Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Fox News GOP Debate Edition

Let’s do “Who’s Not” hot first, because it’s an easier call: Fox News and the RNC.  In a week dominated by the first Republican presidential debate, the biggest losers were the hosts of this missed opportunity of a debate. How can you tell it was a bad debate? The name of Hillary Clinton was mentioned eleven times, and only four of those mentions included so much as a full sentence of criticism. Two hours of prime time television, and the presumptive Democratic nominee was unscathed (although I agree with Ben Carson that she probably will not be the nominee). It

How to Improve the Debate Format: Take a Cue from English Soccer

Allow us, today, to draw lessons from our British cousins. English Premier League Soccer, like today’s Republican Party, organizes its winners and losers into two strata. At the conclusion of each season, the three worst-performing clubs are “Relegated” to the lower league, while the three top-performing clubs from the lower league are kicked upstairs to the “Big Leagues.” Such should be the case with the two “Leagues” of last night’s Republican debaters. Let’s shake up the debates by rewarding success and punishing those candidates who depressed us, objectively failing. Organizers take note: The three lowest-performing debaters can be fairly judged to

Should Fiorina Skip the Fox News B-List Debate?

From Townhall.com: Six months before a single primary vote is cast, Fox News and the RNC are making a historic move — they have decided to make the decision for the voters and arbitrarily limit the GOP field to ten. They have chosen who constitutes a serious candidate and who constitutes a B-lister based on the average of several early national polls. The use of national polling itself is problematic, as it gives a clear advantage to well-funded candidates with a clear national presence, while putting grassroots movements at a significant disadvantage. It also prioritizes celebrity over substance. In spite of

Dear Fox News: Please Let All Serious Candidates Debate!

Fox News and the Republican National Committee made an unprecedented decision.  They are deciding six months before the Iowa Caucus who should be taken seriously and who shouldn’t.  Only the top 10 candidates, according to an average of the last five national polls leading up to August 4th at 5:00p ET, will be able to participate in Thursday’s debate in Cleveland, Ohio. As it stands now, according to the RealClearPolitics average today, the candidates who make the cut are: Donald Trump – 22.2% Scott Walker – 12.7% Jeb Bush – 12.2% Ted Cruz – 6.3% Mike Huckabee – 6.3% Ben Carson

Let Fighting Carly Fiorina Fight with the Boys

Fox News’ “main event” debate, scheduled for Thursday next week, is limited to ten, which, frankly, is an artificial manipulation of the process, since the difference between candidates included and candidates excluded is within the margin of error of the polling.  Fox News has so far refused to bend from limiting the main event to ten, but at least they announced that all the remaining candidates will be permitted into a second tier 5 p.m. televised debate, according to Politico. Fox is currently stratifying the candidates into two tiers: the top 10, which get the prime time spot at 9

When a Fox News Panel Goes Wrong

Fox News has played an enormous role in de-centering and disempowering the standard media.  So it is enormously disappointing, or maybe just revealing, to hear a Fox News Sunday panel trying to explain a lot of things. Trump’s rise?  Okay I’ve had my own troubles on that.  But when Fox News trys to carve up the field into “uniters” and “dividers,” they are in enemy territory.  Nothing will make sense if you think this way. Even worse, Dorothy Rabinowitz tries to portray Scott Walker as a “divider” because he endorses a states’ right amendment on marriage: But I have to