President Donald Trump is now threatening to boycott presidential debates if they are hosted by a network he doesn’t like after the Democratic National Committee banned Fox News from hosting a primary debate because of the network’s corrupt relationship with Trump.
Unlike a general election debate that is attended by the nominee of each political party, a primary debate is attended by those running to be the nominee in each individual party’s primary. For the 2020 race, Democrats have a particularly large field of candidates. The DNC chooses media partners to host debates and televise them. Even Fox News was considered to host a debate.
But after a New Yorker report exposed Fox News’ unethically close partnership with Trump, DNC chairman Tom Perez chose to bar the conservative network from hosting or televising a Democratic primary debate in 2020.
“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters, Perez said. “That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
Perez has a point. Fox News is Trump’s propaganda network and would likely not treat the Democratic primary fairly. The network is just too in the tank for Trump to be trusted.
But Trump lashed out at the DNC on Wednesday evening after hearing the news, and even threatened to forgo presidential debates if they aren’t hosted by a network he likes.
Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I’ll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2019
Trump’s threat is really not smart. And following through with it would be even dumber.
Fox News is obviously going to be hosting at least one presidential debate. But skipping a presidential debate because he doesn’t like the network hosting is a completely different thing from barring a network from hosting a primary because if Trump does not show up, Americans will label him a coward and the Democratic candidate would be able to participate in what amounts to a major town hall event with a moderator.
That’s not a smart political move by Trump.
CNN host Brian Stelter pointed out that presidential debates are aired live by all the major networks, so Trump’s threat has no teeth.
This is probably just a hollow threat by Trump, but FYI the general election debates are set up by the @Debates commission and aired live on all the major networks. It’s worked this way for several decades. https://t.co/gkSgkfBxre
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 7, 2019
So, Trump can’t block a network from airing a debate and he once again made himself look like a complete idiot wannabe dictator by threatening to do so.
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