January 26th, 2016

Thursday’s debate: Trump takes his marbles and goes home

Trump says he will not participate in the Fox debate on Thursday, because Fox issued a statement he didn’t like in response to his demand that they remove Megyn Kelly as one of the questioners:

Trump has made such threats before, but he said that the Fox News Channel, which is hosting the debate Thursday night, had gone too far by issuing press statements on Tuesday that he said mocked his concern about Megyn Kelly, one of the debate co-moderators.

“They’re dealing with someone who’s a little bit different. They can’t toy with me like they toy with everybody else,” he added.

When Trump saw the press release from Fox, “I said, ‘Bye bye,'” he said…

Earlier Tuesday, Fox News Channel President Roger Ailes told The Post that “Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist, and the entire network stands behind her. She will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night.”

Later, the network poked fun at Trump in a satirical statement: “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president. A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

My first reaction is: he can dish it out, but he can’t take it.

He can insult their journalist (which he has done time and again), he can demand they remove her and issue ultimatums, he can make sarcastic and insulting tweets about everything and everybody, but he can’t take one?

My second reaction is: if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Oh, I realize that many people will see it differently and think this is a strong move denoting power on Trump’s part. I don’t think it will hurt him much with those who already support him. He must be feeling very confident about that. But to those who are on the fence, wavering, mulling it over (and there are still many undecided primary voters, even in Iowa and New Hampshire), I think it looks weak. It looks especially weak for a man whose great appeal to his supporters is based to a significant extent on his ability to withstand the back-and-forth of politics and trade insults with the best (or worst) of them.

But who knows. Maybe his numbers will soar. If so, that will say more about Americans than about Trump.

[NOTE: I think Fox’s ratings for the debate may go down a bit. But maybe not, because now people may tune in to see the novelty of how a debate shapes up without the Trump factor.]

[ADDENDUM: By the way, I don’t think Fox should have issued that jokey taunt. But Trump has already undermined the dignity of the entire endeavor by his attacks on Kelly and the form they took. At any rate, my post isn’t about who’s right or wrong, it’s about Trump acting weak here. It seems odd to me that a man who is known for his insults, and his supposed toughness, can’t take a response in kind and instead wants to leave the fray.

I’m surprised he didn’t just answer them with some sort of witty put-down. He’s certainly capable of that. And then he could have put them down during the debate if he didn’t like what happened there. Leaving makes him look cowardly.]

[ADDENDUM II: I think that Fox should hold the debate with an empty podium right in the middle—you know, like the empty chair.]

120 Responses to “Thursday’s debate: Trump takes his marbles and goes home”

  1. sdferr Says:

    A few minutes ago Ted Cruz threw done a one on one debate challenge gauntlet on Levin’s radio show: ** if you’re too afraid of Megyn Kelly, Donald, why not just debate me one on one for 90 mins? After all, you call me stupid, so any such debate ought to be easy for you to win.**

    We’ll see. It’s doubtful Donald is that dumb himself. In fact, fear of exposure surely drives his decision to withdraw in the first place.

  2. sdferr Says:

    threw “down”, not “done”: apologies for the typo.

  3. expat Says:

    So Trump is more afraid of talking to Kelly than to Putin or the Iranians. What an a**.

  4. sdferr Says:

    heh, apropos of the empty podium, some twitter wit had instantly posted a photo of Clint Eastwood, with the caption that “Eastwood will be introducing Trump at the debate”

  5. boxty Says:

    Okay, why no MSNBC debate then? The eventual nominee will have to face a hostile liberal media eventually, so why are they avoiding it now? Should they get out of the race too if they are unwilling to go on MSNBC?

    Why should Trump go on FOX when they are biased against them if the RNC is unwilling to go on MSNBC for the same reason?

    Why should FOX get to insist that Megan Kelly moderate? Is the debate supposed to be for FOX and Kelly or for the party?

  6. sdferr Says:

    Trump shows strength through cowardice! Only a truly strong man would appear in public in the guise of a pussy.

  7. Cornhead Says:

    Gross miscalculation. He’s finished. Good riddance.

  8. KLSmith Says:

    Oh please let it be so! I disagree about the mocking because it may have been what worked. Bet he’ll change his mind and show, though. Probably not worth insulting Iowa voters this close before the caucuses.

  9. Dennis Says:

    In this case Trump comes across like a spoiled celebrity. While there are some Trumpsters who will not let his tantrum dim his luster, most ordinary Americans don’t like spoiled brats and will probably welcome the opportunity to become better acquainted with the rest of the Republican field.

  10. Frog Says:

    I’m not so sure Trump has hurt himself. I think he is flexing his muscles. He has defied conventional wisdom from the start. It may be that Fox needed Trump in the debate more than vice versa.
    I didn’t like Kelly (Me-Gyn) in her first run at Trump with her questions about his relationships with women, and all the generalizations those questions asked or implied. Sex (the women’s vote) does not belong in a presidential candidates’ debate, period. Why should we expect Trump to allow Kelly a second assault?

  11. Cornhead Says:

    Trump: Natural born coward.

    Pass it on.

  12. sdferr Says:

    Running away is definitely flexing the thigh muscles. Look at that man sprint! Usain Bolt’s got nuttin’ on him!

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’m inclined to think this won’t hurt Trump, nor do I think it makes him look weak either. From an ‘alpha male’ perspective, FOX left him no choice. However justified, Megan Kelly was hostile to Trump in her original question(s). At this point, what basis is there for Trump to think that she would be less hostile this time?

    But there’s a larger issue; the media’s heretofore unchallenged setting of the narrative, as exemplified by Crowley and Romney in 2012.

    The media, including FOX is part of an elitist establishment that seeks above all else to maintain its position in that establishment. That was their motivation in their snide, derisive and counter-productive comment.

  14. Oldflyer Says:

    Boxty and Frog illustrate the problem. Anything Trump does is shrugged off by the apologists.

    Let’s just hope there are not enough of them.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    I don’t agree. I think people won’t analyze it that way (except those already predisposed to like him). Yes, the media in general has an anti-Republican bias, but Fox doesn’t share it very much, and Kelly’s question to him was similar to the sort of thing journalists ask candidates all the time. Most people did not perceive it as “biased,” and he looks like a person who can’t face conflict or questions.

  16. F Says:

    I disagree about the empty chair, Neo — I think they should invite Carly to “step up” to the 9 pm debate from the undercard debate. That’s a win for Fox AND Carly.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    boxty:

    The debate is run by Fox, and they make the decisions. Trump accepted the conditions initially, he’s free to make a demand, and they’re free to refuse to accede to it, and he’s free to refuse to participate. And everyone is free to judge him for it.

    I judge him as weak.

    And no one else in the party, and none of the other candidates, protested Fox and the debate. So it’s not a party issue.

  18. Baklava Says:

    Wow Frog.

    Assault?

    He’s toast now. Iowans won’t see a huge miscalculation

  19. Baklava Says:

    Will see

  20. Cornhead Says:

    Agree that Carly should move up. Sure he has asked already. Empty chair is too much drama.

  21. boxty Says:

    “SHAMELESS=> FOX News Debate Anchors Actively Planned Zingers – Prepared to Escort Trump From Stage”

    https://t.co/fdrtdU8lja

    FOX openly admits they are out to get Trump and you think he should play along?

    Is Phyllis Schlafly conservative enough for you? “The Kingmakers have picked our last bunch of losers. And there’s one loser after another. . . Trump is the only hope to defeat the Kingmakers. Because everybody else will fall in line. The Kingmakers have so much money behind them.”

    https://t.co/49LMpcNH9B

  22. Baklava Says:

    Contingency planning Boxty is smart. He’s a loose canon

  23. Frog Says:

    Oldflyer:
    Perhaps Geoffrey Britain said it better than I.
    If you think I’m a Trump apologist, think again.

