A little time has passed since the first presidential debate was hosted by FOX News. This has provided time to review the transcript and discover a few details that escaped notice while the debate was in progress. Some of those details do not paint a pretty picture.
Moderators target Trump
Although 10 candidates appeared on the debate stage, there were three more occupying the moderators’ seats. The first was Bret Baier. Not only did he begin the evening by ambushing Trump but he proceeded to debate with him, which is highly inappropriate for a debate host. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript that took place after Trump raised his hand and would not take the proposed pledge:
BAIER: …Mr. Trump to be clear, you’re standing on a Republican primary debate stage.
TRUMP: I fully understand.
BAIER: The place where the RNC will give the nominee the nod. (Isn’t this a surprise? Most of us believed that the primary voters gave the nominee the “nod.” Perhaps Mr. Baier knows something we don’t.)
TRUMP: I fully understand.
BAIER: And that experts say an independent run would almost certainly hand the race over to Democrats and likely another Clinton…
Mr. Baier’s conduct offended many who recognized it for what it was: a well-planned ambush on the anti-establishment front-runner. It wasn’t the question that was offensive; it was the way the entire situation was set up – to signal out and target Trump.
Then there is Ms. Megyn Kelly. She asked her question, got an answer but then had to throw in a jab – a move worthy of Candy Crowley. Here’s the excerpt:
KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women.
You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
Your Twitter account…
TRUMP: Only Rosie O’Donnell.
KELLY: No, it wasn’t. (Emphasis added.)
At this point, Trump was not just answering questions, he was debating with Kelly and defending himself. Somehow or another, Kelly managed to ignore the fact that O’Donnell first attacked Trump. And is it now politically correct to give a woman such as O’Donnell a pass simply because she is a woman? If that is Kelly’s position, then in fact it is Ms. Kelly that is sexist. Anyone who knows anything about Donald Trump knows that he will strike back at anyone who attacks him – male or female. Just ask Rick Perry.
No other candidate was challenged in this manner, contradicted, or asked for evidence about what they were saying. Once again, on the subject of illegal immigration, Chris Wallace asked Trump for evidence supporting his statement that Mexico is sending us drug dealers, rapists, and murders. The only instance that even comes remotely close to this type of interrogation was when Ms. Kelly pressed Marco Rubio on the subject of abortion and not allowing an exemption for rape and incest, but still, she was respectful, not combative, and she did not contradict him.
The point is that the form of harassment Trump received was not done with any other candidate. For example, FOX New’s favorite son, Jeb Bush, skirted around or gave fictitious answers on his positions on illegal immigration, life, and Common Core (which was not mentioned by name). None of the moderators questioned Bush’s claims to be pro-life or brought up the fact that he refused to intervene for Terry Schiavo. He also claimed to be supportive of states’ rights in education when he is an outspoken supporter of Common Core, which is just the opposite. And of course, they never questioned him about giving tuition monies to illegal aliens – as did Governors Christie and Perry. Nor did the FOX news moderators question any candidate on their political records, such as the abysmal gubernatorial record of Mike Huckabee or NJ’s bully governor, Chris Christie, who would have you believe that all the woes in NJ are due to living in a blue state and had nothing to do with all the corrupt legislation he signed – particularly concerning Second Amendment infringements. But they did question Trump’s bankruptcies and his campaign donations. After Trump answered questions regarding his bankruptcies, Wallace sarcastically concluded:
WALLACE: Is that the way that you’d run the country?
To those that are interested, it is common practice on Wall Street to contribute to both Democrats and Republicans in order to cover their bases. We may think that practice is distasteful but for that genre of businessmen, it is practical. Trump’s records show that he contributed $300,000 to Democrats and $300,000 to Republicans, not giving anyone an advantage over the other. It seems the FOX News debate moderators consider giving money to candidates more egregious than candidates receiving money in exchange for special favors. To others, it may seem like the giver is less indebted to special interests than the taker. And for Trump supporters, it’s one of many reasons they prefer him to the other career politicians who are indebted to the large donors and special interests that contribute to their campaigns. Simply put, America understands that Trump is indebted to Trump.
More about Chris Christie. Were the hosts more disposed to New Jersey’s bully governor than to other panelists – like Senator Rand Paul? During their interesting exchange regarding the NSA’s collection of phone records, Kelly interrupted twice to give Christie the floor and never allowed Senator Paul to respond before cutting off the line of discussion. It is also interesting to note that as Christie stated, he took office as NJ’s Attorney General the day before 9/11. So, are we to believe that in his capacity as Attorney General he “hugged” the families of the 9/11 victims? Speak to a member of the 9/11 families, as I have, and you will find that they are not a fan of Governor Christie. But of course none of the moderators took him to task on this or his willingness to over-ride the Fourth Amendment as he saw fit, or take money from those paying into Social Security to save it from the scoundrels that brought it to the point of bankruptcy. While Christie would like you to believe that the problems in the state are directly attributable to the state’s blue legislators, the truth of the matter is that this Republican Governor survives in a blue state because he would be a Democrat in any other.
FOX in the hen house
There is another question that needs to be asked that was not asked at the debate but should be asked as a result of the debate: Why would FOX News, the only media outlet that exposes issues of concern to conservatives, suddenly seem more to the left than CNN? Does this mean there is a shift in policy or perhaps a personal point of view held by FOX News owner, the reputed king-maker Rupert Murdoch? Since none of us can claim to be flies positioned on the walls Mr. Murdoch frequents, hazarding a guess would be difficult. However, pictures can sometimes serve as flies.
Between a corrupt voting system, Mr. Murdoch’s and the media’s king-making abilities, and Bret Baier’s remark concerning the dubious “nod” from the GOP, is it any wonder Washington is in the mess it’s in?
Since the Republican Party refused to listen to the 2,000,000 Republican voters that didn’t go to the polls in 2012 as a protest against the choices being forced upon them, perhaps the Republican Party will be forced to listen when a bombastic non-establishment candidate becomes their nominee – despite their best efforts. When asked if Mr. Trump would support the Republican nominee, regardless of who it was, America answered for him with a loud and resounding NO! Just read the polling data. Perhaps we should be asking the Republican Party: Can you hear us now? To be sure, social media outlets also tell us who the real losers were in the debate – and it wasn’t one of the candidates. When newscasters become newsmakers, Americans believe they should be shown the proverbial door and not celebrating as if they did something great. However, in this case, it is more than likely that they will continue to reap the benefit of and glory in the 24,000,000 viewers that mostly tuned in to see Mr. Trump. Apparently this is one FOX that isn’t in the hen house; it’s too busy crowing on our television screens.
Reprinted from The Daily Rant, copyright 2015 Mychal Massie. Used by permission.