“Rules are rules.” Until they’re not.
Ever since FOX NEWS rolled out the arbitrary/unfair/semi-secretive rules for its Republican Primary Debate there has been a keening and gnashing of teeth within the Party.
FOX arbitrarily decided that the top 10 candidates in five “respected national polls” would be invited to appear on a nationally televised prime time debate. The remaining candidates would be relegated to a “happy hour” “kid’s table” “loser bracket” event to be held when most of the country was either working, commuting from work or eating dinner.
FOX refused to reveal which “respected national polls” they were using until a few days before the event. Then at the last minute they switched polls…removing one “respected national poll” and replacing it with another “respected national poll.” As far as anyone can tell FOX made the switch because the new poll provided a more definitive distance between the statistically tied #10 winner and # 11 loser. But nobody really knows for sure and FOX isn’t saying.
FOX also isn’t saying why they chose the “Top 10” candidates. Why not the “Top 5”…or "Top Half Dozen.”
At any rate…FOX held its two national debates. Donald Trump was anointed the winner by the media, the viewers who regularly mistake bombast for substance and of course…Trump himself.
However in the eyes of people who actually use their brain the real winner by a long shot was “happy hour” candidate Carly Fiorina. Fiorina gave a masterful performance that seemed to ignite her campaign. Fiorina surged to the point where she ranks in the top 5 of virtually every national and state poll.
None of that mattered to the host of the next Republican debate…CNN.
CNN had announced months ago that it would follow FOX NEWS” two debate format; 10 winners on prime time/”kids table” losers on during the dinner hour. Unlike FOX, CNN made public the arbitrary polls that they were using to set the stage. Full disclosure!
That’s where the problem started.
The arbitrary cutoff date that CNN used to calculate its arbitrary “Top 10” winners didn’t take into account Fiorina’s eleventh hour surge in the polls. Fiorina was still “out” while a handful of candidates whose polling number had plummeted were still in.
Too bad! said CNN. Rules are rules.
As the aforementioned keening and gnashing of teeth within Party circles rose to a crescendo the network stood firm. It was sticking with the arbitrary rules as written. One network spokesperson stated that once the arbitrary rules were made public the network was prohibited by law from changing them. To do so would violate FEC regulations. CNN was not changing the rules. Period!
Until they did.
Yesterday CNN announced that they were increasing the number of spots on the prime time “winner” debate from an arbitrary 10…to an arbitrary 11. One can only assume that the reason for this arbitrary decision was to promote Fiorina the adult table.
So Fiorina is in! Good for her!
But now there are 11! Eleven candidates vying for 90 minutes of air time. Donald Trump sucking all the oxygen out of the room.
If you are looking for a substantive debate on the important issues of our time…this ain’t the place.
When did we decide to let the media determine who gets to run for president?
I thought that’s what voters were for.
Rules are rules. Until they’re not.