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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

I would say, if this was goal, mission (somewhat) accomplished: This was an opportunity to demonstrate that their network is not, as its critics have charged, a blindly loyal propaganda division of the Republican Party. - Fox News Moderators Bring a Sharpened Edge to the Republican Debate Stage

From The New York Times:

CLEVELAND — Dredging up old misstatements. Questioning someone’s temperamental fitness to be president. Suggesting that someone else might let a woman die rather than allow her to have an abortion.
 
The Republican presidential candidates’ debate on Thursday night was notable for its pointed accusations, and for the sometimes-awkward glowering and silences that followed.

And that was just the moderators.
 
The triumvirate of Fox News anchors who ran the two-hour event — Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier — seemed to have one mission above all else in questioning the 10 would-be presidents they faced across the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena: Make them squirm.
  
There was more than just good television at stake. For the journalists of Fox News, the debate offered a potential defining moment in front of millions of people, during one of the most anticipated political events of the year. This was an opportunity to demonstrate that their network is not, as its critics have charged, a blindly loyal propaganda division of the Republican Party, that Fox journalists can be as unsparing toward conservatives as they are with liberals, and that they can eviscerate with equal opportunity if they choose.
 
From the opening moments of the debate, the moderators knew where to turn the screws.
 
The debate Fox held at 5 p.m. with the candidates who did not have strong enough poll numbers to qualify for the prime-time event at 9 — disparaged by some watchers as the “kiddie table” or the “junior varsity team” — was not much gentler toward its participants.
 
As if it were not humiliating enough to be addressing a virtually empty basketball arena — there was no audience for them because Fox decided to allow spectators only for the main event — the candidates were subjected to some jarring questions right off the bat.
 
Essentially, the subtext was this: You’ve got to be kidding, right?
 
To Gov. Bobby Jindal: Almost no one in Louisiana likes you. To Rick Perry, the former Texas governor: You can’t possibly think anyone would vote for you after your last presidential campaign.

To Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia: Aren’t you too old? To George E. Pataki, the former New York governor: Who are you again?
 
Only toward the end did the moderators’ focus wander in a series of softly lobbed questions about God.
 
By the time the debate was winding down, the moderators seemed to realize the toll they had exacted. In her closing remarks, Ms. Kelly asked the candidates if they were relieved the debate was over.

“They don’t look relieved,” she said, answering her own question. “They’re like, ‘Get me out of here.’ ”

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