It is no secret that Fox News is traditionally an oasis for those fed up with liberal media and attacks on conservatism. However, after Thursday’s debate, Fox, which is usually subject to conservative praise, has received quite the opposite.
Post debate, I took to Twitter to gauge the general conservative attitude toward the outcome of the debate. Lo and behold, I came across an angered tweet from none other than Donald Trump, expressing his disapproval of Fox’s moderators. And, unsurprisingly, many conservative voices on Twitter were behind Trump’s accusation of the moderators’ lack of talent and professionalism.
My reading of many angry rants followed suit, and while I understood the anger of conservatives, namely Trump supporters, there is no logical justification for their irritation. Conservatives are angry with Fox News and its moderators, when in reality, their anger is misplaced.
Let’s face it, the main root of conservatives’ rage over the debate is the exposure of the controversial remarks and views of many Republicans seeking the nomination. Conservatives didn’t want to see their favorite come under fire in the first round. However, wishes for presidential debates to avoid confrontation and controversy is improbable. Throw in Donald Trump, Chris Christie, and eight other Republicans on one stage and it’s impossible.
Not to mention that Thursday’s event is an example of the purpose of early presidential debates: to stir up the pot, force candidates to take ownership of their words and actions and weed out those who crack under pressure. This is the nature of presidential debates, and it is a moderator’s duty to uphold it. However, some have failed to recognize this, as Megyn Kelly has been especially scrutinized on the basis of asking hard-hitting questions.
The question is not whether the moderator's’ questions were difficult, it’s easy to see they were tough. However, tough does not mean unfair.
None of the questions asked by Thursday’s moderators were out of line, or surprising for that matter. Yes, many of them were controversial, but that’s old news. With controversial candidates standing for controversial topics comes controversial questions.
It is also worth noting that even if these so-called unfair questions weren’t asked on Thursday, they most certainly would’ve been asked in successive rounds. Questions regarding Trump’s offensive comments toward women, Bush’s support for common core education standards and Rubio’s views on abortion would’ve eventually come up if they hadn’t Thursday. Chances are, they’ll be revisited, too.
If conservatives want to express their dissent toward someone, it should be toward anybody but the moderators. If anything, the moderators could’ve been more harsh by calling out the numerous candidates who deflected or even ignored many of the questions prompted.
Maybe these angered conservatives should be less concerned with the moderators doing their job and more concerned with the fact that the Republican candidate leading in the polls has a track record of derogatory comments, or that the audience at Thursday’s debate laughed after Megyn Kelly recited Trump’s comment of calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”