  24. blert Says:

    Bush belongs in the under card.

    Carly warrants the full stage — based on nothing more than good argument.

    I don’t see this as weakness for Trump.

    I’d call it a ‘push.’

    %%%%%

    For some reason — emotions are running away with Republicans.

    Trump is going to be roasted to a cinder by his adoring MSM pals — once nominated.

    Strangely, I don’t see any negatives — in a staggering way — to a Trump presidency.

    I just can’t believe that he’ll survive the crossfire.

    He’s unelectable.

    THAT’S my primary beef.

    WHY did it take Ted Cruz’s rise in the Iowa polls to freak Hillary out?

    Ditto for Dole?

    Cruz NAILS it: the Washington Cartel.

    He’s been slammed for calling out McConnell for a LIAR.

    But no-one has slammed Cruz for FALSELY calling out McConnell a LIAR.

    Lying to his caucus is apparently a leadership perk for McConnell.

    Cruz is a walking — talking — tape recorder.

    AND HIS SENATE PALS KNOW IT.

    Hence — they HATE him.

    Cruz is very likely to be as powerful in office as LBJ ever was.

    No WONDER the Senate is in an uproar.

    If America wants American back — the vote HAS to be for Ted Cruz.

    &&&&

    If Trump’s zany Canadian ‘gags’ had any merit — the other candidates would’ve jumped on them.

    No-one touches the issue.

    For a reason.

    Cruz’s documents are even stronger than President Obama’s.

    &&&&&

    More generally, Trump spins on a Dime — heck on a silver dollar.

    He spins on just about anything.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    boxty:

    I make my own decisions. I have never followed the dictates of Phyllis Schlafly and I’m certainly not about to start to do so now.

    I watched that Fox debate. I saw no bias towards Trump. They asked tough questions of everyone. I didn’t particularly like the tone towards anyone—I prefer more substantive questions.

    If Trump doesn’t want to debate at Fox, fine. He doesn’t have to. It’s his right not to, if he perceives it as biased. His departure makes him look weak as well as thin-skinned, in my opinion. He obviously has a different calculation about how he looks.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Oldflyer:

    I don’t think Frog is a Trump guy, based on his previous comments.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    By the way, I changed the title of this post. I had written “tomorrow’s debate,” because for some reason I thought today was Wednesday.

  28. Nick Says:

    It bugs me that conservatives are complaining about Trumpers. Or, rather, it bugs me how they’re complaining. We should be used to dealing with people who disagree with us and are a little bit loopy. You can’t persuade everyone; you do your best, then you drop it, because there’s no benefit in alienating people in politics. People who are instinctively anti-government could vote our way next cycle, or in important Senate races, or maybe in the Presidential general election. But they’re going to be less likely to if all they ever hear is conservatives complaining about them. Ditto with RINO’s – we’ve got to stop complaining about them all the time. We’ve got to build a coalition, and it’ll definitely include creeps. All coalitions do. But who will want to form a coalition with us if all we do is whine as plaintively as any liberal college student? The Dems are astute enough to act civilly toward each other as they prepare to dismantle civilization. As they used to say on a Christian apologetics show I used to listen to, are you willing to do for the truth what the cults do for a lie?

  29. OlderandWheezier Says:

    sdferr Says:
    January 26th, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Running away is definitely flexing the thigh muscles. Look at that man sprint! Usain Bolt’s got nuttin’ on him!

    I like it.

  30. Matt_SE Says:

    This won’t “destroy” Trump; his loyalists will remain with him to the end. Whether it hurts him a little is a more interesting question.
    People complain that he’s taken the oxygen from the room, but now he’s temporarily gone. Will the others have the talent to take advantage of it? Will they instead play out some byzantine strategy?
    It’ll be interesting to find out.

  31. CV Says:

    Boxty,

    I fail to see how Fox “openly admitted” that they are out to get Trump. They’ve been giving him mountains of free air time for years.

    I hope those who think this debate decision will damage Trump are right (from your lips to God’s ears, Cornhead) but I have my doubts that it will hurt him. There is something unnerving and unsettling about how his support keeps growing, regardless of Trump being Trump.

  32. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Ted Cruz made one of the most politically courageous moves I’ve seen a candidate make at this stage of the election process, and I’m just sad and ashamed that the overwhelming majority of American voters are either too ignorant or too self-absorbed to realize it.

    He dared to dissent from the rest of the pack when they characteristically mass-kissed the butts of the Iowa corn producers with the caucuses looming.

    Special interests that support such nonsense as ridiculously high corn subsidies and ethanol, which harms engine performance, hold sway at this point in the presidential election cycle, all because Iowa has always been allowed to be first in the bread and circuses cycle.

    Trump, by constrast, is exactly how neo characterized him in the title of her post – a whining child with no interest in choosing the right or courageous path.

  33. geokstr Says:

    Nick Says:
    It bugs me that conservatives are complaining about Trumpers.

    No offense intended, but you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Go to Breitbart and start reading the comments section. It is stuffed with the most obnoxious, belligerent and dishonest Trump supporters hurling vile insults at Cruz and conservatives in general. They’ve totally trashed what used to be the second best conservative site behind only the one run by our lovely hostess.

  34. whatever Says:

    This won’t hurt Trump (debates don’t move much of anyone one way or the other) but I find it pathetic that instead of attacking the president of Fox this is just more excuse to attack Trump. I was ignoring him 6 months ago but it’s actions like this, then watching reactions from “conservatives”, that I am moving more into his camp.

    it’s like a parallel political correctness – if the Fox News president attack released this on another candidate, conservatives commenters would say one thing, but it is okay if it’s on Trump since Trump said something mean once.

    So conservatives believe the press should have standards and be impartial, unless it is Trump, because you don’t like him.

    Which is the same as the Left – one standard for people You agree with, one for those I don’t.

  35. James Says:

    According to his own books and articles Trump sees everything as a negotiation. He has his power position, the other side has their’s. He acts according to how he sees the relative positions.

    From his position, his followers won’t watch the debate – which is down on Fox. The polls will probably not move, and the candidates having the debate will not be watched enough to matter. He may be proven wrong, but that is his perspective on his power position.

  36. chuck Says:

    I fully expect that if Trump isn’t the Republican nominee he will run third party. He said he wouldn’t, but so what. If it comes down to it he will find some justification and off he’ll go.

  37. libertybelle Says:

    I read a piece at the Legal Insurrection blog that Trump is planning a rally in Iowa Thursday, to raise money for Veterans and Wounded Warriors – he’s staging a big disruption to suck the oxygen out the debates.

    He creates these melodramas and the media plays along, with endless discussion of him.

  38. The Other Chuck Says:

    Unfortunately this will not backfire on Trump. The debate was a set up. Here is the scoop which Trump probably caught wind of:

    Fox News and Google have invited three YouTube personalities to ask questions at the Jan. 28 GOP debate — including a Muslim advocate who describes Donald Trump as a bigot and who visually portrayed him as being in agreement with national socialist Adolf Hitler.
    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/01/26/2868743/

    It’s too bad that they were unable to lure him into it, but the tactic reeks of the worst of leftist media. If Cruz, Rubio and the rest had any balls, they would boycott it also.

  39. VL Says:

    Mr. Whatever,

    It’s not because Trump said one mean thing once. When Trump first appeared on the scene I was tentatively supportive, but the man is an egomaniac who is constantly self-aggrandizing himself. He’s rude to nearly everyone he opposes. He started the mud-slinging: years ago. Can you really complain when people are rude back?

    Do you really want to be having these arguments about how rude Trump is for the next 4 years?

    Worse than his personality, Trump is the poster child for government overreach, eminent domain, and corporate welfare. I expect him to raise taxes, grow government, and make the Republican party stink like pigs in the nose of voters. What do you expect that Trump will actually do in office?

