FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE DISSOLVES INTO INSULTS, NAME-CALLING
NEW YORK (AP) – Moments after the first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign ended, there was talk that there might be no appetite for another. The verbal clash between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was chaotic from start to finish, as Trump repeatedly chimed in on Biden’s remarks with interruptions, interjections and insults. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News seemed unable to keep things on track and was often left chastising Trump — or imploring him to let Biden finish his comments. Wallace’s loss of control of the debate sparked widespread criticism. Comedian Trevor Noah cracked on Twitter that Wallace’s performance was “a great reminder that kindergarten teachers are underpaid.”
COMMENTATORS CRITICIZE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
UNDATED (AP) – On this topic, there really was no debate. Most of the pundits who watched last night’s sparring between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were blunt in their criticism. When the debate ended, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer wondered whether there was any point in having the two others that are scheduled. Colleague Jake Tapper called it – quote – “a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck” Dana Bash was more blunt – and profane. Apologizing to viewers in advance, she called it “a shit-show.” On Fox News Channel, Brit Hume described Trump as a “bucking bronco” for his feistiness. Hume added it was the kind of aggressive performance that would appeal to the president’s base – but would do little to expand his support.
CANDIDATES GET PERSONAL IN DEBATE
CLEVELAND (AP) – President Donald Trump basically called former Vice President Joe Biden a dummy – and Biden described Trump as a blabbermouth. During an exchange on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Biden said the president wasn’t “smart” in the way he dealt with the crisis. Trump deflected the criticism by claiming Biden finished low in his college class – and couldn’t remember the name of the university he attended. Trump added, “there’s nothing smart about you.” Toward the end of the debate, Biden got in a dig at Trump for interrupting so much, asking him, “Will you shut up, man?”
DISNEY LAYING OFF NEARLY 30K WORKERS
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Disney says the action it’s taking toward some workers is “heartbreaking.” The company is laying off 28,000 workers at its theme parks in California and Florida. Disney has struggled because of the coronavirus outbreak – which forced the closure of its parks and spooked off would-be visitors. Disney says two-thirds of the layoffs involve part-time workers – but will also include salaried employees and hourly workers. Disney closed all its parks in the spring as COVID-19 began to spread. Its parks in Florida reopened this summer – with limits on attendance and new safety protocols. But Disney parks in California remain closed.
GABRIELLE UNION, NBC SETTLE RACISM DISPUTE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gabrielle Union and NBC have come to terms in a dispute over her being fired as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.” The two sides say it was an amicable settlement – but offered no details in a joint statement released yesterday. Union was on the show for just one season. Union says she was cut loose because she complained about racist remarks made by the cast and crew about contestants and her hair. In the statement, NBC says it “appreciates” the concerns raised by Union – and remains committed to making sure it establishes what it calls “an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect.”
LIVE-ACTION “LION KING” SEQUEL IN THE WORKS
NEW YORK (AP) – It didn’t “feel the love” from critics. But despite the lack of positive reviews for the live-action version of “The Lion King,” Disney “just can’t wait” to get a sequel into theaters. The company has hired Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins to call the shots for the remake. Disney describes it as a “prequel” to the story that became popular with the release of the animated original in the 1900s – with the new one focusing on how Mufasa got his start. While not a critics’ favorite, last year’s live-action version of “Lion King” was a hit. It grossed more than $1.6 billion worldwide. That makes it the seventh-highest-grossing movie ever.