Megyn Kelly opened last night’s GOP debate by calling Donald Trump’s absence the “elephant in the room.” Friday Fox Follies likens Trump more to the 400 pound gorilla in the room, which is why this week’s FFF will be so Trump-centric. Pass the popcorn.
A good place to start is The Donald Trump Vs. Fox News Clusterf*ck, Explained:
A quick recap of the tumultuous, on-again/off-again relationship between Fox News and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump:
Trump has an ally in Fox News.
Trump doesn’t like Megyn Kelly.
Trump irons things out with Roger Ailes.
Trump is boycotting Fox News.
Trump is no longer boycotting Fox News.
Trump spends New Year’s Eve with Fox News.
Trump might not show up at Fox News’ GOP debate.
Trump is kind of a chicken for ducking Fox News’ debate.
Trump is “definitely not” going to the debate.
Why can’t these two frenemies just get along?
Like the bickering Sam and Diane duo from Cheers sitcom fame, Trump and Fox News obviously belong together (they like all the same things!), but they just can’t get past their stubborn differences.
Another good overview:
In the past, whenever Fox “News” came under criticism the station’s PR department would send out a snarky “Oh, snap” news releases. When Presidential candidate Trump started threatening to pull out of the Fox “News” debate, Fox News Responds to Trump’s Latest ‘Twitter Poll’ With First-Rate Trolling, therefore With Donald Trump Abandoning Its Debate, Fox News Scorched By Its Own Chicanery. Because Fox teasing of Trump meant to take heat off Kelly:
The network’s facetious statement Tuesday about how Trump might deal with the Iranian ayatollah and Vladimir Putin? It was meant to redirect Trump’s fire from Kelly to Ailes and the network, the source said.
The effort worked only too well. By Wednesday, after Trump declared he wasn’t going to participate in the debate and would hold his own competing event instead, Trump suggested it was the statement, and not Kelly’s role as moderator, that was the reason he was skipping the debate.
“It was the childishly written & taunting PR statement by Fox that made me not do the debate, more so than lightweight reporter, @megynkelly,” Trump tweeted.
Yes, the station reverted to form and it backfired spectacularly. Furthermore, it may have wounded Roger Ailes in the process. According to Journalist Gabriel Sherman: Roger Ailes’ Executives “Are Doubting His Judgment” In Debate Conflict With Trump:
BROOKE BALDWIN (CNN HOST): And Gabe, just turning to you, you had some awesome scoop in this piece in New York magazine, beginning with, specifically — you say that the infamous statement from Fox yesterday about the Ayatollah and Putin and if Trump were president. You say it came from Roger Ailes.
GABRIEL SHERMAN: From the very top, from the founder, the chairman and the CEO of this network. He drafted the statement. And what is so fascinating is that for really the first time I’ve covered this network — I wrote a book about Roger Ailes — his own executives are doubting his judgment. I’ve heard about internal dissent at the highest ranks of the network, the most senior producers who thought it was a bad idea to send out this childish statement that called Donald Trump basically scared to meet with Putin and the Ayatollah. And they said, “don’t do that, that’s not the way a news network handles a presidential candidate.” Ailes went ahead and did it and we saw the blowback. It did not work out.
While the Fox News Statement Taunting Trump Was ‘100 Percent’ Roger Ailes, Journalist Gabriel Sherman On Trump’s Debate Boycott: “The Conservative Message Coming Home To Roost.” Yet Since Donald Trump Began Attacking Megyn Kelly’s Debate Role, Fox News Has Given Him Nearly $1 Million In Free Airtime.
NewsHounds asks the musical question: Is Donald Trump Succeeding At Bullying Fox News Over Megyn Kelly? It sure seemed that way because Fox Looks Like It’s Begging Donald Trump To Take Part In Its Debate (And It’s Not Working). This as Fox News Says Trump, Ailes Spoke Three Times Today About Debate:
Roger Ailes had three brief conversations with Donald Trump today about possibly appearing at the debate – there were not multiple calls placed by Ailes to Trump. In the course of those conversations, we acknowledged his concerns about a satirical observation we made in order to quell the attacks on Megyn Kelly, and prevent her from being smeared any further. Furthermore, Trump offered to appear at the debate upon the condition that FOX News contribute $5 million to his charities. We explained that was not possible and we could not engage in a quid pro quo, nor could any money change hands for any reason. In the last 48 hours, we’ve kept two issues at the forefront — we would never compromise our journalistic standards and we would always stand by our journalist, Megyn Kelly. We have accomplished those two goals and we are pleased with the outcome. We’re very proud to have her on stage as a debate moderator alongside Bret Baier & Chris Wallace.
