Fox News In Hot Water As Candidate Files Federal Complaint Over Republican Debate Rules


The Fox News debate is becoming the circus that many thought it would be after Republican presidential candidate Mark Everson filed a complaint with the FEC asking that the network’s rules for participation in the “pre-show” debate be declared illegal.

USA Today reported:

Everson is arguing that election law requires debate organizers to set “pre-established and objective standards” for inclusion and that Fox News has not met that requirement for Thursday’s debate in Cleveland.


Fox announced earlier this year that it would limit the debate to the top 10 candidates in “an average of the five most recent national polls” as of Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. ET. The network later announced that it would hold a separate on-air forum earlier Thursday for candidates who did not crack the top 10 but “score 1% or higher in an average of the five most recent national polls.” That was the same standard Fox set for inclusion in its GOP debates in the 2012 campaign cycle.

Last week the network scrapped the 1% requirement for the early event, with Executive Vice President for News Michael Clemente saying it will instead include “all declared candidates whose names are consistently being offered to respondents in major national polls, as recognized by Fox News.”

Everson believes that Fox News is violating election law, and while the network shouldn’t be overly worried about his FEC complaint, the door has been opened for even bigger issues to come. The problem is that Fox is making up the rules as they go along. No one knows what five polls they are going to be using to determine candidate inclusion. What happens if one of the candidates loses out on the final spot in the main debate? John Kasich, Chris Christie, and Rick Perry are separated by less than a point for ninth, tenth, and eleventh place. One of these three is going to miss the debate.

Does the candidate who gets left out sue Fox News for inclusion? What about the dozens of other candidates who are being left out of the “pre-show” debate? Since Fox has dropped the 1% threshold, theoretically any of the other declared candidates could view themselves as eligible.

Fox News has made such a mess of this debate that it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they end up in court. Everson’s federal complaint is just the tip of the iceberg. Fox News could be in some very hot water between now and Thursday.

40 Replies to “Fox News In Hot Water As Candidate Files Federal Complaint Over Republican Debate Rules”

  1. The clown channel wanting to rig the debate to determine the next tea bag/GOP clown.

    Welcome to the circus:

    and send in the clowns:

    The diaper debate first, then the pull-up pants debate second.

    2016 Republican Voting Check List:
    We LOVE big business – jobs being shipped offshore – religion ruling – being told what to do, being scared all the time – enemies everywhere
    We hate Muslims – Jews – Blacks – Hispanics – LBGT’s – the poor – the Government – healthcare – Science – Education – Women are a “Lesser Cut Of Meat” – the environment – social security – Medicare – veterans – Americans – We have NO new ideas – We offer the same shit that has never worked but it’s different year.
    Yep, we’re ready.

  2. The dude expects Objectivity from the very organization that sued for the right to lie?

    I am flabbergasted.

    And I’m laughing hard enough to …excuse me…

  3. “Everson is arguing that election law requires debate organizers to set “pre-established and objective standards” for inclusion and that Fox News has not met that requirement for Thursday’s debate in Cleveland.”

    The party that is about 96% white, that does not want non whites voting, nor women of any hue, about a fake news station whose employees are about 96% white, is objecting about the fake news organization not being “inclusive.” (Winky) ??????????

  4. It’s so easy to fix. Give them all a civics/history/geography test and the podiums go to the top ten grades…. with all answers right & wrong made public.

  5. “Anger/Hatred Does more harm to the vessel in which it’s stored, than to anything on which it is poured”

    Mark Twain Warned!

  6. Then I would suggest a coloring book version of the Kafka novels.

    In keeping with Texas’ new schoolbook standards.

  7. ummmm… wasn’t the reason for letting Fox ‘host’ these debates because they Republicans felt they were treated unfairly by real journalists on the other networks 4 years ago?

    so now… they’ve decided to let the propaganda wing of the party ‘host’ so they won’t be ambushed by real questions…

    and the ‘organizers’ of these ‘fair and balanced’ debates are now showing the same skill set and aptitude for putting on the ‘debates’ as their governmental counterparts show in running the House and Senate…

    it’s no longer a bug… it’s a feature…


    This debate will go down in history as the best circus in town.

    I’m just tickled that grown republican men are tripping and falling over themselves. Stupidity at the highest level.

