The tragi-comic relationship between Fox News and Donald Trump has traveled a twisted path for the past eight months. There have been episodes of drooling affection interspersed with fits of bitter feuding. The campaign thus far has seen Trump swear to boycott the network and lambast it as “disgusting” and “biased,” while hurling personal insults at its hosts and contributors. But none of that got in the way of his appearing on the network far more than any other candidate, and being treated with loving kindness while there.
Trump’s long-running, and one-sided, war with Megyn Kelly included some of the most brazenly misogynistic slurs, while his abuse of Fox regulars like Charles Krauthammer and Steven Hayes registered somewhere south of juvenile. Calling people “dopey” or “losers” is about as advanced as Trump’s vocabulary gets.
This morning Trump was visiting his close (Fox and) Friends when the subject of the upcoming debate was raised. It was then that Trump chose to announce that he would not be participating. This will be the second debate on Fox that Trump is skipping. That tells you just how scared he is of Megyn Kelly. He offered as an excuse that he had a commitment to give a speech at the AIPAC conference, an engagement that was made just a couple of days ago and long after the date of the debate was set.
Shortly after Trump bowed out of the debate, John Kasich released a statement saying that if Trump wasn’t going, then he wasn’t either. That left only Ted Cruz, which would have made for a pretty boring debate, so Fox called the whole thing off.
There are numerous questions that come to mind in the wake of these events. First of all, why didn’t Trump change the day or time of his AIPAC speech? It’s a three day conference and his participation was only recently confirmed. Secondly, why didn’t Fox offer to change the date of the debate? It hardly matters to them if it were a day or two later. Thirdly, what the fuck is wrong with Kasich? He would be much better off doing the debate without Trump. He would have much more airtime in a more substantive environment. And he needs the exposure more than Trump does. Cruz was willing to go ahead with just Kasich and both of them would have benefited from a discussion untarnished by the childish antics of Trump.
All things considered, it seems there was not much interest on the part of Fox to resolve any of these issues. If there were they could have gone on with the debate one way or another. And the only reason Fox would have for dropping the ball is that without Trump the ratings would suffer.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
In the final analysis, Trump demonstrated that he is in charge of the debates and the media and pretty much everything else associated with the Republican campaign. Fox News and the Republican National committee are his playthings. If I were Fox CEO Roger Ailes or RNC chairman Reince Priebus I wouldn’t be able to show my face in public. They probably have “TRUMP” tattooed on their foreheads – or their wherever.