We have already learned that Fox News is pleading with Trump to attend the Republican primary debate that it is hosting.
“Former President Trump had dinner Tuesday with top executives at Fox News who asked him to consider attending the first Republican primary debate later this month, according to a new report,” The Hill reported.
The dinner, which The New York Times reported took place at Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., Golf Club, was with Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and network President Jay Wallace. Prime-time anchor Sean Hannity was also reportedly supposed to attend the dinner but was busy hosting his 9 p.m. show.
Scott and Wallace reportedly made an overture to Trump telling him attending the event, which Fox will broadcast Aug. 23 from Milwaukee, could present an opportunity for the former president to show his debate skills. The Times story noted people close to Trump have separately warned the former president in recent weeks that not showing up to the first debate could allow another candidate to perform well.
Trump has not yet committed to participating in the first Republican primary debate, citing his commanding lead over the other candidates and his alleged “hostile” relationship with Fox.
Fox has now added an absurd rule to the debate.
Fox News is causing a stir after the publication of contentious guidelines for the management of footage from its next GOP debate by outside sources. A document released on Thursday states that video excerpts of the debate cannot exceed three minutes in length and, more importantly, are prohibited after seven days.
Numerous Republicans were understandably outraged by this and questioned what Fox News was actually trying to achieve.
Chris Stigall deems this to be preposterous. Politics are typically regarded as topics of general interest, with no restrictions on how they can be covered. Fox News, the debate’s sponsor, is attempting to suppress debate analysis by explicitly prohibiting the use of video after seven days. This requirement has never been imposed on any other political debate, regardless of which network owned the broadcast rights.
Fox News is telling everyone in media not directly affiliated with them that the August 23rd Republican debate is exclusively theirs and no one is allowed to air any clips of the broadcast beyond three total minutes, and never again after a 7 day window. In other words, they’re… pic.twitter.com/KQ3r1ohqFW
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) August 10, 2023
This would, for instance, completely close down websites that live-stream political discussions and offer real-time analysis. In addition, it would be difficult for news organizations to convey the more contentious confrontations that last longer than three minutes, during which candidates verbally engage their opponents. Even worse, it appears that we will not be able to cover the argument beyond seven days. What will Fox do if a news outlet breaks the law? Do we begin to receive copyright complaints for articles with embedded video snippets that remain online for seven days? It is a truly absurd restriction.
This is already a loss for Fox News. What does the broadcaster achieve by restricting access to its broadcast in the days following the debate, which unquestionably millions of people will watch? The online popularity of footage in the coming weeks is a strategy for gaining additional attention. However, Fox does not appear to want this to occur. It truly defies logic.
The legality of such restrictions is another unresolved issue. These purported Republican debates are being hosted by the Republican National Convention, a political organization. Did Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel authorize Fox News to limit the audience for the debate? If not, will she attempt to intervene and resolve this situation?
In any event, the candidates who actually show up should be the most incensed about this. Historically, primary debates have had a significant impact on the funding and support of candidates. After the discussion has concluded, one means to make it happen is through widespread dissemination. Fox News deprives them of this by prohibiting the distribution of debate recordings after seven days.
Trump told Eric Bolling of Newsmax on Wednesday that he would not sign a Republican Party fealty pledge promising to support the party’s nominee for president.
“I wouldn’t sign the pledge,” Trump declared. “Why would I sign a pledge if there are people on there that I wouldn’t have?”
“I wouldn’t have certain people as, you know, somebody that I endorse. So they want you to sign a pledge. I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem right there. There’s a problem.”
“You look at the debate, and they want you to debate, but you’re debating — it’s not really fair — somebody like Asa Hutchinson, who’s polling at zero percent, will ask me nasty questions. Somebody like Chris Christie is falling at 1%, and he’s going to ask me nasty questions and others, too.”
“Why would you do that when you’re leading by so much?” Trump queried. “Ronald Reagan didn’t do it. Nixon didn’t do it. Many people didn’t do it.”
Trump finished by saying that he’s “going to look at it very seriously. I’d like to do it. I’ve actually gotten very good marks on debating talents. But you want to be, you know, they want a smart president. They want somebody that’s going to be smart. So we have to do the smart thing.”