  9. Fox “News” is no longer pretending to be the “fair and balanced” “news” organization that they never were, but convinced their watchers of. They are now ASSUMING THE ROLE OF Republican king maker and the RNC is ok with this. The RNC is no longer in charge of the Republican Party in much the same way that John Boehner is not really in charge of The House Of Representatives. Roger Ailes and the Koch brothers are now in charge of the Republican Party and their base is clueless to it because they are so trapped by their hatred of “the other” and obsessed by the so called religious teachings of their faux religious leaders who cherry pick verses of their King James Bibles in much the same way as terrorists from the middle east cherry pick from the Koran in order to spread their hatred and murder. The RNC has abdicated it’s power to Fox “News” and as such are no longer in charge of the Republican Party

  10. Excellent. A new game . . .

    If each of the Republican hopefuls were to star in their own classic Kafka story, what beast would they metamorphize into?

    Rule 1 (just to keep it interesting): They can’t all be cockroaches, however appropriate.

  11. All 17 must be able to explain how a bill becomes a law, with no access to Schoolhouse Rock on Youtube.

  12. Repugs are all responsible for this mess because they bit from the apple Faux News handed them, hired Michael Steele and the idiot after him to lead the RNC, allowed Pandora (the Palan .itch) to escape from her box, allowed wealthy freaks to give them their gold and now stand silently as their party crumbles. This reminds me of FDR and Father Conklin after the Great Depression which destroyed peoples lives and for the very same reasons. I am damned sick and tired of all the crazy behavior from these players as it has affected all Americans. The only saving grace from all the insanity has been President Obama.

  13. probably a silly question, but how do they expect to actually have a debate with 10 people involved?

    will their be buzzers, a talking stick?

  14. yeah, well I tend to believe Jon Stewart when he says “Roger Ailes told him that he will choose the 10 candidates that he wants to see up there, period.”

  15. Wouldn’t be a blast if a federal judge issues an injunction against Fux propaganda… I mean Fox “News” and ordered the debate cancelled until the rules were worked out?

  16. I cannot wait to watch this increasingly comic debacle unfold. I’m going to curl up with a bowl of popcorn and a soda to enjoy the clusterf… Fox Noise is once again proving that it can’t do anything that’s “fair and balanced,” from presenting “news” to running a debate. This is going to make the GOP look so amateurish and incompetent, and that’s good for the country because it’s a true reflection of that party’s (lack of) character. We’re all going to get to witness just how ridiculous the republicans truly are, and Donald Trump is almost surely going to send everything up in smoke. It’s going to be hilarious. It’ll probably be the best comedy on television this year.

  17. Donald Trump would probably grab the talking stick and start beating the other “candidates” over the head with it.

  18. Truth in “journalism”, BULLSHIT!!!!

    “According to a source close to the Trump campaign, Trump’s friend Rudy Giuliani called the Fox chief the other day and asked Ailes to make sure Megyn Kelly doesn’t go after Trump in her questioning. The feeling inside the Trump campaign — following an on-air grilling in May — is that Kelly doesn’t like Trump. ”


    “An email signed by President Barack Obama, with the subject line “I’m going to need you for this,” was sent to Democrats on Tuesday, saying “the other side is counting on folks like you sitting this one out, so I need you to say that you’ll be watching on Thursday.”

    Democrats don’t seem to be worried about party members suddenly hearing something they like and switching party affiliations! Instead, Mr. Obama, who has about 18 months left in his presidency, implores Democrats to watch the debate, and keep an eye on Republicans who want to undo the “progress we’ve made together over these past six years.”

    “I’m gonna bet that they’ll all promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Mr. Obama says in the email. “They’ll all tell us that even though they aren’t scientists, we shouldn’t believe in the science behind climate change. They’ll all want to reverse course on immigration reform and marriage equality. ”

  20. Here’s the expected cut
    1.Trump: 23.2%
    2.Undecided/Other: 16.2%
    3.Bush: 12.8%
    4.Walker: 10.6%
    5.Carson: 6.6%
    6.Huckabee: 6.6%
    7.Cruz: 6.2%
    8.Rubio: 5.2%
    9.Paul: 4.8%
    10.Christie: 3.4%
    11.Kasich: 2.8%

    Not making the cut:
    1.Perry: 2.0%
    2.Santorum: 1.4%
    3.Jindal: 1.2%
    4.Fiorina: 1.0%
    5.Graham: 0.4%
    6.Pataki: 0.2%
    7.Gilmore: 0.2%
    Let the games begin

  21. How about those GOPers who just shoot off their mouths. I wish I had a DV to record this Faux News debacle, not debate…..

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