    Fair warning: I’m secretly hoping Trump and Hillary will duke it out in the general election, thereby giving a third party the best shot since Abraham Lincoln.

  40. boxty Says:

    Neo:

    “I make my own decisions. I have never followed the dictates of Phyllis Schlafly and I’m certainly not about to start to do so now.”

    Haven’t you attacked Trump as not being a conservative? Here you have someone that most conservative thinkers recognize as one of their own and you reject what she says out of hand? Is that because conservatism isn’t really important to you but you think it might be a good angle to attack Trump’s support?

    Just trying to figure out where you are coming from.

  41. sdferr Says:

    Trump is a statist in psuedo-republican attire. He’s got no attachment to constitutionalism. He’s an opportunist.

  42. VL Says:

    Boxty,

    Who is “most conservative thinkers”? None of the conservatives I follow support Trump. And there’s the man’s obvious un-conservative points.

  43. parker Says:

    Megyn Kelly upsets trump because he considers her biased? What about the entire msm in the general election? trumpsters make excuses about why the royal donald has threatened to boycott the debate, but it is grandstanding (as usual). In reality it is 50-50 he will show up.

    BTW, I like the idea of a 90 minute debate between trump and Cruz, or Fiorina, or Rubio, or even Christie. Or how about the donald taking a televised multiple choice test on the Constitution where scoring less than 70% means he voluntarily ends his campaign? Ready for that one fans of the donald?

    The simple truth is trump has no knowledge of our founding documents and no interest in the rule of law. He is only interested in the world of influence peddling, and if he truly believes he can be elected POTUS, its only about feeding his supreme narcissism. Period.

  44. neo-neocon Says:

    boxty:

    Here, I’ll take your questions–

    “Haven’t you attacked Trump as not being a conservative?”

    I have not “attacked” him. I have criticized him strongly for many many many things. Some of them are character-driven. Some of them involve political stances, including a lot of back and forth that seems almost arbitrary and unexplained by Trump, and the holding of many liberal positions. Some of them involve his personal attacks on George Bush (he’s “evil”; “he should have been impeached”). Some of them involve his giving money to liberal politicians, and just in general his crony capitalism favor-buying and then bragging about it. He takes some conservative positions (even what I would call radically conservative positions) such as his position on immigration, which is in some ways radically to the right. In other ways, his positions are not conservative in that they are not protective of liberty and respectful of the Constitution, which doesn’t seem to interest him at all with the exception of the Second Amendment. His lack of respect for the Constitution and his love of power leads me to regard him as a potential tyrant.

    This is way beyond considerations of simple labels such as “conservative” or “liberal,” as you can see.

    “Here you have someone that most conservative thinkers recognize as one of their own and you reject what she says out of hand?”

    As far as Phyllis Schlafly goes, I could not care less who “most conservative thinkers recognize as one of their own.” My political journey does not, and has never, had anything to do with following a crowd or an expert. I read what people have to say and I either agree or disagree. I don’t agree with people because of their reputations; I evaluate their arguments on the merits of the arguments. And let me add that, if I did want to follow “most conservative thinkers” (which I don’t), it just so happens that “most conservative thinkers” disagree strongly with Phyllis Schlafly on the subject of Donald Trump.

    “Is that because conservatism isn’t really important to you but you think it might be a good angle to attack Trump’s support?”

    Let me rephrase that question for you and make your question for me a bit more clear: “Why do you, neo-neocon, refuse to agree with one of the only conservative thinkers I could locate who happens to back Trump? Is it because you have principles and think for yourself and happen to disagree with her, or are you a hypocrite who refuses to agree with this person I’ve decided is the leader you should follow? And if your real motivation is based on something other than principle, and you refuse to agree with my designated expert, is it just some malign desire on your part to attack Trump’s support?”

    I think, actually, that I’ve already answered your question.

  45. parker Says:

    Other Chuck,

    Breitbart has been hijacked. It has become the trump show. Breitbart, RIP, would never have approved of this shamelessness.

  46. Eric Says:

    Nick:
    “The Dems are astute enough to act civilly toward each other as they prepare to dismantle civilization.”

    The power struggle is already done in the Democrats. Not yet the Republicans.

    Right now, the Trump-front alt-Right is attempting to take the GOP from mainstream conservatives of the Right like the Left seized the Democrats from mainstream liberals.

  47. PatD Says:

    Some background:

    Kelly aired a bogus report in prime time, two months before the first debate, that Trump had raped his first wife. Said wife promptly denounced and denied the report.

    The night before the first debate, Kelly said “the question is whether this is – actually not to be too grandiose about it – because Fox News is hosting it, and I’m a co-moderator but is this actually, because they have the potential to change the course of history? I mean, one of these guys could be out by 11:00 tomorrow night”. By her first question to Trump, you knew exactly which guy she had in mind.

    Both reports show that Megyn Kelly was out for Trump. She had no intention of being an unbiased debate moderator. Her intent was to kill Trump. The question is whether or not she cleared that with her bosses. She probably had to.

    Come the latest debate, and Fox is loading up yet more ammunition to fire at Trump. You can read about it here.

    Trump threatened to bail on the debate, if Kelly was there, and Fox responded with a juvenile statement. Trump said “Bye-Bye” and withdrew.

    How will it play out? One thing to realize is that Trump is thinking about the general. By having a public spat with Fox, he is telling people he is not a hard-right, which is how a lot of people view Fox. He is also guaranteeing himself continued media coverage by Fox’s competition, especially CNN.

    He has also reduced the debates to kiddy table 1 and kiddy table 2. Cruz sees that, which is why he challenged Trump to a one on one debate.

  48. PatD Says:

    I might add that Trump supporters will not watch the debate and people wanting see Trump taken down won’t either. That’s a twofer.

    The ratings will suck and Trump will waste no time pointing that out.

  49. Eric Says:

    Conservatives should take better care to show that American “nationalism” and “populism” are best defined and represented by the Right, not the alt-Right nor the Left, and the landscape is not nationalism and populism vs conservatism as some pundits have asserted.

    Guard the premises with care. Control the frame.

  50. neo-neocon Says:

    PatD:

    I watched the Megyn Kelly piece on the rape thing. It was news at the time, and she certainly did not ever indicate it was true. It was news, and she covered the allegations, and she was not the only one.

    I watched the debate as well. Her question was a valid one, and she was not doing anything special to Trump; almost all the questions to everyone were “gotcha” questions and/or tough questions. I think it was actually a good question of him.

    I have no idea what Fox’s ratings will be. I do recall that their ratings were very high for the first debate, and all the debate ratings have been going down ever since. The most recent debate was on Jan 14, and it was the least-watched so far. It went like this:

    Some 11 million viewers tuned into Thursday’s Republican presidential debate—the lowest total in the “Trump era,” but still not bad historically.

    I can’t find a link with the ratings for all of them, but I seem to recall it’s been a downward line. There’s probably even a mathematical formula for the graph of the downward line. So even if Trump had been attending tomorrow’s debate, I’d expect the audience for it to be a bit lower than 11 million (I don’t know how much lower unless a saw the slope of the graph of the decline for previous debates).

    As I said, I have no idea what the ratings would be; it could go either way. But I would expect it to have gone down anyway, had he been there. I also predict that, even if it doesn’t go down, quite a few Trump supporters will use earlier debate figures to compare it to and claim that is has gone down.

  51. OlderandWheezier Says:

    “The ratings will suck and Trump will waste no time pointing that out.”

    Which is yet more evidence of what a petty and vindictive little man-child he is. Are you honestly proud that he’s almost certain to take the low road yet again?

  52. PatD Says:

    @neo-neocon:

    Peter Sellers was in desperate need of open heart surgery. He was so scared of the surgery that he went to the Philippines to get psychic surgery. He died soon after.

