Even though Donald Trump won’t be there, his presence will definitely be felt at the Republican primary debate this week. Even if other candidates try not to discuss the current Republican leader and instead concentrate on their own unique strengths, Fox News is going to keep the former president in the spotlight.
“In fact, several people who know about the situation informed The Daily Beast that the television network has decided to ‘beam Trump in’ by showing clips of him during the debate in addition to having candidates talk about them. The move partly meets the network’s desire for an active, lively discussion in which the frontrunner is in some way involved, while also upholding its post-2020 core working principle to ‘respect the audience,’ especially the MAGA base, which wants all things Trump. But it would also let Fox do what they wanted to do to fight the Carlson interview.”
As we’ve written, Trump thinks that his poll numbers are so high that he has absolutely nothing to gain by going to a debate. Instead, he has decided to do an interview with Tucker Carlson, who used to be an anchor on Fox News. At 8:55 PM EST, that interview is scheduled to be posted on X, which used to be Twitter. This is only five minutes before the Republicans speak in Milwaukee at 9 p.m. EST.
Tucker put out a sample video this week, as my coworker Brandon Morse wrote.
“Whatever your opinion of Trump, he is currently the unquestionable front-runner in the Republican primary.” Tucker said, “We believe voters are interested in what he thinks.” He also said that Trump would get “a much wider audience compared to what he would ultimately get on cable news,” which was a clear shot at Carlson’s old workplace.
Fox has been getting ready for the possibility that Trump won’t show up.
“Trump’s appearance on the debate stage could have been a huge numbers boon for Fox, but in the end, people who know about the situation told The Daily Beast that the television network had a lot of backup plans in case he didn’t show up. Sources say that his choice did not surprise the bosses, but they are still ‘pissed’ about it.”
Even though Trump thinks the network hasn’t been true to him, there also have been rumors that News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch stopped liking Trump after January 6, but the network still wants the people he would bring.
“Trump’s interview with Tucker Carlson was like a slap in the face for Fox News, so the network has made sure that the former president will nevertheless be a big part of its programming this week.”
“Fox has always had two plans for the debate: one with Trump there and one without him. Fox kept the backup plans in place until almost the last minute because Trump kept them waiting even though he had already decided earlier this month to skip the debate.”
Even so, Fox will miss the numbers that Trump would have brought, no matter how hard they try.