Veteran Fox anchor, Chris Wallace, opens television coverage of the third and final presidential debate. Facing candidates Trump and Clinton, he announces the debate format and ground rules to the expectant nation:
Wallace: Good evening from Las Vegas, host of the final presidential debate in the 2016 campaign. In response to the rambling rancor of previous debates, the Commission on Presidential Debates has altered the format of tonight’s contest. Sitting behind me are 500 American citizens representing a cross-section of America, all different ages, ethnic groups, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation and political party.
Wallace: For the past three hours, this group has participated in an unprecedented form of debate democracy. We started with 30 issues facing our country, and by process of elimination voting, ended with two for tonight’s debate. Domestic issues considered included the huge federal debt, the future of Medicare, gun violence, pant suits, tax abuse, Rosie O’Donnell and immigration. On the international side, we had ISIS, the Syrian conflict, Russian aggression, a nuclear North Korea and Vladimir Putin, friend or foe.
Wallace: Neither of the candidates knows the results of this voting, and I’m pleased to announce that this group of Americans behind me has voted and decided that the two most important issues facing our nation are: 1. The sexual past of Donald Trump, including the so-called locker room talk, and 2. Secretary Clinton’s email controversy. We thank the group for their thoughtful efforts and now turn to the candidates:
Wallace: Mr. Trump, you won the coin toss, so we start with you. Over the past two weeks, several women have claimed that you performed unwanted touching and kissing on them. What do you say to them?
Trump: They are—sniff– liars, all of them, –sniff–believe me. Take one look, one look. Do you –sniff– really think I’d be tempted by any of them? Miss Piggy would –sniff– be a better catch, no offense to Kermit. It’s not credible; it’s all made up by the liberal media.
Wallace: They all just made it up by themselves?
Trump: No, they—sniff– had help, believe me. The New York Times has many, many writers who—sniff– are out to get me, just like CNN. They helped them create the stories, trust me folks.
Wallace: So you’re denying the charges?
Trump: Absolutely. In any event, it’s nothing –sniff– compared to what Bill Clinton did while he was in office, nothing, trust me. Apparently, he got tired of Hillary’s pant suits, believe me.
Wallace: Secretary Clinton, do you have any comment on the pant suit issue?
Clinton: My pant suits are not an appropriate topic for this debate, and it shows Mr. Trump’s misogyny. You won’t hear me talking about his hair or orange complexion—that would not be presidential. In fact, I have a plan for ending locker room talk. Under my watch, we will end locker room talk once and for all!
(Huge applause from audience)
Wallace: May I remind the audience that no cheering is allowed. Let’s go to the next question. Secretary Clinton, you deleted about 33,000 emails from your private server. What was on those emails?
Clinton: Mostly Chelsea’s wedding plans. As you know, Chris, the parents of the bride have the lion’s share of wedding planning.
Wallace: But 33,000? That seems like a lot.
Clinton: One of my biggest faults, and I admit it freely here tonight because I am human after all, is I’m a perfectionist. I will not rest until everything is right!
Clinton: Just like my poor overworked father who trimmed curtains every night, but gave me an appreciation of the regular American.
Wallace: Again, may I remind the audience to hold their applause until the end of the debate. Secretary Clinton, the FBI said your private server housed material labeled ‘Classified’ and even sent those materials to others on an unsecured line.
Clinton: I’ve been to 112 countries, Chris, negotiated peace agreements, hostage releases and other important matters, all while Mr. Trump let his fingers do the talking, to use an old Yellow Pages phrase.
Wallace: You didn’t answer the question: did you send classified emails?
Clinton: I regret very much using my private server, but I wanted to have everything on one device. When you’re negotiating a peace deal in the Middle East and the florist for Chelsea’s wedding needs a decision, you can’t be flipping back and forth.
Wallace: But did you send classified emails?
Clinton: They weren’t labeled ‘Classified’—they just had the letter ‘C’. I thought the C stood for ‘Cool’, meaning it was okay to send. How was I supposed to know?
Wallace: You were the Secretary of State.
Clinton: If you and the press want to play ‘gotcha,’ have at it, but America wants to return to the key issues of this campaign, Mr. Trump’s groping and locker room talk!
Wallace: Thank you, Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump for a great debate.
(Huge applause and whistling while the candidates wave)
CNN’s Jake Tapper sits with NBC’s Lester Holt and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in a studio.
Stephanopoulos: I think Secretary Clinton may have dealt a knock out blow to Mr. Trump tonight. Her announcement about ending locker room talk was political brilliance.
Holt: She had that arrow waiting in her quiver, that’s for sure, but I thought Mr. Trump handled himself very presidentially tonight. His answers about groping showed more presidential presence and temperament than we’ve seen from the candidate before, even though the sniffles still seem to dog him.
Stephanopoulos: It is the beginning of the cold and flu season.
Tapper: It will be interesting to hear how the American public viewed the contest. We haven’t had a poll in 12 hours, and we could see some seismic movement after this contest.
If you like this satire, you’ll love Buzz Kill, an irreverent, hysterical novel about political correctness in corporate America. Check out our reviews here.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE SATIRICAL PRESS INTERNATIONAL BLOG