    James Randi, one of my heroes, did a TV presentation where he demonstrated how Filipino psychic surgeons used simple sleight of hand to convince their victims that they were curing them. Mostly, they extracted chicken parts. After his presentation, the TV station was inundated with people wanting to get in touch with psychic surgeons.

    Broadcasters know that debunking only legitimizes the thing being debunked, in the eyes of some viewers. That was the point of Kelly’s first attack: leave the impression that Trump was a rapist.

    The ratings should have been good on the eve of the Iowa caucuses. We’ll see who misplayed their hand, Ailes or Trump.

  53. neo-neocon Says:

    PatD:

    It was a story that was being widely covered. I saw the program—and my recollection is that it was mainly debunked and/or challenged by Kelly. I recall nothing in it that would lead people to believe it.

    Do you really think any time any news outlet discusses a story that they don’t give credence to, questions the teller, and doesn’t agree with the teller, that that somehow makes people believe the story?

    By the way, here’s the transcript. She comes down very hard on the reporters reporting the story—which had gained wide coverage already among those who follow the news. Take a look; here’s an example of her questioning:

    KELLY Now [Trump’s ex-wife] says the story is false. But it is worth pointing out. This comes from a deposition in a divorce proceeding where, you know, the book that cites the deposition was taking court documents and her own testimony. So it appears she may have softened on this issue over the years. But that doesn’t answer the question about whether your reporting is fair or relevant. Because as I pointed out here on the air last night, having practiced law for ten years, divorce proceedings are notoriously ugly. And spouses often — often — say things that aren’t true and that they later live to regret. And how did you account for that reality in your reporting?

    MAK: Yes, I think it’s certainly relevant for the reasons I described. It’s fair. And it’s factual. I mean —

    KELLY: But you’re not answering my question.

    MAK: Sure. I mean, I think that we counted for it by looking at the context of the issue. I mean, if Ivana Trump now currently has reconciled with Donald Trump, I think we need to acknowledge that when we see her make these statements saying that it has no merit.

    KELLY: Did you reach out to her for comment?

    MAK: Of course we did.

    That’s about it for the rape allegations in the piece. The rest of the segment had to do with the alleged behavior of Trump’s lawyer. The reporter said that Trump’s lawyer had threatened him—threats for which the lawyer seems to have apologized.

    Kelly seems to be making it clear that the rape allegations are very suspect. She doesn’t take a stand on the allegations of threat by the Trump attorney, and from the apology it seems there was actually some truth to the fact that the attorney had threatened the reporter.

    As I said, this was already a story, Kelly covered it in a way that seems fair and even a bit protective of Trump’s reputation regarding the rape allegations. I think the allegations that the lawyer threatened the guy in the way described are most likely true. Are she saying she should NOT have reported this? Do you think they public should have been protected from this? Or that Trump should have been protected from this? Following your logic, no story should be exposed and debunked, because then people would believe it! That’s absurd.

    When I originally saw the segment, I came away from it thinking the rape allegations were bogus and absurd, but the lawyer thing was probably true, and about just what you’d expect from the lawyer of a powerful guy who likes to throw his weight around. Not really surprising or all that unusual.

    By the way, the best story to illustrate your point (which I don’t think applies to this situation, however), is this one about LBJ.

  54. parker Says:

    PatD,

    I have been a bit nasty (ala Cruz) about your comments in defense of trump. What drives my ‘attacks’ is that you seem the most coherent of the trumpsters at neo-neocon. I apologize for any insults I hurled your way.

    Personally, I despise trump and remain mystified why anyone identifying as conservative sees trump as an alternative to several actual conservatives in the horse race. I hope when you have a choice in your primary that you vote wisely, and not for the pretender. But your choice is your choice.

  55. Cornhead Says:

    Giant miscalculation of risk and reward. He showed voters exactly why he shouldn’t have his finger on the Bomb. Unstable.

    And the benefit for Vets? Please. Throw the peasants some candy. How much in his billions has he given before.

    Cynical and manipulative clown.

  56. AMartel Says:

    No empty chair or any smug reference to trump, period! He’s taken himself out of the room. Fox shouldn’t even gossip about it in the run-up or follow-up analysis panels. Just resist the urge to scratch that itch and let the candidates who are showing up debate. Maybe some of them may be smart enough to take advantage of it.

  57. Dennis Says:

    The Other Chuck Says at 11:26 pm:

    “Fox News and Google have invited three YouTube personalities to ask questions at the Jan. 28 GOP debate — including a Muslim advocate who describes Donald Trump as a bigot and who visually portrayed him as being in agreement with national socialist Adolf Hitler.”
    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/01/26/2868743/

    If so, that is an interesting development. If Trump knows that this question is coming up, he should relish the opportunity to educate the American people about the contents of the Koran and Hadiths and about the horrors of Sharia law. He should explain that Muslims who support Sharia law can not simultaneously support the freedoms guaranteed in the US constitution.

    If the Muslim blogger compares him to Hitler, he could connect the dots between militant Islam and Hitler through the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and who was also prominent in the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood. He could also point out that in Muslim countries the book, The Protocals of the Elders of Zion, have been endorsed as truth by prominent Muslim leaders some of whom are still in power.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_imprints_of_The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion

  58. PatD Says:

    Scott Adams (Dilbert) explains what Trump is doing:

    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/138125409321/trump-fox-news-and-megyn-kelly-explained-master

    and how Trump wins, whatever happens.

  59. PatD Says:

    @neo-neocon:

    My point was throwing mud always leaves a stain.

    There is the old story about a debate in the Irish parliament. A member get’s up and says. “Mr. Speaker, may I call my honorable opponent a sewer rat?”, and Mr. Speaker responds. “No, you may not.” The member replies, “Thank you Mr. Speaker. All the sewer rats in the world will rejoice.”

    My suggestion is you retitle your post “Thursday’s debate: Trump takes Fox’s marbles and goes home”. Just joking, but I think that’s how it will play out.

  60. OriginalFrank Says:

    Eric says: “Conservatives should take better care to show that American “nationalism” and “populism” are best defined and represented by the Right, not the alt-Right nor the Left, and the landscape is not nationalism and populism vs conservatism as some pundits have asserted.”

    Exactly so. The Trump phenom *exists* because Republicans – and conservatives who have supported them – have ‘conserved’ *nothing*. GWOT, immigration control, manufacturing, private healthcare, traditional meaning of marriage, military strength and effectiveness, applicability of law to the elites as well as to the common person, second amendment (and increasingly infringements on other, ala Beghazi ‘filmmaker’), government growth, deficits – you name it, the GOP rolled over.

    For me, Trump – despite the many things I dislike about him – is achieving the objective I wanted for him – the death of the GOP. Waiting to see what will supplant it.

    He truly has been The Mule (ref: Asimov, Foundation Trilogy).

  61. Orson Says:

    The Trump appeal has reached new heights with Republicans, according to this new Washington Post/ABC poll (http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/225021/).

    About 2 of 3 Republicans say they would find him acceptable as their nominee, a percentage almost identical to Cruz’s and Rubio’s. Rubio is seen as the least unacceptable, followed by Cruz, Carson and then Trump. Only about half of Republicans say Christie and Bush are acceptable, and Bush has the highest “unacceptable” percentage at 45. . . .

    The new Post-ABC survey suggests that a sizable majority of Republicans believe that whatever happens in those early states, Trump will emerge with the nomination…

    Today, more than 6 in 10 Republicans say Trump is most likely to win the nomination, up from 4 in 10 in the late fall.

    Trump leads among nearly all demographic groups, including a narrow advantage among white evangelical

    Christians, a key target of the Cruz campaign. Trump’s strongest support comes from those with incomes below $50,000.

