Via America’s Lawyer: The first round of presidential debates left progressives wondering whether Biden was giving them the stiff arm, but the entire debacle has left world viewers appalled by the chaos which erupted between candidates. Also, it’s a buyer’s market for the HuffPost publication, which Verizon owns and has dubbed a money pit for the telecommunications giant. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Joe Biden might’ve done a job appealing, a really good job, appealing to moderate voters last week in the debate. But the truth is he didn’t do himself any favors trying to distance himself from Bernie Sanders and all of the progressives that support Bernie Sanders. I have Farron Cousins with me from trial lawyer magazine to talk about it. Wow. I mean, you know, it seemed to me that Bernie Sanders was out front in, for him. I mean, Bernie Sanders took it on the chin by all of his base to come out and defend Biden. And then by the other night, what was it? Just an old folks moment or the medication wasn’t right. What happened?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, Trump actually did a really good job of, of making Biden, offend really, the progressive left of the democratic party. He constantly said, well, you, you, Bernie Sanders is pulling the strings. You like Bernie’s plan and Joe Biden would have to say, no, I don’t. I am the democratic party. Joe Biden said at one point, and that’s a terrifying thought to anybody who calls themselves a Democrat. But he, Trump laid the bait for him. Because as soon as Joe Biden would say, no, I don’t like Bernie’s plan, Trump would say, ah, you just lost the progressive left. It was a brilliant trap to be honest, the first time I’ve seen Trump really play politics like that, and Biden fell right into it and, and angered and the entire progressive left.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, I mean, but he went out of his way. I mean, he attacked the guy, Bernie Sanders, this old character who’s there for him, goes on the air for him, says, this is the guy. Progressive’s unite around Biden. Please do this for me, Bernie. And then this freak in the middle of the debates starts calling him, you know, like he’s some crazy old socialist, same way with AOC, right?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. Distanced from all the policies that they’ve put forward, the green new deal. And even though Biden has a very good climate plan, he made certain to tell people, this is not the green new deal. I do not support the green new deal, which is actually a popular piece of legislation or an idea really. It’s not necessarily legislation.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. So well, Markey and AOC. Okay. You got Markey and AOC with, with this legislation that has some real potential.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s got a lot of crazy stuff in it, but it’s got some real potential, to tell you the truth. So the last thing he ought to do is distance himself. He needs to embrace it, say, this is a good idea because look, you know, he’s our next president. I, and if I’m looking at the polling I’m looking at today, I mean 16 points after the debate. What’s your take?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, that, that to me was shocking. I immediately thought after that debate, I said, okay, Biden went in with the most to lose and I don’t think he lost anything, but I don’t think he gained anything. You know, the whole thing was a chaotic mess. I mean, I think that is the best description of it.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, so let’s talk, let’s talk about that. I want to talk about the world looked at that chaotic mess, Farron. I mean, the world looked at it. What, what, as they looked at that chaotic mess, what did, what’s their take on it?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, they they’re shocked, one, that America has devolved into this because I think really this is the first time that the rest of the world is paying such close attention to, you know, things like our debates. They always pay attention to our politics, but not necessarily the way that we do. We see this all the time. This was nothing new, but the rest of the world finally got a good taste of what we have been seeing for 20 years, this disgustingness.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. So here it is. From the UK, national humiliation, it made me weep. Dog whistling, blatant dog whistling. That was the, that was the night that we watched. Chaotic childish grueling. It was impossible to watch. A terrible storm that came from France. Germany, a TV duel, like a car accident between two dummies. I mean, so that was the take. Two old, crazy guys up on stage yelling at each other. I mean, how do you take anything? But the point is the point is Biden weathered it and I do believe he’s going to be elected President United States. You know, short of something I’m not seeing right now.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. I mean, based on everything we have available at this moment, it certainly looks like Biden has this. But I think the rest of the world is also a little shocked at this moment because they understand, and they’ve been dealing with Trump for four years. So they either say, well, we’ve got four more years of this or four years of this guy.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And neither one of those is a good prospect for them because we had both friends and enemies abroad.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Saying this is, this is hell. This is hell, what’s coming out of here.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. A lot of, a lot of the criticism was, this is your choice. Really? This is your choice.

