UPDATED: The Political Debate as Entertainment

At least it’s not Kim Kardashian: Stop the blogging software!  Donald Trump will moderate the next GOP debate.

You read that right.  Is this part of an MSM conspiracy?  Not unless conservative magazine Newsmax is a front for Media Matters (and that would take some brilliance…unlike this — so scratch that theory).  It’s Newsmax itself which is sponsoring the event, which is to air on ION Television, formerly PAX TVNewsmax brass must have had a say in the matter.

Is it really such a bad idea?  The Donald is feisty and — let’s face it — entertaining.  Is that what this is all about?  “The real estate mogul carries weight with a certain element of the conservative base.  And that sway seems particularly strong with the Tea Party wing of the base,” says the NYT.  I don’t know how true that last sentence is, but what is clear is that Donald Trump is no Obama-fawning cable news talking head.  That has to be worth something.

ION‘s viewership is smaller, since it’s not available in all markets — and it’s absent from some important ones.  So this might this just be a smart business decision.  Such a high-profile moderator would deliver more viewers than a more regular newscaster type.

But Trump – unless I’m reading him wrong – also likes to be the center of attention.  And no political debate should be about the moderator.  So I hope the whole thing doesn’t backfire into a big fat mess of Trumposity.

UPDATE: Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman are not impressed.