    [And] Majorities of Republicans say he has the best chance of getting elected president and is most likely to bring needed change to Washington. More than a third say he is closest to them on issues. He and Carson are seen as the most honest of the GOP candidates, while Trump and Cruz are seen as having the best personality and temperament to serve as president.

    To quash even more skepticism – or incite great hysterics -, “The Tea Party: Three Principles” author, con law porf Elizabeth Price Foley, adds that “when I dug deeper into this CNN/ORC poll, I found several potential headlines that CNN would never report….”

    In summary,

    …apparently, Trump has strong support among younger, highly educated, high-income, and female GOP voters. Who knew? Apparently, not the GOPe.

  62. Orson Says:

    FNCs Bret Baier did a 10 minute interview with Trump on Tuesday, who thumps some basic conservative needs – like venerating, following and restoring constitutional governance after the Obamunist regime.

    Baier asks, would you abide strictly by the Constitution or would you modify things to get things through?

    Trump: “I feel very strongly about our Constitution, I’m proud of it, I love it, I want to [govern] through it, we want to bring the Constitution back…” if we look at what Obama’s doing it’s not right, he said.

    (SEE “Trump talks endorsements, deal-making and debate plans” http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/special-report-bret-baier/videos#p/86927/v/4723002572001)

    Quelle surprise? Not for those actually listening to Trumps messaging.

  63. sdferr Says:

    highly educated

    Where “highly” is a synonym for poorly. Ah, but that’s in another thread.

  64. Orson Says:

    It’s a tough lesson to learn, folks: in politics, sometimes perception becomes reality. And yours is not the perception of the demos, the people…as far as I can tell.

    One of the marks of intellectualism is the capacity to talk (or “think”) oneself into believing something contrary to reality.

    This is also an error – a fundamental mistake of the “intellectual.”

  65. ConceptJunkie Says:

    There was some discussion about whether or not Mark Levin is endorsing Trump. He’s definitely had some good things to say about Trump, and the things he’s said are things with which I agree, for instance, Trump’s comments about the immigration issue. If you actually listen to what Trump says on the issue and not the mouth-foaming xenophobic slant the media have put on him, he’s actually very reasonable. Nonetheless, I also agree with Neo’s criticisms of Trump and had formed the same opinion myself some months ago.

    Anyhow, Mark Levin posted this on his Facebook feed today. Definitely not an endorsement…

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-01-25/cruz-hating-republicans-need-a-reality-check

    So if anyone was disappointed that “The Great One” was throwing in with “Hell Toupee”, you can rest assured that he is not.

  66. sdferr Says:

    Trump says nothing substantive about the Constitution, he just never does. Observers see this. Fans don’t. But he isn’t especially unusual in this respect: he’s learned his politics at the knees of the leftist professoriate, or by absorbing the opinions of his peers in New Yauk, to the extent he has learned anything about the Constitution at all. He exhibits no sign of learning from the writings of the founders and framers, or from the political thinkers who influenced them. His knowledge, or opinion, such as it is, is unremarkable: it’s thin (like that of his fans), if it exists at all.

  67. ConceptJunkie Says:

    @Orson: I was talking with my Dad last summer and used the phrase “Quelle surprise” when noticing that a black commentator on CNN had found something racist. I quietly took some pride in the fact that I’m such a pretentious nerd to use a French phrase in everyday speech. 😉

  68. ConceptJunkie Says:

    I think Trump has done a lot of good in this race, despite his obvious faults, and I can’t help but like him when he turns the tables on the media, or when he makes liberal heads explode.

    However, I suspect his support will start to wane once the primaries start. It’s just a feeling, and only that. Maybe wishful thinking. But I am reminded of other flashes in the pan who came out of the gate strong in Iowa or New Hampshire, but were down in the single digits by Super Tuesday. Of course, Trump has the media carrying water for him for the perverse reason that they think he would have a weak showing in the general election, although I think they are underestimating him. Regardless of what happens, the Democrats are going to have a weak candidate this time around… Clinton is severely compromised, even if she isn’t indicted, Sanders doesn’t have the kind of broad cult of personality that Obama did (his is strong, but much smaller), and Biden, well, is Biden. Oh, yeah, and O’Malley… I can’t really see him gaining traction even if the 800-pound gorilla of the former First Lady’s candidacy is cut short.

  69. sdferr Says:

    Remark that one of Trump’s outstanding traits is his powerful incuriosity. Turns out that the ignorant are quite often amazing snobs who exalt in their lack of knowledge, rather than be seized by any effort to rid themselves of it.

  70. DNW Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    January 26th, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Boxty and Frog illustrate the problem. Anything Trump does is shrugged off by the apologists.

    Let’s just hope there are not enough of them.”

    Though I support Cruz, I think that Geof Britain and the two above have a point; and it remains to see how it plays out.

    Most of Trump’s supporters are probably as alienated from Fox News as they are from MSNBC or the Federal bureaucracy and judiciary.

    It depends on how many Americans view the debate circus and its ringmasters as a tradition or trial by fire (and insult) that must be respected.

    I real life as any man knows, taunting someone for picking up his foot ball and going home when you have been behaving provocatively, only works if he really can’t paste you in the face and keep you down; or in other woords if you think that Megyn Kelly is a moral peer of Donald Trump’s whom he owes respect’ orif he should at least treat her as such.

  71. DNW Says:

    Damn … I just submitted a rough post I just meant to look at.

  72. DNW Says:

    If I had meant to go ahead and post, I guess the last paragraph should have read:

    “In real life as any man knows, taunting someone for picking up his football and going home when you have been behaving provocatively, only works if he really can’t paste you in the face and keep you down; or in other woords if you think that Megyn Kelly is a moral peer of Donald Trump’s whom he owes respect, or if he should at least treat her as such.”

  73. Cornhead Says:

    A flake.

    I, for one, don’t want Trump’s drama for four years.

  74. DNW Says:

    sdferr Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Remark that one of Trump’s outstanding traits is his powerful incuriosity. Turns out that the ignorant are quite often amazing snobs who exalt in their lack of knowledge, rather than be seized by any effort to rid themselves of it.”

    The apparent lack of broad historical knowledge or perspective, or at least any display of it in proper context if he does have it, puzzles me as well.

    Surprisingly, to me at least, he reportedly attended Fordham for his first two years. He should have been force fed at least some philosophy, history, and politics, given the period in which he attended.

    I was also surprised to read that his mother was Scottish.

  75. Janetoo Says:

    I can’t wait to watch a debate without Trump!

  76. sdferr Says:

    DNW, one might easily exchange Megyn Kelly for Michael Forbes (and Forbes’ neighbors in Menie, Scotland). Rather than take Forbes for a fellow human being who puzzles Trump (due to Forbes’ motivations, so far from Trump’s own), and therefore on grounds of his own curiosity to seek to connect with Mr. Forbes directly to learn what it is that attaches Forbes so powerfully to his land, so to persuade either Mr. Forbes or himself to a reasonably arrived conciliation, Trump is content to view Mr. Forbes (and his neighbors) as a bug to be squashed on the sidewalk. Trump makes the man a pig. Abe Lincoln, we recall, had something to say about the difference between men and pigs. So we may say that Trump takes on himself — against Lincoln — the part of Stephen Douglas.

  77. Kyndyll G Says:

    “For me, Trump – despite the many things I dislike about him – is achieving the objective I wanted for him – the death of the GOP. Waiting to see what will supplant it.”

    What will replace it? What do you seriously think will replace it? Splitting the right-of-center vote between the twitching cadaver of the GOP and a mishmash of startup parties (each holding litmus-test demands that only a small percent of the population at large will have anything to do with), while the mass legion that is Gen Y moves into voting age will accomplish exactly nothing. You’re just hoping that somehow, magically, a fresh, pure Republic arises out of a Mad Max movie. It isn’t going to happen.

