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Chuck Todd Literally Can't Keep a Straight Face with Carly Fiorina

It's getting really hard for the media to pretend that there's a real choice this election season.
chuck carly

The job of mainstream political reporter, at least in its current practice, is getting tougher and tougher. The goal is to present "both sides" as equal and reasonable choices for Americans, and based on how close the general election polls still are, it's working to some degree. They've done pretty well at covering the every utterance of Donald Trump, or getting to the bottom of voters' hunger for an "outsider," or whatever the narrative of the week is, while studiously ignoring the fact that the entire GOP field is eating its own poo. Or rather, they "objectively" ask "Do voters want leaders who eat their own poo?"

Sometimes, though, the stony facade of neutrality is too much to maintain, as was the case with Chuck Todd this weekend. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina has proven to be quite adept at selling derp as substance through the use of Serious Voice, but on Sunday's Meet the Press, her explanation for why she has no policy plans on her website broke even an old pro like Chuck Todd, who literally could not keep a straight face as Carly actually mocked the idea of even having a plan:

CARLY FIORINA: Well, let me disagree with the premise of your question. How often do politicians put out detailed plans? How often do they get enacted? Never. That's the problem. Politicians put out detailed plans for all kinds of things that never happen. But if you go to the website, what you can do is ask a question, and you will see me answering the question in public, verbally.

In other words, I am being held accountable. A plan, anybody can write a plan. Anybody can put a plan on a website. It's another thing to say, "You know what I think we need to do?" And say it over and over again in public and be held accountable for this." You know what I think we need to do? We need to go from a 73,000-page tax code, which is what we have today, with 4,000 changes since 2001, we need to get it down to about three. And what that means is we need to close every loophole and lower every rate.

CHUCK TODD: Well, show us what you're going to do.

CARLY FIORINA: Maybe there are two or three loopholes.

CHUCK TODD: But how do we trust--

CARLY FIORINA: But that is what I'm going to do.

CHUCK TODD: Well show us.

CARLY FIORINA: But that is what I'm going to do.

CHUCK TODD: Why won't you show us your work?

CARLY FIORINA: So in other words, words on a piece of paper are more accountable than words said to people, looking them in the eye? I don't think so. I don't think that's what voters think. Because I think voters have gotten smart enough to know that plans and paper, 50-point plans, ten-point plans, five-point plans, are written by a bunch of advisors and consultants. So I'm perfectly prepared to be held accountable for my words and my plans. And I would encourage your viewers to go on the website and ask any question they want.

CHUCK TODD: So we shouldn't expect a tax plan out of you any time soon on paper?

CARLY FIORINA: I've given you a tax plan. I've given you a tax plan. It needs to be three pages. And the only way to get there is to lower every rate and close every loophole.

Fiorina's web page does provide a way to submit a question, as well as collect your email address, but then Fiorina self-selects which questions she gets to peer at a camera and answer with Serious Voice. If you don't think about it for more than three seconds, this strategy makes sense, because 100% of Fiorina's credibility comes from her ability to sound like she's saying stuff, and zero percent of it comes from what she actually has to say. Put it down on paper, and all of her political assets disappear.

Just for gits and shiggles, I submitted a question of my own, and maybe if enough of you do, too, she'll actually answer it:

A three page tax code is a great idea. Can you release what would be on those three pages? Or just recite what would be on them? That shouldn't take long, right?

Fiorina is right that most voters don't read policy papers, but they all have some source of news and information that they trust, be it MSNBC or Fox News or CNN or Chhuck Todd or the National Review, or the ladies of The View, and none of those sources are going to be impressed that a candidate can't produce their three-page model tax code.