Why the man who wasn't there wasn't there
Trump's angry refusal to appear at last week's Fox debate in Iowa marks a highly significant turning point, perhaps at the level of paradigm shift. It can be seen as an effort to turn the clock back to an era that effectively ended on June 17, 1972.
On that date, the police arrested five men for breaking and entering into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. – which, incredibly, led to the resignation of 37th president of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, on August 9, 1974.
Trump is surely right that media outlets acquired a dangerous amount of power after Watergate and have not been exercising it responsibly or fairly. He should be fed up with their bias. It's no surprise that he's "mad as hell and won't take it anymore."
However, June 17, 1972 was "a date which will live in infamy" not because President Nixon was forced to resign two years later as a result of the silly and pointless cover-up that followed the silly and pointless Watergate brake-in by a crew of Keystone Kops.
Nixon would have made even more of a mess had he stayed in power. The rise of China and its deep pockets allowed subsequent presidents to run up a huge national debt and enabled North Korean intransigence. And then there's affirmative action, which Nixon pushed way past where Johnson left it.
Rather, June 17, 1972 represents a disaster nearly equivalent to other such dates – Pearl Harbor and 9/11 – because after Watergate, the mainstream media dropped all pretense of being an objective and impartial observer and became an overt and effective propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, which it still is to this day, more than four decades later.
If this judgment seems over the top, ask whether the three Democrat presidents after Nixon – Carter, Clinton, and Obama – would have been elected had the mainstream media refrained from taking sides and merely reported the relevant facts objectively and impartially, the way it is supposed to.
For example, Bill Clinton and his many, many...many escapades while governor of Arkansas were well-known. A Republican with this sort of, um, pedigree would never have been the party's candidate for president. And when Clinton's appalling behavior continued in the White House and he was impeached, enormous pressure was applied by the media to prevent his well-deserved conviction and removal from office. Remember the vilification of Kenneth Starr?
I'm not even going to bother illustrating obvious media bias toward Obama throughout his presidency. Several thick books could be filled with example after example of his presidential abuse of power conveniently covered up or rationalized away by the MSM. Let's hope a full accounting will appear after Obama leaves office. I doubt such a document will be on the shelves of his presidential library.
Fox competitors who feel like rubbing their hands with glee at what happened should skip the schadenfreude and bear in mind that Trump will not put up with bias from any of them, either. Once the dust settles and the contest is between Trump (I hope) and Clinton, the MSM had better think twice about resuming its role as Democratic Party mouthpieces.
As to why Trump fired his warning shot at Fox, it seems to me this was only partly about perceived bias by debate moderators. It was also in reaction to the gaggle of geese who flapped their wings and honked at him in the pages of National Review the other week. One hopes this hectoring will die down after New Hampshire – including invective by Charles Krauthammer and other conservatives who insist on characterizing Trump's justified self-confidence as "narcissistic." Save it for deserving underachievers like Bill Clinton, his wife, and Barack Obama.