mental wavelength as Trump 2024, for even a few minutes... maybe it's time for us to get out of the game. Incidentally, the hand in that photo? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

The real story here, though, is that the DeSantis bingo card was created for a dinner hosted in Milwaukee by the Trump campaign the night before last. In addition to the bingo cards, there were all sorts of other anti-DeSantis "party favors," like cups of pudding (because DeSantis allegedly has pudding fingers). So far, this is all fair game—if you can't take a little mockery, then don't run for president. However, a portion of the guest list for the dinner is both concerning and shocking:

And the restaurant in question was no Hungry Heifer; it was a high-end steakhouse called Rare (pdf), where one could easily drop $250 for dinner. Reportedly, the journalists paid their own tabs. Even if that is true, however, how can it possibly be OK for them to be palling around with people like Jason Miller and Steven Cheung, much less accepting anti-DeSantis propaganda? Just the appearances here are bad enough they should all be fired. Thus far, none of the dozen "journalists" appear to have offered a comment, much less an explanation or an apology.

And with that said, it brings us to the results of our little bingo game. We heard 18 of the phrases that appeared on our cards; here they are in the order they appeared, the candidate who first said them, and the variant we accepted in those cases where we accepted something other than the actual phrase:

Order Phrase First Said By Variant
1 Joe Biden DeSantis  
2 Economy DeSantis Bidenomics
3 Hunter Biden DeSantis  
4 President DeSantis  
5 Inflation Scott  
6 God Ramaswamy  
7 Trump Pence  
8 Deep State DeSantis  
9 Patriotic Ramaswamy Patriot
10 Abortion Hutchinson Pro-Life
11 Jesus Pence  
12 Liberal Pence  
13 Elites DeSantis George Soros
14 1/6 DeSantis  
15 Immigration Ramaswamy Secure our own border
16 Gender DeSantis  
17 Trans/Gay Agenda Burgum Protect women's sports
18 Woke Haley  
N/A Hillary N/A  
N/A Socialist N/A  
N/A Fake News N/A  
N/A Witch Hunt N/A  
N/A McConnell N/A  
N/A Fox N/A  
N/A Georgia N/A  

There were, incidentally, another 10 phrases we considered and ultimately excluded. Among those 10 were these six, all of which were uttered multiple times during the debate: China, Obama, crime, Kamala Harris, and tax cuts.

The phrases we DID choose produced a spirited bingo game. For quite a long time, Card 1 was so very close, needing only a "fake news" for the win. And every card eventually got to being within one spot of victory before Card 4 triumphed in the "O" column upon Ron DeSantis' mention of 1/6:

There are 14 X's on all four cards,
and each is close to winning

The debate lasted 2 hours, 45 seconds, which means 121 minutes. Nobody hit the bullseye, but there were three readers who had the correct card and were within one minute of the correct debate length:

There were another three readers who had the correct card and were within 5 minutes of the correct debate length:

And the next three best tiebreaker guesses, among those who had the correct card:

Let's call group one the gold medalists, group two the silver medalists and group three the bronze medalists.

Once again, is this silly? Yes. But there's always room for a little more levity in the world. Further, if you look at the table above, it does suggest a few meaningful conclusions. For example, it's surely not a coincidence that Pence was the first to mention "Trump" and "Jesus"; it would not be too far off to say he's the "Trump and Jesus" candidate. Similarly, DeSantis was generally the one to introduce culture wars terms like "Hunter Biden," "Deep State," and "Elites" (well, George Soros). On the other hand, he stayed away from "Woke," which may suggest that even he knows that term is not landing. It's also interesting that no prominent Republican besides Trump (well, and St. Ronnie of Reagan) got a mention, and that maybe Hillary Clinton is losing salience as a boogeywoman.

We put this bingo idea together on a lark, and at the last minute. Next debate, maybe we'll do something similar, but perhaps a bit more unique, and a bit more amenable to participation. We've already heard from folks who said it caused them to watch the debate, or else that it made the debate much more interesting, so there is some utility there. (Z)

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