It appears someone higher than Fox News Host Megyn Kelly but lower than owner Rupert Murdoch is laboring to hush up the hurly-burly between Kelly and billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Fox News President Roger Ailes is playing footsie with Trump – according to a Trump tweet – promising fair coverage from Fox, the implication being that Kelly and her debate cohorts Brett Baier and Chris Wallace roughed up the plain-spoken business tycoon at last week’s Republican debate.
The result: Trump will appear on Tuesday morning’s Fox and Friends after having cut out Fox from his phone appearances on other network news programs Sunday.
What should we as citizens take away from all this?
First, even within Republican circles, Fox is biased toward a certain group and directs its anchors accordingly. Murdoch doesn’t like Trump, it appears neither personally nor politically, and is an avowed Bush supporter. In my opinion, the questions leveled at Trump were more difficult than any the other candidates had to handle.
Murdoch wanted to clear the field of the Trump anomaly, which he feels threatens his control of the election’s outcome, and he used his moderators to bomb away at the Donald.
Second, Murdoch failed because his strategy backfired. Trump is as popular, if not more so, among Republican voters than he was before, as measured by post-debate polls. In one poll, he is 20 points ahead of the next Republican candidate!
Third, acknowledging that the Fox journalists are tilted to conservatism and that their delivery often smacks of bias, Kelly is a decent journalist and her questions, taken by themselves, were good questions. Let’s see if she and other journalists ask as difficult questions of the other Republican and Democratic candidates. I am an independent, but it is hard for me to imagine that many of the liberal journalists will have the toughness to challenge Hillary Clinton in the same way. They all seem to be either enamored of her or afraid of her.
Fourth, in spite of the above, Kelly knew or should have known that she was towing the news station’s owner’s line and served as the vessel for his political ambitions. Wittingly or not, she and her cohorts served Murdoch’s interest and the Republican party insiders’ interest more than the voters’ interest. However – again – it backfired.
Fifth, the intended beneficiaries were the standard candidates, Jeb Bush in particular, yet that also backfired; the debate showed how vanilla Bush is and how incapable of defeating. Bush is probably the worst possible candidate the Republican Party could proffer the voting public against Clinton, the one she could most easily debate and campaign against.
I may have a heart attack if either one of them gets elected.
Finally, Kelly opened her show Monday night saying she was going to move forward. Good for her.
Trump probably wants to move on, too, but he no doubt will continue his radioactive ways. Look out, journalists! He might singe you, just like he did Kelly!