Frank Bruni: Hooray For Fox News

“This wasn’t a debate, at least not like most of those I’ve seen. This was an inquisition. On Thursday night in Cleveland, the Fox News moderators did what only Fox News moderators could have done, because the representatives of any other network would have been accused of pro-Democratic partisanship. They took each of the 10 Republicans onstage to task. They held each of them to account. They made each address the most prominent blemishes on his record, the most profound apprehensions that voters feel about him, the greatest vulnerability that he has. It was riveting. It was admirable. It compels me to write a cluster of words I never imagined writing: hooray for Fox News.” – Frank Bruni, writing for the New York Times. (Read the full piece.)

  • Dramphooey

    They know they have to knock some of these assholes out or they might actually wind up with Trump or at the very least too damaged to win.

  • medaka

    shorter Frank: I played the drinking game during the kids’ table debate, passed out, and had this deadline to meet.

  • Circle Thomas

    Fox News knew what they were doing–it’s probably the one time they’ll get to be in front of a large number of younger (read: 40+), centrist viewers who have been turned off the network by the stigma associated. They’re hoping to win some of those as viewers long-term. As a strategy, it was smart. We’ll see if they succeed.

  • tmpirt .

    I would agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that the “moderators” did nothing more than ask the “hard-hitting” question and allow each hopeful to launch directly into their TelePrompTer scripted spiel. Few if any of the participants even acknowledged the meat of the question before delivering their opening stump speech.

    • TJay229

      ^THIS^
      (I’d plus you a million times if I could)

      Frank is to stupid to realize that… He probably had a plate of doughnuts and a gallon of whole milk in front of him (he has diet issues) so the program he saw, was through a sugar rush.

    • gaylib

      Exactly. I don’t know what debate Bruni was watching, but I’m guessing he and MoDo were together since they are both so fucking out of touch it blows my mind. They weren’t “taking them to task”, they were giving them an opening to throw their racist, sexist, homophobic red meat to the teabagging base. It was revolting.

    • Chucktech

      So, you’re saying that the candidates all knew what questions they would be asked, and had answers already loaded onto teleprompters? I didn’t know that.

      But, point taken.

      • tmpirt .

        I don’t know if they knew what questions they would be asked. I don’t think it mattered either way because they just launched into their prepared comments no matter what the subject of the questions were. But they were definitely reading their responses. Some were just better at sounding “spontaneous”.

    • If any moderator was going to get them to answer it was Chris Wallace, and he failed. We’ll past the point when politicians feel they’re expected to answer the questions asked and the media are too afraid of “losing access” to do their fucking jobs.

    • Gerry Fisher

      This could be indicative of the low bar we set for FOX News. “They asked some challenging questions!!!”

  • crewman

    Or put another way, it was a series of 10 mini-interviews giving each candidate a platform to address potential criticisms that might alienate potential voters.

    • bambinoitaliano

      Trump would have fired them all if it were on The Apprentice.

      • Todd20036

        Oh no. If trump starts looking like he’ll get the nomination do you think he will do a reality show to choose the VP?

        • bambinoitaliano

          He is a whore through and through. If he know ahead of time he will be this popular, he would have sign on to a show that follow him everywhere. I’m surprise TLC is not scripting one right now.

        • ElJiffy

          I think he’d turn his presidency into a weekly reality show, and rake in more millions

    • lymis

      “a platform to address potential criticisms that might alienate potential voters.”

      I think you misspelled “viewers” there. This is FOX, after all. They could give a crap about the voters.

    • Cuberly

      That’s exactly how I took it as well. It was free rebuttal to address some of their campaign gaffes or expand a little on ill prepared positions. Well, except for Trump and Paul. They where gunning for those two in a big way.

  • JT

    Frank, you’re too kind. Literally.

  • bambinoitaliano

    My sarcasm radar is broken. Is he for real?

    • GarySFBCN

      Yes. He went to the Andrew Sullivan school of assimilation, being giddy when crumbs are tossed at him and, judgmental prickdom.

      • bambinoitaliano

        I suppose this is what they call trickle down economy. The bottom feeders are just as gleeful to get into the action.

  • Corina Jamison

    They asked tough questions because they are trying to get the candidates to toe the line on Fox News orthodoxy.

  • pickypecker

    From my perspective…WTF? FOX not allowing their affiliate stations to broadcast to the entire country? Cable – really? Almost as if they were trying to hide something and pander to their usual viewing base. All these types of ‘debates’ should be available free of charge to all possible voters.

    • Jamie Brewer

      I have survived without a television for 35+ years. If there is a programme worth watching it can sometimes be accessed on line if you dig enough. It took a bit but I discovered a live stream for the “kids table” on line. A phone call mercifully took me away from the computer after 15 minutes. I’m pretty sure they were going to stream the main debate also.

