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 TV. Newsmax 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.