Chris Licht
Chris Licht

America owes a huge debt of gratitude to CNN CEO Chris Licht for providing Donald Trump a national media platform beyond the Fox News bubble.

Trump transformed the 70-minute town hall into a carnival of head-spinning, lies, falsehoods and personal attacks.

His performance reminded viewers about how clueless and out-of-touch with reality the former president truly is.

Trump’s nonsensical babble about the US defaulting on its debt was among the gems of the evening.

While the US Treasury warns that a default poses a “catastrophic” risk to the world’s economy, Trump downplayed it.

“It’s really psychological more than anything else. And it could be really bad, it could be maybe nothing, maybe it’s a bad week, or a bad day, who knows,” said the ex-president.

This is not a serious guy. Trump stopped just short of comparing a default to a bad hair day.

Trump’s rants and rave might have gone over well with the town hall’s audience of Republicans and supporters who cheered their guy on.

The performance though had the opposite impact on those outside the Trump cult.

President Joe Biden summed it up best.

After CNN mercifully pulled the plug on the town hall, Biden tweeted: “It’s simple, folks. Do you want four more years of that. If you don’t, pitch in to our campaign.”

Lachlan does stand-up… Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch told shareholders that the company’s decision to pay $800M to settle the $1.6B defamation suit with Dominion Voting Systems does not alter Fox’s commitment to the highest standards of journalism. What a yuckster!

Had Fox practiced those high standards of journalism, it would not have been sued by Dominion in the first place.

Fox faces an even bigger defamation settlement with Smartmatic USA, which seeks $2.7B in damages.

The company believes Smartmatic’s lawsuit is without merit and intends to defend it vigorously including through appeals.

Discovery in the Smartmatic case remains ongoing and it is likely that depositions, expert discovery and summary judgment and other key motions will follow, according to Fox’s 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A trial is expected to begin in 2025. Fox hedges its bets about the outcome of the trial.

"The company is unable to predict the final outcome of these matters and has determined that a loss in the Smartmatic case is neither probable nor reasonably estimable.

"There can be no assurance that the ultimate resolution of these pending matters will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows,” says the 10-K.

Murdoch told shareholders Fox settled with Dominion “to avoid a six-week trial and appeals process that could have lasted two or three years.”

After all, Fox’s legal team has to focus on the Smartmatic case.

Will the “woke” citizens of Berkeley follow the footsteps of Dublin’s Trinity College and change the name of that progressive Northern California city?

The governing board of Ireland’s oldest university voted to rename its Berkeley library. George Berkeley, the 18th Century philosopher, ranks as one of the Emerald Isle’s greatest thinkers.

The New York Times reported that some scholars view his scientific ideas on perception and reality set the stage for Albert Einstein.

Trinity is not renaming its library because George Berkeley was a know-it-all smarty pants.

It’s “denaming” the library because Berkeley lived in Rhode Island from 1729 to 1732 on a plantation. He purchased enslaved people to run the joint.

Things got ever weirder with Old Unenlightened George.

His grand scheme was to use the profits earned by the sweat of the enslaved to open a school in Bermuda for kidnapped Native Americans and to convert them to Christianity.

The Good Lord intervened and Berkeley squashed the whole plan.

He donated the plantation with the enslaved to Yale University and moved back to Ireland and eventually became the Anglican Church’s Lord Bishop of Cloyne.

In stripping Berkeley’s name from the library, Linda Doyle, Trinity College’s provost, said his ownership of enslaved people along with his theories of slavery and racial discrimination are in clear conflict with the university’s core values.

When is the vote for the new name Berkeley, CA? How about honoring Mario Savio, the driving force behind the Free Speech Movement who died in 1996 at the age of 53.

Savio, CA, has a nice ring to it.

Follow the bouncing arena… The Miami Heat play their home games at something called the Kaseya Center. This Knicks fan wants to know whatever happened to the American Airlines Arena?

The rise and collapse of the crypto era had a lot of do with it.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX swooped in and secured the naming rights to the Heat’s home court for $135M in 2021.

At that time, the deal made sense as Miami was positioning itself as the crypto capital of the US.

FTX’s spectacular bankruptcy in 2022 led Miami-Dade County to rename the arena.

Enter Kaseya, a Miami software company.

The area name shuffle is reminiscent of the CMGI Field/New England Patriots saga of the dot-com era.

CMGI landed a 15-year deal in 2000 to slap its name on the Patriots’ home field in Foxborough, MA.

It became a victim of the dot-com bust and the field was renamed Gillette Stadium in 2002.

One can only wonder what the fate of Arena, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers will be?