The Republican National Committee dumped NBC over the behavior of the moderators at a debate hosted by its partner, CNBC. Yesterday, Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, announced that he would boycott the upcoming GOP debate hosted by Fox News.
The locus of Trump’s angst appears to be Fox News political commentator, Megyn Kelly. Trump is evidently upset over the exchange he had with Kelly at the last Fox-hosted debate:
Trump also appears chagrined at Fox News in general: “At a press conference in Marshalltown, Iowa, Trump told reporters that he was likely to skip the debate because he’s incensed with how Fox News has treated him.”
Fox News chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes, has issued a strongly-worded statement in defense of Kelly, including:
Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now.
Such chest thumping from both camps evidences high levels of testosterone, but Ailes appears willing to to be a little flexible about being bullied, especially when it comes to money and ratings. The Daily Mail is now reporting:
And while the network appears to be publicly siding with Kelly, who is still set to moderate Thursday’s debate, the network is also reportedly trying to privately plead with Trump the best way they know how – through the women in his life.
Joe Scarborough, who has a close relationship with many people at Fox News, revealed on Morning Joe Wednesday morning that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes had been trying to contact both Ivanka and Melania Trump hoping they could convince Trump to change his mind, but that Trump would only speak to Rupert Murdoch.
Yes, that’s the manly way—try to get a man’s wife and daughter to do your dirty work.
Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz is now referring to Trump as Ducking Donald. How about the simple, Donald Duck? One can agree that Kelly’s question was a cheap shot, but overall, Fox’s moderators have been asking substantive, relevant questions. Their behavior doesn’t come close to the dingbat-fest we saw at the CNBC debate. Trump’s penchant for evening the score provides ammunition to those who question his temperament. Although I share Trump’s disdain for political correctness, and though Kelly misplaced the temperament question in bowing to the same, Trump should have risen above such pettiness. If little things like that effect such a reaction from him, one does not have to have Trump-phobia to be concerned how he would react when far greater provocations come his way if he were president.