While Fox refused to confirm it, Trump [said] on CNN: Someone at Fox News Apologized to Me Over Debate Flap as Fox News Responds to Trump’s Claim That His Absence Is Sinking Their Ad Rates.
It wasn’t just Fox execs begging behind the scenes. Some Fox personalities also tried to get Trump to change his mind.
And, just to prove how chummy they really are, Trump Calls Out O’Reilly for Asking Question He Promised Not to Ask.
BOLLING: Donald, if you’re listening, hopefully he’s listening. You are a deal maker, make a deal. Make a last-minute deal. This is what you prided your whole campaign on. You have the most successful business book, “Art Of The Deal.” Make a deal! I’m sure there are people around who would be willing to entertain a deal. Make a deal. It would be good for everybody.
Fortunately, cohost Juan Williams openly opposed the notion.
WILLIAMS: You know what? Fox News shouldn’t make a deal on this. I mean, look If you let politicians start telling us what to do, then democracy is in trouble. …Right now, and I hope for all time, that people like our bosses here do not make deals with politicians. I don’t care what you feel about how he was treated at the first debate, whether you think it was fair, unfair, over the line. Look, you can’t have journalists being told this is the deal for how we deal with you.
However, there was a time When Fox News Loved That Trump Controlled Debate Terms By Threatening Not To Participate.
MEGYN KELLY It’s edifying to chart The Rise and Fall of a Fox News Fraud as Millions Resent Being Put in Horrible Position of Siding with Megyn Kelly.
There was a time Trump Praised Megyn for Debate Moderating in 2011: ‘Great Job,’ ‘I Could Never Beat You’ and we’re all Remembering When Megyn Kelly Called Trump a ‘Good Sport’ For Letting Her Touch His Hair.
However, now Trump Won’t Call Megyn Kelly a ‘Bimbo’ But Only ‘Because That Would Not Be Politically Correct.’ I hope his supporters never hear about this because being politically incorrect is his shtick. However, he still calls Kelly a bimbo by pretending he didn’t. His followers were worse, by far:
A few weeks back FFF reported on the long Vanity Fair hagiography. Better late than never, I guess, but A Month Later, The Writer Of Vanity Fair’s Fawning Megyn Kelly Cover Finally Writes About The Bad Stuff. And the “bad stuff” keeps a’coming:
Hair? You’ve got to be kidding me.
FOX REAX: Nothing better demonstrates the Fox “News” schizophrenia than the various Trump reactions from inside the tent:
Fox’s Megyn Kelly Responds To Trump Pulling Out Of Fox Debate: “He Doesn’t Get To Control The Media” • Murdoch: GOPers Must Be Looking Forward to Debate ‘Without Donald Getting All Attention’ • As Fox/Trump War Rages On, Rupert Murdoch Eggs Bloomberg to Join the Fray • Fox News Pummels Trump For Saying He’ll Skip Their Debate • Trump-free debate a good thing for candidates, country • Fox Promotes Trump-Hating Influential Iowan Vander Plaats • Geraldo Rivera Likens Fox News/Trump Feud To ‘A Bar Fight Between Brothers’ • Fox’s Kennedy ‘Cries’ on Air to Mock Trump’s Whining • Fox’s Chris Wallace: The Media’s Treated Trump ‘Too Well’ • Sean Hannity Sides With Fox’s Roger Ailes Over Trump: I Took The Press Release As A “Good Humored Ribbing”
A good humored ribbing? You’ve got to be kidding me.
