It’s my favorite time of year: primary debate season. Last night Fox News hosted the GOP primary debate and, as usual, there was a little something for everyone regardless of party views. The opportunities to feel every emotion were boundless, but the favorite (I assume) for most of the populace was combativeness. All they want is something to rail against or rally behind. As it turns out, that’s not something that pertains only to the masses watching from the comfort of their homes. Now, I don’t want to name names, but the voices of some were certainly able to Trump nearly everyone else. Look at that, I guess I did want to name names.
Every year there are complaints about the moderators and the station that hosts it, but this year seemed a little different. Not only is Fox News catching flack for it’s tough questions, but conservatives all over are targeting Megyn Kelly specifically. I agree with the Washington Post and fail to see the reason for the outcry. Did they ask tough questions? Sure. Should it be any other way? No. Candidates should expect and be prepared for tough questions; how can they expect to achieve their political aspirations without answering them? It’s hard to see our favorite politician struggle to come up with answers that are universally pleasing. It’s difficult to watch them come face to face with past mistakes. I get it, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to hear their answers; that we don’t need to hear them.
Cries could be seen all over the web today of how Fox News is no longer fair and balanced. Fox News no longer supports the art of non-bias. Twitter handle Election2016 had this to say about Fox.
All of this because the moderators asked questions that focused on their character and their stance on hot topic issues. I wonder, is it because Fox leans conservative they are expected to go easy on conservatives in general? That hardly seems fair and balanced. The questions that need to be asked are, were the questions relevant? Did the questions show an important aspect of the candidate’s character? Did the questions prompt answers that displayed the candidate’s ideas for the future? If the answers are yes (and I believe they are), they had to be asked.
There is also the other end of the spectrum. The end that applauds Fox News for staying on track and not beating the candidates over the head. There are those that firmly believe Fox was not tough with their questions, but rather hard-hitting and competent. Frank Bruni of the New York Times used the word “hooray” when speaking of how Fox handled themselves. Of course, he also said that it was something he never thought he’d say about the news outlet. The fact that he did say it speaks volumes. As does the record-breaking 24 million viewers that tuned in to watch it.
I think that says success. I think that should come with it’s own ovation. I think that shouts, “triumphant!”
UPDATE: Read Megyn Kelly’s response to the criticism of her and Fox News.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]