    Many of us have suspected all along that Trump is a Democrat plant to cause mayhem in the GOP party at a time when the Dems are extraordinarily weak. It could be that he is just so astonishing self-absorbed that he really is doing what he’s doing on his own complete lack of merits. Either way, the end result is the same – a big win from the Dems. This might be the last chance to get a sane Republican president, given the politics of the teeming idiots growing up after me, and we’re wasting it pining away on the chances of electing a man who would make Obama look mature and reasonable.

  78. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    A larger issue is emerging, FOX’s support of the GOPe…

    “FOX News Debate Anchors Actively Planned Zingers – Prepared to Escort Trump From Stage” http://www.thegatewaypundit.co

    “Google and Fox TV Invite Anti-Trump, Hitler-Citing, Muslim Advocate to Join Next GOP TV-Debate” http://www.breitbart.com/2016-

    “The Anti-Trump Network: Fox News Money Flows into Open Borders Group”
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-g

  79. Wooly Bully Says:

    Megyn Kelly for President!

  80. sdferr Says:

    What will replace it? What do you seriously think will replace it?

    On their own terms those are good questions, even serious questions. Perhaps this thread isn’t the place to thoroughly investigate them, yet we might further ask a couple of things about them for future purposes. Is a Hayekian schema of organic development applicable to the problem (“Waiting to see what will supplant it”)? Or, on the contrary, would we expect some sort of top down determination, a “positive” solution, a comprehensive solution with all the manifold factors and conditions of political life to be plonked down, or like Athena, birthed intact from the head of Zeus — (** this is what it is, gang, a fait acomplis, for we’re in a desperate hurry **)? How have political parties (they’re surely human artifacts, are they not, and hence subject to change and not relatively permanent features of earthbound existence as oceans and continents?) been made or created in the past? Do they arise through trial and error (i.e., according to market behaviors), or in some other way, like say in the strategic development of Operation Overlord, (i.e., managerially, while under the gun), or worse, ObamaCare?

    The Hayekian schema more or less says “We don’t know, for there are very powerful limits to our knowledge falling short of the knowledge demanded, although we expect necessity to have a hand in the matter, and therefore expect some better solution will come.” So while we recognize the problem stands, and expect some solution to come, we cannot say what the solution will be. It isn’t magic, but it isn’t ready to hand either.

  81. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Geoffrey, take everything they post with a big grain of salt. Note also that the “planned to escort” story pertains to the very first debate.

    The real Breitbart is probably turning in his grave. And Jim Hoft has exposed himself this past year to be among the shallowest of so-called conservatives in the realm of political blogging.

  82. Frog Says:

    G.B.: the links do not seem to work. One must go directly to the sites.
    But… they call into further question whether the “debate” format has useful objective value.

  83. DNW Says:

    ” Geoffrey Britain Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 10:36 am

    A larger issue is emerging, FOX’s support of the GOPe…

    “FOX News Debate Anchors Actively Planned Zingers – Prepared to Escort Trump From Stage” http://www.thegatewaypundit.co…

    “Google and Fox TV Invite Anti-Trump, Hitler-Citing, Muslim Advocate to Join Next GOP TV-Debate” http://www.breitbart.com/2016-…

    “The Anti-Trump Network: Fox News Money Flows into Open Borders Group”
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-g…

    I hadn’t seen any of that. Obviously Trump thinks he is being targeted and “played” here for ulterior reasons; and indeed he might be.

    The media, probably accurately in historical terms, imagine that they have set themselves into a position wherein they can present anyone challenging them with a dilemma: submit to our rules and our harrowing on our terms, or risk being branded a coward and crybaby.

    Trump’s challenge is to break the horns of the dilemma. He might be able to pull it off for two reasons;

    – the relative decline of the mainstream media

    – and second, the realization of even older folks that the media, even the so-called conservative media, are selling soap; when that is, they are not pushing some other self-interested agenda.

    Fox News identified a badly served market segment and successfully capitalized on it to the apparent benefit of both seller and buyer. What many older Fox viewers probably imagined was that “Fox was their friend”; mistaking a temporary and limited convergence of their political and social sentiments with Fox and company’s financial interests, as grounds for trust and identification.

    They, we all, should know better.

    I am not a fan of Trump. That does not mean I would not enjoy seeing him successfully stiff arm the media and leave a few of them broken and bleeding on the field.

  84. sdferr Says:

    Amanda Carpenter, a partisan for Ted Cruz, writing at the Conservative Review examines other of Trump’s motivations present in his decision to avoid the ‘debate’: Duck, Donald, Duck

    Close questioning does not work to Trump’s favor, and he well knows it. Carpenter does taunt him, true, while she also exposes Trump’s primary weakness.

  85. K-E Says:

    I didn’t appreciate Megyn Kelly’s first question to Trump in the August debate. It was petty and personal. It had nothing to do with the debate at all. I could tell Megyn did not like Trump at all and wanted to make him look bad on national TV. It didn’t work.

    I am with Trump on this. Why go back to a ‘debate’ where you are guaranteed to get the same treatment? I wouldn’t attend either.

    It isn’t fear or pettiness, it is the same reason I would refuse to show up for a debate if Candy Crowley were moderating. Candy cannot be neutral. Neither can Megyn.

    Debates are not about throwing out personal attacks disguised as questions.

    Besides, I think we have had enough debates. We just had one 2 week ago. This was an extra debate that wasn’t on the original schedule, as I understand it. Enough already.

    The best debate was the last one because the moderators kept their personality out of it, made it about the candidates, and the questions were substantive. That’s the last debate I needed to see.

  86. K-E Says:

    Forgot to mention, it is Megyn who has targeted Trump repeatedly on her tv show…last week it was trash Trump by hosting the National Review folks. She is not moderator material. She is the Nancy Grace of Fox News right now, trying to drive up ratings with these over-the-top guests and interviews.

  87. sdferr Says:

    It’s best for Trump that he not be queried about his statements just yesterday how he so famously gets along with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. All the more reason to avoid further exposure, and hence any claim we’ve had enough of that. Right?

  88. formwiz Says:

    he can dish it out, but he can’t take it.

    I dunno, he seems to be dishing it right back just dandy.

    And since he’ll be raising money for Wounded Warrior at the time of the debate (something his critics fail to mention), he has covered himself quite nicely.

  89. neo-neocon Says:

    K-E:

    So, now it’s “targeting” Trump to do a show about a major conservative magazine—one that has long been the granddaddy of conservatism—criticizing the frontrunner in its own party?

    You think that’s not a valid subject for a news show on cable news, particularly on a network with a conservative slant?

    You have an extremely odd idea of what “news” is, and what “targeting” is.

  90. neo-neocon Says:

    formwiz:

    Trump continuing to dish it out is consistent with “He can dish it out put can’t take it.” It’s not counter to it.

    He can dish it out.

    And of course he’s going to do something to get publicity for himself, something that makes him look good. And of course his supporters will applaud. And of course his supporters will like his boycotting the debate.

    By the way, Trump is no philanthropist, considering his vast wealth, and he has very little history of giving money (or his foundation giving money) to veterans. See this:

    The Donald J. Trump Foundation has donated $5.5 million to 298 charities between 2009 and 2013 (the most recent year available), according to the non-profit’s 990 tax forms from those years. Of that, only $57,000 has been donated to seven organizations that directly benefit military veterans or their families, Forbes found. Wounded Warriors was not among the organizations Trump’s foundation gave to in that time period.

    Forbes also found that Trump, who we estimate is worth $4.5 billion, has not made personal contributions to his foundation during the same time period. We reached out to his spokespeople for comment, but did not hear back before publishing.