OTHERS’ REAX: And, here’s how it was reported outside the tent:
Joe Scarborough Slams Fox News’ Response To Donald Trump Dropping Out Of Debate • Morning Joe Hosts Fault Fox News For Donald Trump’s Debate Boycott • CNN’s New Day Hosts Blame Fox For Trump Ditching Their Debate • CNN’s John King: Trump Might Have a ‘Third Grade’ Crush on Megyn Kelly • MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Slams Fox News’ Double Standard For Boycotting Debates • MSNBC’s O’Donnell: If Trump Is GOP Nominee, He May Be Too Afraid to Debate Dem Opponent• Palin Defends Trump and Hits Fox: Of Course Megyn Kelly Shouldn’t Moderate • Rush Limbaugh: “Trump Has Taken Charge Of The Media” With His Fox Debate Boycott • Limbaugh Hits Fox for Trump Coverage: He Didn’t Jilt You at the Altar! • Trevor Noah Mercilessly Mocks ‘Petulant Child’ Trump for Being Afraid of Megyn Kelly • The View’s Paula Faris: When Trump Insults Megyn Kelly, What is He ‘Trying to Hide?’ • Fox News Attempts to End Feud With Trump Fall Short • Rick Santorum Rips Megyn Kelly, Roger Ailes, Fox News for Making Sure ‘Game Is Being Stacked’ in Elections • CNN’s Byers: Trump Feeding Off “Ultra-Conservative” “Antipathy” Toward Fox News • McCain: What Trump Wants Amounts to ‘Destruction of Free Press’ • Glenn Beck: ‘Dangerous’ Trump Is Trying to Put Megyn, Other Critics ‘In His Dungeon’ • Donald Trump’s Son Says Spat With Fox Has Turned Politics on Its Face
However, the best — and most accurate reaction is Stephen Colbert’s ‘Trump vs. Trump’ debate reveals just how meaningless but loud Trump actually is. Watch:
IRONY ALERT: The thin-skinned serial liar, perceiving a slight, Bill O’Reilly Lashes Out At Former Colleague For Claiming Megyn Kelly’s Ratings Are Better:
CLIP OF BOB BECKEL: O’Reilly is scared to death of Megyn Kelly because Megyn Kelly has been beating him in ratings. The first time that’s happened since it’s been on — Fox News Channel has been on the air.
O’REILLY: Of course that is absolutely false. False, not true. And that’s why Beckel doesn’t work here at Fox anymore. He could not care less about facts.
But, it is true that there are days Kelly beats O’Reilly in the ratings, despite The Falafel King’s protestations. Even at his most incapacitated, Beckel has told fewer lies than Loofah Lad.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD VINDICATION: After a Texas Distract Attorney cleared Planned Parenthood and, instead, charged the phony videographers Fox Host Defends CMP After Its Creators’ Indictment: “Journalists Use These Techniques Everyday” and a Fox analyst throws a tantrum at DA over Daleiden indictment: How dare a ‘Republican woman’ support abortion. Yet, a majority of ‘Merkins support abortion, and there are many Republicans among them.
FADE TO BLACK: Last week Stacy Dash was saying rediculaous things about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. This week White Fox Hosts Smear Danny DeVito For Calling America ‘A Racist Country’ as Four white Fox hosts argue America is racism free — and Danny DeVito is just too short to see it.
As I have said many times, Fox “News” never fails to embarrass itself on issues of race.
IN LIKE FLINT: Fox “News” is still running interference for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. While, Fox’s The Five Joins The ‘Blame Democrats For The Flint Water Crisis’ Club And Deflects Blame Away From GOP Governor Snyder, Michigan governor tells Fox News “there were some actions taken trying to make “the lead in Flint’s water “better.”
“The thing is, Steve, the community made a decision,” Snyder began. “The city and the county wanted to switch away from Detroit’s water system back in 2013, and there was a 7-1 vote to switch away.” The issue, the governor said, wasn’t actually the source of the water, but the chemicals used to treat it.
Not only did those Foxy Friends not push back against that fragrant (fragrant) lie, but later Heather Nauert, in the Fox “News” headlines, repeated it as a fact, without putting it in Snyder’s mouth.
THE TARANTULA BITES:
FOX BYTES: Hannity Teams Up With Rumsfeld To Blame Obama For Problems In Iraq • Fox’s Howard Kurtz Rehabs Sarah Palin’s Craziness As Liberal Media Victimhood • Fox Allows GOP Pollster Frank Luntz To Tout Marco Rubio’s Debate Performance Without Disclosing Past Financial Ties • Fox News Politicizes #Blizzard2016 • Steve Doocy Gushes Over Praying Christian Toddler