      • Toasterlad

        You had to have Fox News in your cable package, and use your cable provider’s information to stream the debate. If you don’t subscribe to Fox News, you couldn’t stream it.

        I had just switched to a bare bones cable package and Hulu a week before this. I wasn’t about to re-up my cable package just to watch this clusterfuck.

        • Jamie Brewer

          I discovered a link to this site which enabled me to view the 1st debate online. I did not attempt to watch any of the 2nd. http://www.time4tv.com/2011/06/fox-news.php

          • Sky News had it for a while last night online, but there was a big kerfuffle about Fox News jumping in and claiming copyright, even though they BOTH HAVE THE SAME PARENT COMPANY! ^_^

            http://fortune.com/2015/08/07/fox-news-debate-livestream/

          • Toasterlad

            I saw a link today (for all the good it does me now) on Democratic Underground that purported to let you stream the debate without a cable subscription. No way to tell if it really worked, but you’re probably right…there was maybe another way to get than by streaming from Fox’s online sight. I’ll confess to not trying all that hard.

        • Chucktech

          I’m surprised that a bare bones cable subscription doesn’t already have Fox News and CNN as part of the basic line up. So, to get Fox News you’d have to pay for a higher tier?

          • Toasterlad

            I get CNN, but not Fox News. I’m not really upset about it, trust me…but I WAS annoyed that I couldn’t stream the debate last night.

          • Chucktech

            That’s because the Repubs still can’t quite get the hang of this Interwebs thing. You can rest assured the Dems’ debates will stream themselves, by comparison.

  • dk6

    That last line: “It compels me to write a cluster of words I never imagined writing: hooray for Fox News.” such a drama queen, Ms. Bruni is

  • Peter Wde

    Yes, kudos to Fox News for being responsible members of the 4th estate, well done.

  • lymis

    Well, sure, hooray, sort of.

    Cynical me, I think it’s more a reflection of the fact that FOX has realized that the unrelieved ignorance and flag-waving Go Team approach is alienating both their viewers and, more importantly, their sponsors.

    It’s an attempt, long overdue, to shift back more to the center (or at least, center-right), sure, but it’s purely monetary. They’re a laughingstock and they know it, and the cash cow is getting a bit spindly.

    There’s no sign they’re actually championing good government or diplomacy, much less the rule of law or a free society. It’s a sign that someone FOX cares about (in other words, a cash source) wants the change.

    • Peter Wde
      • Yet again, keep parroting that shit.

        Continuing to forget that THAT DOES NOT COUNT THE FACT THAT PEOPLE LIKE ME AND MY AGE GROUP GET OUR NEWS ONLINE.

        Old white people are the main group who actually have the time to plunk their porcine asses in front of a television and spend hours on end listening to their vomitous reportage.

        Why should we expect different from you, though?

        • Peter Wde

          Not a Fox fan then.

          Megyn Kelly is awesome though.

          • She’s as much a bimbo as the rest of ’em. Bringing Tony Perkins on only cements that, and I can’t WAIT to see you weasel your way out of that little issue.

          • Peter Wde

            Best looking, best turned out and sharpest intellect on cable news…

          • Ah, so having the largest tits and a visible snatch is what passes?

            Gotcha.

          • Peter Wde

            Forgot that sharpest intellect. You should know all about that, a psychology graduate…and with honors to boot!!

          • Again.

            If you’re trying to get into a pissing match…

          • Peter Wde

            You have to admit she is all-round awesome.

          • No.

            She gives a racist a voice, I’ll call her out. Simple.

          • Peter Wde

            Okay, to each his own I guess.

          • Peter Wde

            Good for you.

        • medaka

          Troll thought Ayn Rand Paul did a “good job.” Nuff said.

          • Peter Wde

            Paul was definitely presidential and handled himself very well.

          • medaka

            No, that was the dead squirrel on his head.

          • Peter Wde

            Need another gag line here, this one’s getting as old and mangy as the dead squirrel.

          • medaka

            No.

          • Peter Wde

            That’s one very presidential looking dead squirrel.

      • Michael Abbett

        I can only speak from my own experience, but I watch less Rachel, Lawrence, etc. when I feel good about where things are going politically than I do when I sort of feel the need to be reassured and visit our version of the echo chamber. Considering the train wreck that was presented last night, I’m simply not that worried about the 2016 race and am less tuned-in for my political fix. I can understand the need for the righties to glue themselves to Fox right about now, hoping for any little crumb of hope that might come their way. Fox viewership was high when Romney lost as well.