    For a bit of context, Forbes estimates that Jerry Speyer, another New York-based real estate mogul, is worth $4.4 billion. His philanthropic vehicle, the Speyer Family Foundation, has given $23.5 million between 2009 and 2013, according to his organization’s 990 forms. Speyer has contributed $6,103,368 to the charity during the same time period.

  91. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “take everything they post with a big grain of salt. Note also that the “planned to escort” story pertains to the very first debate.’ OlderandWheezier

    Nowadays it’s a good idea to take everything we read with a grain of salt. My sense is that the basics of those articles ring true. I’m aware that the first story pertains to the very first debate and therein lies its relevance, it reveals a pattern of deceit from the very first.

    Frog,

    Sorry about that, just google the titles.

    DNW,

    I’m not a fan of Trump either. But I do recognize and acknowledge the good his rejection of PC entails and the utter necessity of non-PC exposure and discussion of illegal immigration and the threat of Muslim ‘migration’.

    K-E,

    “I could tell Megyn did not like Trump at all and wanted to make him look bad on national TV.”

    That was and remains my perception as well. IMO, it’s obvious.

    “Debates are not about throwing out personal attacks disguised as questions.”

    They shouldn’t be and reveals another “the end justifies the means” rationale.

    “It’s best for Trump that he not be queried about his statements just yesterday how he so famously gets along with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.” sdferr

    Those are clearly legitimate areas with which to confront Trump. In depth questions about potential deceit are always legitimate.

  92. K-E Says:

    Think about this way. If we were in the presidential debate season and a news figure hosted a TV show that included a whole slew of people bad mouthing the Republican candidate, and then that news figure was chosen to be the moderator for a debate…how would you feel? Would you think the Republican could get a fair shake in the debate? Be honest.

    Megyn has been trashing Trump for months on her show. She has a right to do that. I am not saying it shouldn’t be on her tv show. She can put whatever she wants on there. But to have her be a moderator, and to already know she cannot be neutral based on her first debate performance…? Come on.

    Just because you don’t like Trump is no reason to support this hack as a ‘moderator.’ She cannot be neutral. She has already made her position clear.

    Did you read up on the crap Fox was working on for this debate? They were going to set him up. No thanks. That is not a ‘debate.’

  93. AMartel Says:

    oh, dear
    Trump tells Megyn Kelly that Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann lack courage for skipping a debate.
    (Words, just words, to quote the reigning God Emperor.)

  94. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Most of us have been complaining about the media for a long, long time. Trump does something about it.

    The media used to tell us how the country was being run, a/k/a “reporting the news.” But then they realized that by reporting it the way they wanted to, they could affect how the country was run. (For example, the doe-like picures of the 12-year-old Trayvon Martin.)

    America is getting sick and tired of “them.” And Trump shows — by his action — that he is not afraid to tell them that he doesn’t care what “they” think.

  95. Rachelle Says:

    I don’t agree with you. In fact, I thought Trump should skip the debate even before he announced he was going to do just that.

    Megyn’s opening question at the first debate revealed her bias and she has continued with her narrative by putting surrogate Trump attackers on her show regularly since then.

    You underestimate how much many of us have come to despise the media. My emails from friends run heavily against FOX. In fact they are delighted that Trump snubbed them.

    I’m listening to Rush as I type this and he clearly gets it. Trump is playing by his rules rather than the media’s rules. I like it. Rush likes it.

    Greta had a poll on Gretawire asking how many would watch the debate without Trump. Over 80% (including my vote) voted they would not watch. Why bother?

  96. AMartel Says:

    Trump spokeshole re: Trayvon Martin case

    Conservatives are racists, per Trump spox in 2012. Words, just words. Apparently, they have an expiration date if you’re running for Emperor.

  97. AMartel Says:

    Trump was an active part of the media for a long time.

  98. Frog Says:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/26/anti-trump-network-fox-news-money-flows-open-borders-group/

  99. Rachelle Says:

    The fact that Megyn stooped to bringing Michael Moore and a Muslim fanatic on her show to attack Trump should put paid to her claims of presenting only unbiased journalism.

    Trump was smart to skip the circus and he got control of the news cycle by doing it.

  100. AMartel Says:

    Rachelle, it’s not the Conservative News Station and this is a debate about topics that are a matter of public discussion. Kelly, and a lot of the other Fox talkers, bring lefty weirdos on all the time and give them the opportunity to present their perspective subject to pointed questioning. Fox has plenty of Trump Fans on staff. It’s the least offensive, most open and honest news channel. The Dems are scared to come on Fox which tells you everything you need to know.

  101. GWM Says:

    Once again we see how much Trump is like President Obama. He doesn’t like Fox News just like President Obama doesn’t like Fox News. As president will he cut off all news organizations that don’t say what he wants them to say? He plays by his own rules. Will he treat the constitution the same way? We have failed with the current arrogant narcissist. Why would we want to try again?

  102. neo-neocon Says:

    GWM:

    I just saw your comment, right after putting up a post on that very subject.

    Great minds and all that.

  103. neo-neocon Says:

    Rachelle:

    Of course, why bother if The Great Trump isn’t there?

    All hail The Great Trump.

    And journalists on cable news put controversial people on their shows all the time. Doesn’t mean they agree with them. But perhaps we should have a press that only speaks well of Trump?

  104. Ymarsakar Says:

    You underestimate how much many of us have come to despise the media. My emails from friends run heavily against FOX.

    Your friends were zombies and tools of the media empire back in 2003. They will be again, count on it. They are weaklings, their opinions deserve as much respect as a zombie does.

    Whether you despise the media or not, has never mattered. What have you all done about it? Absolutely nothing effective. That’s why you need Trump or someone like him, to tell you what to do.

  105. Ymarsakar Says:

    It isn’t going to happen.

    You have no idea what’s going to happen in the future. Perhaps if people had solid and accurate predictions of the future, they might have some credibility when making such predictions, otherwise, they just don’t know.

    But they pretend to an arrogant surety that they do not deserve.

  106. NeoConScum Says:

    I knew you’d ha’e a Great Post on King Baby”s latest high-chair pounding. Of all Networks to throw a Donny Defiance
    Snit at…Fox News??!! Not Georgie Stephie?? Not Diane Sawyer?? Not the insipid twerps of 60-Minutes??

    Po’wittle Malignant Narcissist. Tweety your fans at midnight, honey boy, whilst sucking on your Baby Bottle. Yedx you’re the one to handle Mullahs, Russian Tyrants, Chinese Communists, ISIS Butchers, etc.

    Yep…Yep…Bwhaaaaaaahh..!!

  107. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    There are TWO issues here. Trump and FOX. They are not the same issue. That many criticisms of Trump are valid doesn’t obviate FOX’s bias. Nor does it obviate FOX’s support for the GOPe.

    If Trump is not the nominee, then his faults are inconsequential.

    If Trump is the nominee, the question becomes a choice between a man who may betray us and a dem nominee who will continue the betrayal of America.

    FOX’s bias however is an ongoing problem and much more pernicious because of its ability to influence and thus shape the narrative as viewed by Republicans.

  108. Roy Says:

    All ya’ll can call Trump a clown or anything you want. It doesn’t matter.

    The fact is a lot of Americans are heartily tired of the media and their sensationalist, biased “reporting”. And *anyone* who pokes a finger in the media’s eye is going to be popular. Add to that, Trump’s saying out loud what a lot of mainstream America has been thinking, and you get the Trump phenomena.

    I will tell you this: regardless of who wins the nomination, I would vote for a bent trash can before I would vote for a Democrat. The trash can will sit and do nothing, which is a marked improvement over what the Democrats bring.

  109. J.J. Says:

    No Trump fan am I. However, I believe Megyn Kelly is very full of herself. She seems to want to be the primary attraction/story during the debates. That, IMO, is a very bad thing. The moderators should be like wallpaper – seen, but unobtrusive -during the debate. I think the Fox Business moderators (Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo) managed to do that rather well.

