PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Political experts and commentators weighed in on the handling of the last Republican debate in Iowa on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT’s Chris Stigall Show with different opinions of how the FOX News moderators conducted themselves.
John Hayward from Breitbart News accused FOX of targeting Trump, only to be exposed when he bailed on them.
“I think FOX handled it really badly once this thing with Trump broke out. They’ve been really unprofessional about it and then you watch what actually happened in the debate and it’s so obvious that so much of this was a trap for Trump. He was supposed to show up and they were going to blitz him with these video montages and they were going to have Bernie Sanders supporters ask questions by You Tube…That whole thing was set up to make Trump look bad. All the questions were supposed to blow up and make him look like a bigot and he didn’t show up, so it all went south on them. The trap snapped shut and there was nobody in it and it just looked horrible. I think FOX really comes out badly. They were the losers in this.”
However, The Hill’s AB Stoddard, who appears regularly on FOX News, disagreed and said the network bent over backwards to appease Trump.
“I think FOX News has given him a tremendous amount of airtime, even in the hours and days following his refusal to participate in the debate. The subject was all Trump, all the time, which is exactly what he wants and he was interviewed on FOX as well. I think FOX has been fair to him and I understand that FOX actually can’t pay $5 million to charity to get someone back to a debate. I think at some point, whether it’s FOX or another station, the saturation of Donald Trump and his publicity stunts, which he schedules for every 17 hours, becomes a little exhausting.”
Meanwhile, Economist Chris Butler complained that, with a weak economy and rising uncertainty in markets all around the world, there should have been a more serious discussion on how each candidate would handle that aspect of the presidency.
“When was the last time that moderators at the debates became the headline story? I think two or three time this election cycle. Prior to that, I’m not sure it ever happened…They should’ve been talking about the economy. I think Republicans will find that whatever strategy they employ going forward, if it is not heavy on fixing the economy or pointing out the weaknesses in it, it’s going to be a strategic error.”