FNC debate moderators: 'Oh, the cleverness of me'
Millions of conservatives were looking forward to the GOP debate like kids waiting for a new Avengers film. Sick to death of leftist moderators going after Republican candidates with malicious intent, this debate was going to be different. With the moderators being from Fox, this debate would be classy and substantive. There would be none of Stephanopoulos's trick questions meant to destroy, like when he asked Romney if he thought birth control should be legal. Chris Wallace has a lefty bent and, like his father, can be quite arrogant, but Bret Baier is one of the best in the business. And Megyn Kelly, whom we've watched since she was Megyn Kendall, is usually incisive and elegant.
Our fantasy was not to be. Right out of the box, Kelly asked Trump a lowbrow question that belied someone's many hours of opposition research. The tone was instantly set. This debate was going to be like a tacky reality show, unworthy of the candidates, with the possible exception of Trump. Fox was going to take out Trump with glee while 24 million people watched. They were so proud, and they stooped to his level to do it. Rather than let him betray his own ignorance on legitimate topics, like how he would actually secure the border or how he would fix health care or his knowledge of the Constitution, they went for the low-info voter, trigger-warning crowd with a question about name-calling.
The whole fiasco was pathetic. Rather than something like "What do think about Obama's Iran deal?" or "Should Planned Parenthood be defunded?" with an opportunity for the candidate to have a few minutes to reply, the questions were often convoluted and sometimes longer than the time allowed for an answer. The moderators were so delighted with their own brilliance that the spectacle was reminiscent of Peter Pan's "Oh, the cleverness of me." So convinced were they of their own importance that they took up most of the on-camera time themselves.
They ignored Ted Cruz as much as possible. His reputation as a good debater would give him an edge. Can't have that. Ben Carson, too. Too good, too soft-spoken. Can't be seen beating him up. Jerry Springer-like, they got Christie and Rand to shout each other down. Kasich got the questions designed to thrill the NYT and CNN.
In short, the debate might as well have been moderated by Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O'Donnell.
Many of us will never see Megyn Kelly again with the same respect. If this is who she really is, we may drift away from her show.
Fox News demeaned itself with this debate but is still busy congratulating itself for the ratings coup. The Kardashians get ratings, too, but that does not make them an asset to our culture and conversation. Carly Fiorina was correct when she said that the Democratic Party has been undermining the character of our nation for decades. Fox News just became an arm of the Democratic Party, as each of the other networks has been for years and years.
In Peter Pan, the Lost Boys are those who fell from their carriages and were spirited off to Neverland, where they never grow up. Fox News fell from its lofty aerie on Thursday night into the Neverland of degenerate gotcha politics.