    Kelly was very pleased with herself about all the attention garnered by her question to Jeb Bush about whether, knowing what we know now, he would have invaded Iraq. It brought her a lot of attention, and being that news personalities are zealously looking for attention and ratings, she seemed to want to stir up more at the first debate. In a way, Trump is playing into her hands because she seems to be pleased as punch that she is at the center of this controversy.

    The debate format is awful, especially with so many candidates. And the media has believed, as was very evident during the MSNBC debate, that their role is figure out gotcha questions that will stir up more vitriol among the candidates. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe all the debates should be held on C-SPAN with Brian Lamb as the moderator. I think we would get more substance out of that.

  110. Proud American Says:

    I trust that enough sensible voters will not want a president who behaves like this with his finger on the button.

    Regardless of the unlikely scenario where he goes bonkers and initiates a doomsday sequence, his taunting could easily up the ante and goad others to commit greater crimes. Trump’s demeanor would be very destabilizing for international relations.

    Better that everyone sees he can’t take the heat now and not later. The thought of this blowhard handling any global crisis or security-related showdown is appalling.

  111. OriginalFrank Says:

    “What will replace it? What do you seriously think will replace it?”

    I do not know. As I expect that the Whigs, in the early stages of devolution, could not imagine what would fully replace them. What I do know is that the GOP has become a scam and a sham. It offers the verisimilitude of resistance to full-throated socialism/elitism/statism, but no actual resistance. See my previous post for a very cursory accounting of GOP unwillingness to speak or act for conservative principles. I could go on at much greater length, as I suspect most commenters here could.

    We are headed for disaster at high speed and the GOP claims to be hitting the brakes but instead just adds a slightly lighter foot to the throttle (on top of the foot of the Dems/Socialists/statists, etc). All the while, promising that the *next* election, Lucy truly won’t jerk the football away.

    Time to acknowledge the truth and look for and support what positive can grow in the death of the GOP.

  112. neo-neocon Says:

    OriginalFrank:

    What would grow in the death of the GOP is the strength of the left, till it completes the already-well-on-its-way transformation of America into the country of its dreams.

  113. OriginalFrank Says:

    Neo,

    That’s a possibility, of course,

    But IMHO, observing the success of the left and the unwillingness of the GOP to offer even token resistance, the left *owns* the GOPe already. And preserves the GOP only to confuse the public. Consider Ryan folding on the budget, Roberts folding on Obamacare (ok, not technically the GOP, but he too is part of the picture), Rubio and Bush making the case for (stealth) population replacement through immigration, etc. All of us can add to the chronicle for as much time as we have.

    So I do not accept your conclusion as likely, based on evidence/observation. If subset a is already contained by b, then b is not enlarged when a is formally merged with b.

  114. blert Says:

    Original…

    The normal course of events — after horrific national fiscal error — is a systemic implosion — the Ming dynasty leaps immediately to mind.

    The parallels between the Ming and modern America are huge.

    Before it imploded — the Ming had no peer competitors whatsoever.

    The wiki on the Ming is pitiful, BTW.

    Permitting taxation rates upon the hoi polloi to explode upwards via bi-metalism — the Ming.

    Permitting taxation rates upon the hoi polloi to explode upwards via 0-care — the Americans.

    In both cases, massive deflation was kicked off.

    The Pundit Class STILL has not comprehended that the center of global deflation is 0-care — NOT CHINA.

    They have eyes but can not see.

    The end game for the Ming — a horrific civil war.

    The end game for the American hyper-power — a horrific global civil war.

    The blood shed can not possibly be confined to North America.

    WWV ( We’re inside WWIV right now ) figures to seriously reduce the human population — globally — probably by 70%.

    Most of the fatalities will occur via destroyed trading networks — and consequential starvation.

    Dependent nations — such as the MENA — will see death camp starvation tempos for months on end.

    Such an end game is the MOST likely result of Cloward-Piven economics.

    Those two screwballs will have triggered more fatalities than every tyrant in history — combined.

  115. blert Says:

    0-care taxation has taken the wind out of the American economy — totally.

    The reason Red China is no longer needing raw materials at the former tempo is that her trading partners no longer provide demand.

    Other than throwing the resources down rat holes — the Red Chinese had // have no place to profitably utilize them.

    Collapsing trading profits — all ultimately dependent upon America — have caused the Chinese miracle to implode.

    On a cash-flow basis most of Red China’s enterprises are now running at horrific losses.

    Red China does not know how to shut down losers. (They are trying to figure that one out as I type.)

    For to do so, many must loose face.

    Orientals can’t suffer that — and Communist Chinese officials take that tic to the extreme.

  116. Ymarsakar Says:

    Blert, the rich people online, have already settled their accounts in order. They moved a lot of solid assets into banks and vaults in Switzerland, immune from US federal confiscation laws.

  117. AesopFan Says:

    Frog Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 12:47 pm
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/26/anti-trump-network-fox-news-money-flows-open-borders-group/
    * **
    Before coming over here this morning I saw several articles at Breitbart on the up-to-now hidden conflicts of interest at Fox.
    Another is this one:
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/28/trump-campaign-manager-exposes-that-fox-news-executive-in-charge-of-debates-has-daughter-working-for-marco-rubio/

    I do not support Trump (although I appreciate him stirring up the slumgullion pot of politics), but Fox has more problems than just Megyn Kelly.

  118. AesopFan Says:

    Nick Says:
    January 26th, 2016 at 10:36 pm
    It bugs me that conservatives are complaining about Trumpers. Or, rather, it bugs me how they’re complaining. We should be used to dealing with people who disagree with us and are a little bit loopy. You can’t persuade everyone; you do your best, then you drop it, because there’s no benefit in alienating people in politics…. Ditto with RINO’s – we’ve got to stop complaining about them all the time. We’ve got to build a coalition, … As they used to say on a Christian apologetics show I used to listen to, are you willing to do for the truth what the cults do for a lie?
    * * *
    Good points.

  119. AesopFan Says:

    OriginalFrank Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 6:27 pm
    “What will replace it? What do you seriously think will replace it?”

    I do not know. As I expect that the Whigs, in the early stages of devolution, could not imagine what would fully replace them. What I do know is that the GOP has become a scam and a sham. It offers the verisimilitude of resistance to full-throated socialism/elitism/statism, but no actual resistance. …

    We are headed for disaster at high speed and the GOP claims to be hitting the brakes but instead just adds a slightly lighter foot to the throttle (on top of the foot of the Dems/Socialists/statists, etc)….

    Time to acknowledge the truth and look for and support what positive can grow in the death of the GOP.

    neo-neocon Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 6:40 pm
    OriginalFrank:

    What would grow in the death of the GOP is the strength of the left, till it completes the already-well-on-its-way transformation of America into the country of its dreams.

    OriginalFrank Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 7:54 pm
    Neo,

    That’s a possibility, of course,

    But IMHO, observing the success of the left and the unwillingness of the GOP to offer even token resistance, the left *owns* the GOPe already. And preserves the GOP only to confuse the public…..
    So I do not accept your conclusion as likely, based on evidence/observation. If subset a is already contained by b, then b is not enlarged when a is formally merged with b.

    * * *
    No cultural or social transformation ever goes according to a straight-line extrapolation, and political ones especially take sharp turns that aren’t foreseen.
    I think there will be some enlargement of b because of “followers” who weren’t originally contained in the informal merger, but there will also be a break-out of people in the a who don’t want an explicit inclusion in b.

    I think we have 4 or more distinctive political groups that have been subsumed in the two parties, and are on the verge of fracturing and restructuring the alliances.

    Ah, for the days of Venn diagrams!
    Wish I could do them in HTML.

  120. Isporuka Cveca Says:

    excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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