The first debate for the 2024 Republican nomination for president will be televised on August 23, on Fox News. It is sure to be rip-snoring affair with the likes of Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tim Scott providing the GOP juice. Only Chris Christie is likely to wake the audience up from time to time.
A major disappointment for Fox News and the Republican National Committee, who are sponsoring the debate, is the news that Donald Trump will not be participating. They made a full court press to persuade the former guy to play along, even jetting down to Mar-a-Lago for in-person begging. All to no avail as Trump is now reported to have officially bowed out. Although it was fairly predictable considering Trump’s animosity toward his GOP challengers, and even more so, toward Fox News…
Consequently, Trump has decided to take a stab at upstaging the debate by scheduling an interview with ex-Fox News Trump-fluffer, Tucker Carlson, at the same time. It’s his way of chickening out of having to address his four criminal indictments and 90+ felony counts. However, this feeble attempt at counter-programming is a strategy that’s likely to fail since Carlson’s reach on his new Twitter “show” has been sinking like a stone. And to make matters worse, he has received a “cease and desist” letter from Fox News asserting that he is in breach of his contract.
Undeterred, Trump and Carlson are pressing forward with their political performance. Rest assured that Trump’s legal problems will not be covered in any substantive way. They will both babble about weaponized justice, corrupt prosecutors, and election interference. It will be interesting to see how they try to pretend that they got more viewers than the Fox News debate, even though “views” on Twitter are counted when anyone just scrolls past a video without watching it all.
It’s not as if anyone would be compelled to sit through a Trump/Carlson interview because something unexpected or newsworthy might happen. The whole program could be summarized beforehand as being filled with friendly or leading questions, and tediously incoherent replies that are unrelated to reality. In short, Carlson will suck up, and Trump will dodge and lie.
Meanwhile, over on Fox News, the rest of the GOP roster will be struggling to grab some attention without offending Dear Leader Trump in absentia. They will take some swipes at each other, while tip-toeing around the orange elephant that isn’t in the room. Except for Christie, who will be spitting into the windbags surrounding him, and getting booed by the in-studio audience of Trump cultists. But at least he will offer some dramatic friction.
I’m going to predict that neither Trump’s cavorting with Carlson, nor Fox’s formal fare, will break any records for viewership. There really isn’t much need for anyone to watch either live. America can catch up on what happened in post-program soundbites, that will probably still be too long and dull. The nation already knows what they will say, because they’ve said it all before. And wasn’t of any importance the first (or fiftieth) time.
- Trump To Be Interviewed on Fox News, the Network He Says is ‘Dead, Totally Fake, Unwatchable’
- Tucker Carlson’s Attempt to Malign Biden as a ‘Wannabe Dictator’ Describes Trump Much Better
- A Post-Mortem on Tucker Carlson Following His Unusually Abrupt Departure From Fox News
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