Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Byron York, writing for the Washington Examiner, raises a serious problem surrounding the February 26 debate, which until recently was to be hosted by NBC in partnership with National Review. Following the embarrassment that was last week’s CNBC “debate”, Reince Priebus has called into question the involvement of NBC in this debate. National Review, however, will participate regardless.
“While we are suspending our partnership with NBC News and its properties, we still fully intend to have a debate on that day, and will ensure that National Review remains part of it,” Priebus wrote in a letter to NBC.
As the debate approaches, however, it’s likely that critics will raise questions about the participation of National Review, the venerable conservative publication, because of a number of comments made by its writers and editors about Donald Trump. (I should put in a disclaimer high in the story: I worked for National Review from 2001 to 2009 and know, like and respect many of the people involved in this matter.)
To put it mildly, a lot of NR writers don’t like Trump.
York goes on to list the slew of invective that NR writers have hurled Trump’s way since he came down that escalator in June. It’s colorful stuff. Williamson, et al., know how to land a rhetorical punch. (For someone who insults so liberally, Trump, on the other hand, boasts a rather meager arsenal — “over-rated” has been over-used.)
I am no fan of Donald Trump, but he should raise all hell about NR’s participation in this debate. Clearly, no one who has called a candidate “a witless ape” (Kevin Williamson), a “thin-skinned performance artist” (Charles Cooke), a “low rent carnival-barker” (Jonah Goldberg), or has said of Trump what Rich Lowry did say should have any pretension to journalistic detachment. Prior to Lowry’s vivid description of Fiorina’s smackdown of Trump, I had assumed he would be joining Chuck Todd and Co. at the debate. But he and the others now have as much business moderating a debate involving Donald Trump as Ann Coulter has moderating one involving Jeb Bush.
Lowry says that won’t be a problem come debate time. “We obviously have strong opinions and don’t hide them, but that won’t keep us from being tough but fair with everyone,” he told me in an email exchange.
Maybe so. But the aforementioned four, at the very least, have forfeited their right to show so and should recuse themselves from participating, as much as I’d love to see Jonah question Trump without pants on.
If NR hasn’t completely tarnished itself as an anti-Trump force, Jay Nordlinger would be an obvious choice. He’s one of the greatest interviewers in conservative media and, to the best of my knowledge, has refrained from insulting Trump, although he is an avowed Ted Cruz supporter.
Of course, NR could send someone not on their editorial board but loosely affiliated with the magazine to represent them. Say, how about the greatest interviewer in conservative media? Indeed, in last week’s podcast Peter unwittingly agreed to as much and formulated the first question he’ll be asking the candidates.
Someone make this happen already!Published in