During Yesterday's All-Important Vice Presidential Debate, the Real Star Was the Fly That Landed on Pence's Head

For very good reasons, every news outlet in the world, including Malaysia’s The Borneo Times, reported on yesterday’s high-stakes Vice Presidential Debate, moderated by Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today.


The Media missed nothing.


Here in our low-tech news center at AP, our favorite, not surprisingly, was the New York Times' “Pence, Peerless Trump Defender, Confronts His Limits, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/us/politics/mike-pence-debate.html?referringSource=articleShare.


There, Matt Flegenheimer and Arnie Karni analyzed the much-anticipated encounter between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence.


Though we always respect the Times, we must disagree with their assessment that the debate was “orderly" — because both candidates, especially Pence, refused to comply with the time limits prescribed by Moderator Page.


Pence did not have an enviable task, because he had to defend the indefensible, namely, Donald Trump.


For Trump, optics is everything.


Which is why New York Magazine, and numerous other news outlets, were quick to notice that the Real Star of the Event was the fly that landed on Pence’s head during the debate and stayed there for about two minutes — in an enclosed space, with appropriate social distancing between the candidates and Moderator Page (seems to us that Page had the toughtest job of the evening, because the candidates would not adhere to the rules).


One of our most astute associate solitary reporters, Tucson’s Jim Mangan, told us immediately after the debate that there is a simple reason why the fly settled on Pence, and not Harris. But this is a family-friendly apocryphal newspaper, so we leave it to our readers to figure out what Mangan actually told us.


Back to The Fly, and we’re not talking about The Fly Club at Harvard College, a “final club” to which both Presidents Roosevelt belonged, as well as Charles William Eliot (1834-1926), a distant cousin of your solitary reporter.


When it comes to supernatural events, we here at AP turn without fail to our Chief Religion Correspondent, The Most Revered yet Highly IrReverent Jim Bob Hobarto, a proud son of Enterprise, Alabama.


Among his many distinctions, Hobarto is the Edith Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Greek Mythology Emeritus at Antioch University at its campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio.


Trump undoubtedly watched the debate from his throne in the White House to the extent that he is following any medical recommendations offered to him by his physicians after he most conspicuously came down with The Virus.


It was a relief to all sensible people who do not in the least admire Mr. Trump that he was not on the stage yesterday at the University of Utah.


Which meant that Pence, Trump’s Chief Surrogate, and Trump’s Lifeline to angry evangelicals, and a man with obvious presidential ambitions (if Trump ever leaves office), was Trump’s stand-in.


He had considerable difficulty fending off Sen. Kamala Harris’ pointed attacks. Pence has difficulty smiling, but Harris does not.


So it was left to Pence to regurgitate the Trump Doctrines (to the extent there are any) about Trump’s time in office since January 20, 2017.


Moments ago, we texted ASR Hobarto to learn the significance of The Fly on Pence’s Head.


“SR, that’s easy,” Hobarto began. “That fly is the 21st century reincarnation of Zeus, because Zeus, the Father of the gods, could turn himself into a bull, or a fly, or whatever, whenever it suited his purposes.”


“So,” Hobarto continued, “The Fly was conducting an inventory to see if Pence was faithfully articulating whatever garbage Trump wanted him to say.”


If one goes only by appearance, the attractive Harris, who really does know how to debate and how to smile, was quite the contrast to the unsmiling Pence, who, according to Denver-based associate solitary reporter Lewis Thompson III, resembled a mortician. 


Breaking news this morning tells us that Trump has refused the invitation from the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates to conduct, on a virtual basis, the scheduled October 15 debate between Trump and Future President Joe Biden.


Trump says it would be a waste of his time (https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/08/trump-biden-virtual-second-debate-427810), but Biden says he’ll find a way to respond to voters’ questions, given that the incendiary Trump knows that he’ll never “win” a debate against Uncle Joe.