This is what I’m thinking:
I turned on Tom Bauerle’s WBEN-AM radio show Tuesday afternoon briefly for a couple of reasons:
I occasionally like to take a visit back to 19th century thinking to be reminded of how far the country has gone.
And I wanted to hear the conservative talk show host’s spin after Monday’s presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and his station's guy, Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Bauerle called it a draw, which is a sure sign that Clinton won the debate by as wide a margin as a scientific CNN poll claimed Monday night. And even more hilariously, Bauerle seemed to suggest Trump’s disappointing performance was done on purpose as part of a plan to recover during the second debate Oct. 9.
By the way, Trump was loudly proclaiming victory at rallies Tuesday, citing unscientific polls that are typically stuffed by the more enthusiastic supporters of a nominee and really mean next to nothing beyond that. Declaring victory after losing is part of Trump’s lifelong strategy described in Tuesday’s night “Frontline” program, “The Choice 2016.”
The sad thing is the network newscasts carried clips of his victory claim and only later balanced it by noting the polls were unscientific. I’m not sure all viewers get the distinction between scientific and unscientific polls.
Clinton supporters most likely hope Trump really believes in those unscientific polls so he won’t change his strategy for the next debate. But I imagine his political operatives are trying to straighten him out about what those polls mean and how badly his performance was viewed by voters outside his base.
The record national and local debate ratings for Monday’s debate illustrate how silly Trump was for being upset weeks ago because two of the three debates were being carried opposite National League Football games in prime time. The debate outscored the Monday Night Football game on ESPN between Atlanta and New Orleans by a 7-1 margin in Western New York, which is a big football area, and the game reportedly might have had the lowest MNF rating nationally in history.
However, football could pose a bigger distraction for the second debate Oct. 9. NBC’s "Sunday Night Football" (Channel 2) is carrying the game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants at the same time as the debate.
While we are on the subject of politics, there is the political advertisement by Republican State Senate candidate Chris Jacobs in which he says two words are scaring politicians in Albany as footage of people pretending to be frightened politicians runs. The two words revealed at the end are “term limits.” There are possibly even limits to how much a politician can insult the intelligence of voters. I don’t think I’ve seen a local political ad as stupid as that one in years. And I’m not even talking about the remote possibility that a bill involving term limits will ever be passed.
I had to laugh at the dueling network promos for the new CBS series “Bull” and the new NBC series “This is Us.” Both of their networks proclaimed the series the biggest new hit of the season after only one episode of each aired.
The claim was especially funny when it applied to “Bull,” which was guaranteed to have the best audience for any new show because it follows “NCIS” and stars a former star of that program, Michael Weatherly. Locally, the 13.3 rating Tuesday on WIVB-TV for the second episode of “Bull” was only a small fraction off the rating for the first episode, which is good news for CBS.
“This is Us” is more likely to appeal to viewers in a younger demographic. After a couple of weeks airing after NBC’s popular “The Voice,” “This is Us” is moving to 9 p.m. Tuesday where it will directly compete with “Bull” unless there is a last-minute change in scheduling plans.
On Tuesday before the second episode aired, NBC announced that “This is Us” will get a full season of episodes, up from the 13 episodes that new series typically receive.
The second episode at 10 p.m. Tuesday had a 7.2 local rating on Channel 2, which slightly exceeded the live rating for its premiere. That’s even better news for NBC.
ESPN’s Mike Wilbon delivered some bulletin board material on Monday’s “Pardon the Interruption” by saying the New England Patriots will “wipe the floor” with the Bills this Sunday. You can’t say history isn’t on his side.
If you missed Stephen Colbert’s interview with Bruce Springsteen Friday on “The Late Show,” I suggest you catch it On Demand. Springsteen isn’t exactly a comfortable talk show guest, displaying nervous laughter. But Colbert, who read Springsteen’s new book “Born to Run,” did a terrific job drawing him out. One highlight came when Springsteen noted his difficult relationship with his father, who never said much about the songs inspired by him until a brief conversation late in life. When Bruce asked his dad which songs his dad liked best, his dad responded: “The ones about me.”