Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, always reminds me of the ballplayer who strikes out on three swings and blames the pitcher for not throwing a ball that he could hit.
So in an obvious pique following the Republican "debate" in Boulder he blamed CNBC's panel for screwing everything up for two hours by resorting to "gotcha" questions for the candidates - a group that he once described as "exciting".
The event was another of the glorified pop quizzes to showcase the wisdom of his crowd. But it didn't turn out that way with, for example, Ted Cruz saying a debate panel should include Rush Limbaugh as the others piled on with their own grievances.
Priebus saw the opening and took a giant step further than the eternal anti-media complaints against the "liberal" press. (Trust me. I frequently heard the charge about the Beacon Journal even though the paper's owner was a Republican named John S. Knight.)
He was left with no option but to assert that NBC would be barred from all further party debates. It doesn't get much dumber than that. The biggest applause line for Republican candidates comes when they attack the media. Apart from locking out NBC, the party also is tramping all over press freedom to a network that, like it or not, has been a part of the media-driven round-the-clock coverage that has made these candidates larger than life.
Maybe Priebus should stop watching the Benghazi hearings where a bunch of surly Republican congressmen have taken turns to make mindless speeches and assail Hillary
Clinton with "gotchas" that she has no trouble drilling out of the park.
As the late Yogi Berra once said of baseball, "Ninety percent of the game is half mental."
The viewers got a strong reminder of that verity from the last debate.
Sorry, Chairman Priebus. Gotcha!