Is big bad billionaire Donald Trump afraid to face Fox News' anchor Megyn Kelly?
Fox News is set to host the next Republican debate Thursday evening, the last chance candidates will have to make an impression on voters before the Iowa Caucuses next Tuesday. Odd that Trump, who says he likes debates, isn't champing at the bit to get a few last jabs in at Ted Cruz. But according to the New York Times, the Apprentice star is threatening to be a no show.
“Nothing’s 100 percent, I’m not 100 percent,” Trump told CNN. “I’ll see. If I think I’m going to be treated unfairly, I’d do something else. I don’t think she can treat me fairly, I think she’s very biased."
The "she" Trump is worried about is Fox host Megyn Kelly.
Trump has been on the attack against Kelly since the first Republican debate last August, when as debate moderator, Kelly put Trump on the spot about the way he treats women, quoting times he called them “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” After that confrontation, Trump called Kelly, a longtime favorite of Conservatives, a "liar," "overrated," and has retweeted a supporter who called the accomplished journalist a "bimbo." Trump's post-debate comment about Kelly: “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” is not likely to be forgotten any time soon.
To her credit, Kelly, host of her own political show, The Kelly File, has remained silent in the face of Trump's verbal assault, saying she will “continue doing my job without fear or favor.” True to that promise, Kelly has behaved professionally, reporting evenhandedly on the Primary, even inviting Trump supporters on her show. Trump's supporters have not been as polite, filling her Facebook page with threats and insults.
Trump, on the other hand, has continued to disparage Kelly, and has tried to persuade Fox not to use her as moderator of Thursday's debate. Just last Saturday, Trump tweeted that Kelly "shouldn't be allowed to moderate the next debate," because of her “conflict of interest and bias.”
Yesterday, Trump told CNN if Kelly is moderating, he just might not attend.
Based on @MegynKelly's conflict of interest and bias she should not be allowed to be a moderator of the next debate.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2016
“I don’t like her. She doesn’t treat me fairly." Trump complained. "I’m not a big fan of hers at all.”
Trump may be remembering fondly how he scared CNBC debate producers into shortening their debate time by threatening not to show up. But Fox is firmly behind their star. As they say in the Hillary campaign, they're with her. The network released a statement Saturday, replying to Trump's tweet insulting Megyn Kelly:
"Megyn Kelly has no conflict of interest. Donald Trump is just trying to build up the audience for Thursday’s debate, for which we thank him."
It's hard to believe Trump the salesman would miss his opportunity for one last sales pitch before the Iowa caucuses, and even harder to believe Trump the megalomaniac would allow the other candidates to pick at him in absentia. I think he'll show.
I hope Megyn is ready for him.
Trump photo is from Iprimages via Flickr
Megyn Kelly's photo is from her Facebook album