Lawyer, constitutional scholar, best selling author, and conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, in an interview on the Breitbart News Saturday radio program, expressed outrage at the Thursday night GOP presidential debate hosted by Fox News.
Levin asserted, “I think that we were all duped. The fact of the matter is that this was a ratings gambit.”
Levin spoke to the program’s host, Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon on the phone, while riding a train to a book signing event in Huntington, Long Island for his latest best seller, Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and the Future.
Levin claims that “We the people” were overlooked in the debate, and the event became a media spectacle with more emphasis on the show’s moderators than on discussing the important issues that face America. “Even today, it’s all about who has Megyn Kelly’s back. We the people, this is our process. We don’t get that many opportunities to go through the primary process. There are only nine debates,” he said.
“The Great One” pointed out that Fox had an opportunity to host one of these important debates, “And they took advantage of us, they took advantage of the audience.” Levin explained that Kelly”s “question two,” accusing Donald Trump of making inappropriate comments to Rosie O’Donnell and others, “was outrageous.” Levin suggested that Fox went to great lengths to engage in “oppositional research” on Mr. Trump.
“This isn’t a matter of who I support but a matter of basic fairness and what a debate is to be like,” he clarified.
Levin complained that Fox sifted through 185 shows and 14 seasons of Trump’s Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice to come up with “a line that they had to take out of context about some lady on her knees. He didn’t tell her to get on her knees, They brought it up to him. He responded to it, but not in a sexual context.”
The conservative author expressed sincere disgust with Megyn Kelly for pointing to that incident as an example of misogyny. Levin said that Kelly was a “lawyer, she was law review, and she should know better.” He admitted that he blames Fox News management more than Kelly for the outrageous question. He said Fox turned the gathering into a “National Enquirer Debate, and not a Republican Debate.”
Bannon observed that the debate reeked of “opposition research” and had a definite “adversarial” tone with the questions they asked Trump and others. Levin agreed and recounted that the question they asked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker about abortion seemed prosecutorial in nature.
Moreover, Levin objected to the format where in which we heard six or seven minutes each from the ten candidates, and a third of the time the Fox moderators dominated the event. Fox brags they had 24 million viewers, he pointed out, but he concluded that it amounted to an “embarrassment as far as I’m concerned… while the New York Times and CNN praised the event, I considered it an exploitation of the process, which is supposed to inform the American people. Not gotcha questions, not gossip… I think the American people are owed an apology.”
Levin acknowledged that Fox has been good to him over the years, inviting him on frequently, and it “pains me to criticize them.” But they want to talk about being fair and balanced, “Well I want to talk about being fair and balanced,” he said. He added that he is a friend of Fox News and often promotes their shows.
Levin observed that Fox orchestrated the undercard debate very professionally and proved they know what they are doing. Yet, he believes that with the top tier debate, Fox decided that they were “going to go for the ratings… and turned it into reality TV.”
This was an “enormous opportunity” for the ten candidates, “breaking their backs to get their message across, to get an opportunity to talk to the American people,” Levin asserted. For Trump, that opportunity was completely “eviscerated by question two.”
Levin described the debate as a failure to address the two hundred trillion that America faces in unfunded liabilities, the bankruptcy of the Social Security system, the fact that Medicare and Medicaid are on the brink of collapse, that our educational system costs a trillion dollars a year and is a “complete failure,” our immigration policy is a disaster, the EPA is destroying our economic system, and that our Constitution is being undermined. Levin rebuked Fox for wasting time on “pardon the phrase—trumped up stuff. To me it is such an outrage what took place. And it was planned. The questions were planned. I am very troubled by it too.”
Levin admitted that he doesn’t have all the answers as to how to correct the current format, but it may need to be taken from the media and put in the hands of the conservatives, the Republicans, the American people: ‘This is a process that belongs to us… People tuned in to watch the candidates debate, not to watch Megyn Kelly… I’m sick and tired of the dumbing down of very crucial issues.” On top of that, he said, “We know this country is going over a cliff, and we want to do something about it.”
Levin concluded in saying that not one moment of the debate addressed the dismal future America’s progeny will endure, on which he eloquently expounds in Plunder and Deceit, as a result of “what this big centralized government is doing as a matter of policy. How it is destroying our society.”