Whose Side Is Fox on Anyway?

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Fox Business GOP presidential debate was a total trainwreck — and that’s putting it mildly.

If you watched, you were treated to nearly two hours of left-wing talking points from the moderators, who not only had no control of the debate but ignored their own rules and allowed candidates to attack one another without the opportunity for rebuttal.


The leftist Univision moderator — Emmy award winner!!! Ilia Calderón — who had trouble speaking English clearly, kept asking questions about Dreamers and DACA, turning the questions into speeches to condemn GOP policies on immigration.

She also went after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, repeating a hoax perpetrated by Kamala Harris claiming that Florida’s education standards are racist.

Another moderator asked DeSantis how on earth Repubicans could possibly expect to win when they support limits on abortion. DeSantis slapped that down by noting that he, a strongly and vocally pro-life governor, won Florida in a landslide and turned his purple state solidly red — and even won a previous Democrat stronghold county.

Then there was Dana Perino’s stupid question at the end asking the candidates who should be voted off the GOP “island” to clear the field. DeSantis spoke up and called her out for asking a question with no substance in what should’ve been a serious debate. The other candidates quickly united behind DeSantis, nodding their heads.

You know what didn’t get asked in the debate? Anything about Covid — arguably the most critical issue of the last four years. No one was asked whether they want masking to return or support school closures and mandatory vaccines now that the virus is ramping up again. Wouldn’t you have liked to hear those answers and compare them with the candidates’ past positions and statements? Wouldn’t it have been great to hear Mike Pence — who stood mutely by Anthony Fauci during his endless pandemic press conferences — debate DeSantis, who quickly opened his state, refused to mandate vaccines and masks, and sent kids back to school early on?


As far as the rules were concerned, it seemed there weren’t any. Each candidate was supposed to be allowed a 30-second rebuttal when attacked by an opponent, but that didn’t really happen, especially for Ron DeSantis, who was denied the opportunity to respond twice before the first break. He also wasn’t asked a single question until more than 20 minutes into the debate, even though he’s the highest-polling candidate after the absent Trump, according to the RCP average.

It’s clear now that the debate format in this country is completely broken and needs to die a quick (yet painful) death. It’s designed to hoover up the maximum revenue for the networks rather than getting to the truth or exposing the candidates’ beliefs. Did anyone learn anything on Wednesday night? Do we understand better where the candidates stand on issues Republicans care about? The answer is a resounding no. Sixty seconds is barely enough time for a candidate to belch out a talking point, let alone explain his convictions about serious issues plaguing the country.

What we need is a return to the Lincoln-Douglas debate format. Maybe we don’t need seven three-hour debates like they had in 1858, but is giving the candidates 20 minutes to explain their positions, followed by 15-minute rebuttals, too much to ask? I can hear some of you saying that Americans don’t have long enough attention spans for something like that, and maybe that’s true. But maybe that’s because we’ve trained them to expect nothing more than neatly packaged programming with predictable talking points. Both the RNC and the DNC keep scheduling these faux debates and lining the coffers of the media networks. Why?


We need to demand more from our national parties — and the national parties need to demand more from their candidates. I like Ron DeSantis’s idea tonight to debate Donald Trump. Only it shouldn’t be a Hannity-directed three-ring circus; it should be a serious debate with a serious moderator. And the other candidates should have one-on-one debates as well. I don’t buy the line that because Trump is polling the highest, he shouldn’t have to defend his words and actions. He should be required to earn Republican votes like any other candidate.

We need to get serious about saving this country. The “conventional wisdom” and “the way we’ve always done things” are not getting the job done. A new, more serious debate format would be a good start.

As the Editor of PJ Media, I’ve explained that we are not putting our thumbs on the scale in the GOP primary. We haven’t endorsed a candidate and we won’t. We believe your vote is important, and until those votes are cast, and the Republican nominee is made official, we’ll let the process play out.

We’re all in this together. If a Democrat wins the next presidential election (and, God forbid, the Senate, too), we’ll all hang go to the gulags together, so we’d better start figuring out how to work together.

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