This has certainly been the most exciting and unpredictable primary election cycle ever. No others compare. They aren’t even close. Now, with the next GOP presidential debate just one day away, a major monkey wrench has been thrown into the works. Donald Trump has told Fox News to “take a hike.” Trump is the frontrunner in all the polls, and he will not be attending the debate hosted by the network on Thursday night.
The next scheduled GOP presidential primary debate is set for Des Moines, Iowa and is being moderated by a team at Fox News including Megyn Kelly. As many followers of these political season are aware, the battle between Donald Trump and Fox News (and especially Megyn Kelly) has been going on since the very first GOP presidential primary debate. In my report of that first debate, I titled the story “GOP Debate: Fox News Down; Cruz, Walker Up”. Here is a portion of that report:
[W]hen it was all said and done, the biggest loser was Fox News.
As the debate was about to start, the Fox News team of Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace seemed almost giddy. It was a strange tone, as if they were the stars, and they were about to have fun grilling the candidates. When they fired off their first question, it was obvious that it was a “ratings moment.”
[The questions] seemed most unprofessional, especially from Kelly and Wallace, and it definitely got the attention of several conservative observers.
So this isn’t a “Bash Trump” debate. This is a “Destroy Trump” debate. But Trump is still standing. #GOPDebate
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) August 7, 2015
It's one thing for a moderator to ask a pointed question, it is another for them to try to bias the jury pool
— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) August 7, 2015
And that was only the beginning. Megyn Kelly hosted two segments on Fox News recently with some of the writers of the National Review hit piece on Trump. Trump is the GOP frontrunner, so clearly he appeals to a large segment of voters, yet Kelly can’t keep from bashing Trump or drawing negative attention to him whenever she can. Trump finally signaled that he has had enough.
According to a press release issued by the Trump campaign, “Mr. Trump knows a bad deal when he sees one.”
Mr. Trump knows when to walk away. Roger Ailes and FOX News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games. There have already been six debates, and according to all online debate polls including Drudge, Slate, Time Magazine, and many others, Mr. Trump has won all of them, in particular the last one.
He will not be participating in the FOX News debate and will instead host an event in Iowa to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors, who have been treated so horribly by our all talk, no action politicians.
Fox News has fired back with its own statement, saying that “Trump is refusing to debate seven of his fellow presidential candidates on stage that night, which is near unprecedented.”
We’re not sure how Iowans are going to feel about him walking away from them at the last minute, but it should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing – Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August and has now spent four days demanding be removed from the debate stage. Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats, including the one leveled by Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski toward Megyn Kelly.
First of all, what “journalistic standardards” were followed in the first Fox News debate? Secondly, it’s not outrageous that these debates be run fairly, is it?
There are a lot of criticisms out there about Donald Trump. In fact, there are critics around for all candidates. But the one criticism that has come out from this debacle that really makes no sense to me is the one which goes something like this: “Oh… Trump is afraid a little blonde girl? How can he handle leaders like Putin?”
The next president of the United States will have to deal with many nasty leaders. But in this case, we are not talking about nasty leaders. We are talking about a media that is supposed to REPORT the news… not become part of it. It is NOT too much to ask that moderators moderate. These primary elections should be about the candidates and the voters. Period.
When CNBC did such a terrible job of moderating an earlier GOP debate, the leaders at the Republican National Committee (RNC) said, “No more.” The RNC pulled CNBC from hosting another debate because of bias and unprofessionalism. When National Review attacked Trump, the RNC disinvited them from participating in an upcoming debate. The National Review writers have every right to their opinion, but they certainly don’t need to be involved in an impartial debate. Thus, the precedent has been set not once, but twice during this debate season. It’s clear that Kelly has an axe to grind with Trump, and as such, she should not be involved in Thursday night’s debate.
As an extra note, these debates should not feature members of the media at all! The networks should not be hosting debates. Why would the RNC turn control over an event like a presidential debate over to biased media? The RNC should host their own debates with their own moderators and invite the media to cover it… like any other news story. If the media don’t want to cover it, guess what? It’s 2016, and the RNC can just stream it live to people who want to watch it. Having so-called “journalists” run the show is just plain stupid.
In addition to the general Fox News attitude, another incident that is believed to have pushed Trump to back out was another statement released by someone at Fox which jabbed at Trump. Jamie Dupree of Cox Radio tweeted the following:
Trump says when Fox sent out the "wise guy press releases" he decided not to do the debate
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) January 26, 2016
That “wise guy press release” was reported by ABC News correspondent Ryan Struyk.
Here's the latest statement from Fox News on the ongoing feud between the network and Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/Cu7JjKtshS
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) January 26, 2016
So, Trump is out, and the other candidates will be mixing it up. Will you be watching? Did Trump do the right thing or will this hurt him? With this presidential election, you just never know what’s going to happen!
Update: And now there’s more to the story! Please check out our afternoon lead story here –> Fox News Host has ‘Love In’ with Michael Moore; Network had Surprises Planned for Trump