Farron Cousins:                  Right 330 million people and we got these two bozos.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Media outlets around the world reacted with shock and horror last week during the presidential debates and, you know, the truth is, as we talked about, as we talk about that, what impact does that have on us, Farron? This, this, this international, oh my God. I can’t believe this is playing out in front me. What do you think?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, I think people have to understand that this isn’t just a, ah, look, everybody’s laughing at us. We’re, we’re silly. These are our allies. These are people we need for trade. These are people we need for national security issues. We have to have cooperation from these countries that are now looking at us as if we are the parent who’s letting their toddler run all around the restaurant, using their crayons and writing on the walls.

Mike Papantonio:             Let me tell you something, if you look at this, this wasn’t, this international review of the two dummies onstage, this was not kind to Biden either.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. Absolutely not.

Mike Papantonio:             And so, so that’s, that’s really the big takeaway. Well, okay. This is it. This is, this is the best you have, really? I mean, that was the international. This is the best you have, really? Verizon is looking to dump their ownership of the Huffington Post as readers abandon that liberal outlet. We’ve been talking about this so long haven’t we? Okay. Verizon is forced, they literally are forced to buy this thing called HuffPost that never made any money. It had such a narrow niche that it never will make any money. And they, they, they were forced to buy it in that $4 billion acquisition. But now they’re trying to get rid of it and they can’t even get rid of it. I mean, it sounds like a fire sale.

Farron Cousins:                  It really does. And it’s, it is sad almost to a degree. You know, a lot of us Huffington Post has been around and they’ve been doing this just as long as you and I have, but Huffington Post evolved in the wrong way. In the early days, Huffington Post was where you went. It’s where the intellectuals would post their articles. You didn’t have to wait for it to come out in a major newspaper. They could just do it whenever they had these thoughts and ideas. And that’s what it was. It was instantaneous. And then after it got sold to AOL, they got rid of the good named writers. They got rid of the investigative journalists from Huffington Post and instead they moved it into more of the infotainment, you know, 20 top pieces of clothing that you need to wear this summer. Things like that instead of saying, here’s where the opioid crisis is hitting the hardest, we were on the ground.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s what they used to do.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. So now you have this, you have this organization, it is going to be a fire sale. I mean, if you’re working for, if you’re working for HuffPost right now, get out, because Verizon’s going to do whatever they can to get rid of it. The first thing they’re going to do is they’re going to start cutting so dramatically. So A, there used to be a couple of investigative writers, they’re gone. They’ve moved on to a really good organizations.

Farron Cousins:                  Right, they have.

Mike Papantonio:             They’ve moved on to the intercept, right? Buzzfeed, some of those places.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             So, so what ends up happening is they have this shell that they used to have these kids coming out of college and they would get paid $30,000 a year, $40,000 a year to almost slave, slave labor wages to keep things turning up. They used to have celebrities that would write stories, for free. You know, me and my vacation in Pango Pango. They used to have these things that you said, oh, well, you know, it sounds like fluff. I’ll read it anyway. Just to see what, what, see, see how bad this, this organization has fallen. But now it’s even worse. I mean, have you seen the pub, the public where you, you write your own story and they print it for you?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. That is absolutely a joke. And then on their political side, which again, they used to have really good, hard hitting political information. And that’s the difference. There’s no more information. They’ll, they’ll take a bunch of tweets that they found, oh, Trump tweeted something stupid. Here’s all the crazy responses to it. Look at these people. They’re really going after him. That’s not journalism, that’s filler.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And anybody can dunk on Trump or dunk on Biden all day, but they don’t have any substance behind it.

Mike Papantonio:             Right. We won’t be making any offers to HuffPost or their writers.

Farron Cousins:                  Definitely not.

Mike Papantonio:             Thank you for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.