TV debates died Wednesday: RIP

By Mike Pottage

Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson Wednesday obliterated seven decades of “made for television” presidential debates. The next day the Tucker interview had 210 million views and counting, while a paltry few million folks witnessed the GOP presidential debate on Fox News.

The comparison, for those who watched both events from beginning to end, was substance verses fluff and zingers.

Future presidential candidates will have a different take on media driven and orchestrated televised debates versus individual interviews in which the candidate has time to develop an idea and advocate for it. The substantive discussions will be delivered via the internet.

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These TV debates, since the 1950s, have been sold to the public as “must see” TV when in fact they are tightly controlled campaign events with the media making up the rules and controlling the content of the conversation. That is why American politics has drifted left of left for decades.

The advent of the internet is blamed for the demise of newspapers, and to some extent that is correct. This past week we watched as Tucker Carlson presented Donald Trump to a 200 million person audience in a format that clearly showed the man and his ideas. The Fox-staged GOP debate was not informative. It was not useful. It was not helpful to those Americans who care enough to pay attention to political leadership.

Looking forward, does anyone really think Joe Biden will be allowed to step on stage and debate? His obvious intellectual and physical demise, in that setting, would destroy his chance at being elected again. And now that the power to control the political debate in America has shifted from the legacy and cable media to the people and the public, why bother? The public will be better informed when the shift is complete.

Backstage news reports confirmed that the new Fox News is trying to outpace Bud Light and Disney. It appears Fox banned Donald Trump Jr. and his wife, Kimberly Guilfoyle, from entering the post-debate “spin room.” Deep analysis of that effort may be made in a word: “Petty.”

Clearly, Donald Trump made the correct decision to skip the media-orchestrated fray for a real conversation with America, thanks to Tucker Carlson. He presented himself. Conservatives were pleased. Marxists were aghast. What say you, Mr. and Mrs. Voter?

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