        • Peter Wde

          There have been a few changes since then though:
          Republicans now control the House and the Senate and have 31 Governors…

          • Michael Abbett

            Which, if you cared about anything other than spin, you would admit is a common occurrence in mid-term elections when Democrats vote less. That is your little crumb of hope, I guess. Cling to it. Tightly. But since you opened that door, what have they been able to do with the power they have acquired except obstruct as much progress as possible and get their asses handed to them by the Supreme Court via the ACA and marriage equality rulings, for starters? Hell, just take a look at my home state of Indiana, with the RFRA decision that created national ridicule and headlines, cost the state untold millions in revenue and has all but guaranteed that there will be one less Republican governor at the very least in 2016. Odds are better than even that the senate will swing back to the Dems in 2016 and if it weren’t for gerrymandering we’d already have the house, too. Honestly, what with displaying utility-grade sarcasm, possessing an obvious desire to play contrarian and draw attention to yourself, you’re really not that far from the hot mess we saw on that stage last night. Nice try, though.

          • Peter Wde

            Why thank you, all will indeed be revealed in 2016.

            Obstruction is good if what is being is obstructed is bad.

          • Michael Abbett

            On that we agree.

          • Chucktech

            That truly was a delight to see dim bulb, deer-in-the-headlights Pence’s doofy, christian bare ass hanging out for all to see. And I’m PRESUMING you guys won’t re-elect him, unlike your neighbor, Sam Brownback.

    • D. J.

      They got some advertising bucks out of “Liberty” “Counsel”. “Liberty” “Counsel” put up a televised national grifting beg.

  • Blackfork

    Why are they calling this a ‘debate’ when it was merely a question and answer session? There was no debate at all.

    • Chucktech

      When you’re Fox News, you have to call it something. (Apologies to Auntie Mame.)

  • D. J.

    He must have started the drinking game at 5 when the kiddie table “debate” began. By 9 he was completely toasted.

  • gaymex

    “This wasn’t a debate,”

    He should have stopped there.

  • meonthissite

    They didn’t hold anyone accountable where exactly where the vote histories of these candidates where were their historical bills they advanced and where were the details of just where the majority of their funds coming from listed? He must have met the other definition of accountable when he wrote this…you know the one I mean… smh

  • Phil

    I absolutely loathe Trump. But to single him out as an unprincipled egomaniac, implying the others are principled and humble is off the edge.

    There’s not a one in the bunch that wouldn’t sell their grandmother for a cough drop and a holy picture.

    • Chucktech

      Kasich might not, and that is precisely why Kasich doesn’t stand a chance.

  • geoffalnutt

    The end result, no matter the ‘inquisition’, was still a stultifying amount of ‘nothing’. A Republican is always a liar unless it’s caught red-handed – (i.e.: a photograph or actual tape of said lie). It will weasel and worm and obfuscate as much as it can until the actual truth comes out.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    I’ll say hooray for Faux News the day they go off the air – and not a day before.

    • Peter Wde

      Bet MSNBC beats them to it.

    • Chucktech

      Fox News won’t go out of business until the last angry christian sheep or disgruntled elderly white man in his Hoveround drops dead.

  • WiscoJoe

    Sometimes I think the New York Times gave Frank Bruni column space just to make David Brooks and Maureen Dowd look insightful by comparison.

  • So he’s impressed that Megyn and Chris pretended to ask hard questions so the candidates can now pretend to have already answered them and continue dodging them? Frank Bruni is a fucking moron. But then that’s hardly news to anyone.

  • Is he kidding? I can’t tell, someone tell me if he’s joking. There were so much sucking of the candidates dicks that weren’t Donald Trump that I was surprised it didn’t end up in their hair.

  • jomicur

    They didn’t “take them to task.” They gave them a big opportunity to continue their obnoxious bloviating.

  • Mickey Squires

    it was all orchestrated by FOX NEWS…nothing was gained in reality…and i never will give fox news any credit for all the stupidity they show all year round!

  • Jacob

    It was a snooze fest.

  • JDM

    That’s a bit overstating the case, Frank.

  • Circ09

    I wonder which of those turds he plans to vote for in the primary?

  • Robert Conner

    How much cleverness does it take to sucker Frank Bruni? Not a lot. The Fux News starlet and her sidekicks aren’t very smart but they’re smart enough to know that they’re not playing to the brain dead Fuxers. They put on a veneer of sanity and Bruni totally swallowed it. The Fux News tools are trying to get the Trumpster off the stage, that’s all. Megyn Kelly is the Fux News stalking horse.

  • JoeNCA

    As the old Vulcan saying goes, only Nixon could go to China.