Diary

Will Fox News Kneel Before #KingTrump?

This morning on Fox & Friends live, #KingTrump announced he will not attend a planned Fox News debate on March 21 in Salt Lake City. Makes you wonder how much he paid AIPAC to give him an excuse to escape the debate?

First, let’s be clear – Trump wishes to avoid, at all costs, any venue where he will have to face Ted Cruz one-on-one. Trump is always saying he looks forward to going head-head with Cruz, but being the chicken-wimp he is, announces that we have had enough debates.

I can just hear Trump now – “Phew, I don’t have to face Rubio anymore, Kasich will continue to suck off voters from Cruz, the media LOVES me – why should I expose my complete incompetence?”

And, hey, when you have media outlets giving you $2 billion worth of free coverage, who cares, right?

Well, Fox News cares. They have ‘invested’ some $30 million in free news coverage in Trump, so I’m sure they are feeling a bit like a Clinton intern. No doubt, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch were on the phone soon after the announcement figuring out what it will take to entice Trump back to the debate stage.

Of course, this is a bit of a quandary for Fox. As I mentioned last week, it appears that their coziness with the GOPe is leading to a big-picture drop in their viewership. And, make no mistake about it -Trump is preferred over Cruz, though nervously, by the GOP Establishment. Why would McConnell really call Trump, after all?

Trump still hates Megyn Kelly, one of the scheduled moderators of the Fox debate:

But, the value to Fox of another debate is significant, given there were about 17 million viewers from their March 3 debate coverage, the second most-watched event in their history. As of this writing, Fox has cancelled the debate. Will there be another date?

If so the question becomes – what concessions, if any, Fox offers to Trump? Will they switch the moderators out to appease Trump?

Or, will they prove that they have some type of backbone and instead offer more extensive free time to Cruz to make his case?

Ted Cruz is already jumping at this opening to call #DuckingDonald out on being afraid to debate Cruz. It is a clear opportunity for Cruz to seize the conversation about why Trump is afraid to expand on his policies and beliefs. And it is an opportunity for Cruz to test how fair and balanced Fox really is.

As nutty as Election 2016 has been to this point, it is offering all of us an opportunity to see clearly who real patriots of liberty are and who is only on this planet for self-aggrandizement. We have truly reached a time for choosing.

God help us all.