Not the “clown show” they were hoping for
Tuesday night, Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal hosted a Republican Presidential debate.
Making a concerted effort to keep questions substantive and issue focused, moderator Neil Cavuto went so far as to say the debate was, “not about the moderators.” Imagine that. A candidate debate in which candidates actually debate issues. What a novel idea!
Fox Business nailed it. Questions were issue oriented and highlighted candidate policy differences. CNBC’s handling of the last Republican presidential debate was so terrible, the debate highlight reel consisted of candidates channeling their inner Gingrich to swat back at absurd questions. The network’s handling of the debate caused the Republican National Committee to suspend their relationship and any future debate arrangements.
But because Tuesday’s Fox Business debate ran as planned, political writers found the lack of entertaining, non-policy moments dull.
Like Politico’s Glenn Thrush:
Try writing about this debate, just try. It's like eating ten lbs. of dry toast with a sawdust chaser
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) November 11, 2015
So sorry substantive discourse makes your life so hard. https://t.co/3aEdKIOtya
— Kemberlee Kaye (@KemberleeKaye) November 11, 2015
"They talked about Fed policy and tax credits. How boring and Dry!" — Person paid to inform people about politics full time.
— Lee Doren (@LDoren) November 11, 2015
Thrush later insinuated his jab was troll bait.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza echoed Thrush’s complaints.
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) November 11, 2015
Early headlines focused mainly on who won, who lost, and Kasich managed to do the unthinkable — he united the Republican base who overwhelmingly agree he’s the most annoying candidate in the history of candidates ever.
The biggest winner of this debate was Fox Business. But it’s sad we get excited when a debate is treated like well, a debate, and not a road-side clown show.
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