Donald Trump claims that he will not show up for the second Fox News Republican debate, and he’s making no bones about why that is. He doesn’t like Megyn Kelly, and he will not help the cable channel generate advertising revenue as long as she is one of the moderators.
The beef Donald Trump has with Megyn Kelly goes back to the first GOP debate hosted by the network near the end of 2015. Kelly attempted a hardball question painting Trump as a sexist, which the billionaire real estate mogul and reality television star used to his advantage.
Trump led in polls, but his lead exploded after that and has only continued to build ever since, with many pundits who once gave him little chance now referring to him as the probable GOP nominee.
Both personalities enjoyed something of a popularity boost following the incident, with Kelly ignoring most of Trump’s digs and responding in a measured way when she finally got around to doing so.
Trump has been more adamant than ever, even implying Megan Kelly is a “bimbo” in a recent social media post. So far, it’s a strategy that appears to be working for him. Here are all the ways.
1. Trump’s supporters aren’t going to be turned off by him no-showing the debate.
Most voters are already in agreement that there are too many debates, per CBS News, and with recent history as a guide, the candidates do seem to be repeating themselves at this point.
Plus, with the internet being what it is, it’s pretty easy to pull up what a candidate said on a specific issue via YouTube without having to do a live rehash.
2. Viewership will definitely take a plunge, and yes, that will affect revenue.
When fewer individuals tune in to see the Republicans sans Trump, it will come across as a victory for Donald Trump, and that’s exactly how he will portray it in the aftermath.
In fact, he already is.
FOX debate advertising rates falling like a rock! Tune into my special event for the Veterans at 9pm EST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2016
3. He’s actually right about Megyn Kelly from a journalistic standpoint.
Trump saying that Kelly was not fair to him in the debate was correct. Debates are about the candidates and their positions, not about asking leading questions and moderators stealing the spotlight.
While that means they can ask tough questions, Kelly’s wording was a generalization about Trump’s views on women based on a spat he had with specific women in the past.
The crux of Kelly’s question implied Donald Trump had a gender bias instead of a specific dislike for the women based on personality clashes/disagreements. It ignored the women Trump has entrusted with his businesses over the years in favor of those out-of-context comments.
It was, as Trump himself might say, a “lightweight” technique in a Journalism 101 sense.
It was the childishly written & taunting PR statement by Fox that made me not do the debate, more so than lightweight reporter, @megynkelly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2016
4. Beyond revenue, this is Donald Trump taking control of the GOP away from Fox News.
Fox has long touted itself as the “fair and balanced” news source, a proud alternative to the left-leaning mainstream media.
Most Fox viewers would rather die than vote for a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, and if Donald Trump is the eventual nominee, they will vote for him regardless of whether they like the man or not. Trump has ignited a movement in this country among Americans who are tired of political correctness and career politicians.
Many of these individuals were once Fox News viewers, and Trump feuding so openly with Fox and Megyn Kelly has resulted in an outcome the so-called “mainstream media” has failed to accomplish thus far: turn viewers against it.
There is a growing belief in this country that all media outlets are in the pockets of one of the two major political parties, and that, Republican or Democrat, they all want the same thing: to centralize as much control over Americans’ lives as they possibly can.
Until Donald Trump, many Republicans refused to believe that about Fox News. Trump’s battles with Fox are starting to make many in the Republican Party own up to it about their network of choice.
That’s at least how Trump is presenting it. In so doing, he has an appeal to both conservatives and disenfranchised independent voters, and that makes him dangerous for both the Republican base and the eventual Democratic nominee.
Not showing up to Thursday’s debate is Trump’s way of continuing to rewrite the rule book on how politics are played in this country, and no matter how much Fox News or any other network wants to downplay it, it’s not a good thing for the status quo.
But what do you think, readers? Is Donald Trump no-showing the debate a victory for his campaign?