GOP debate moderator accuses Trump of 'sucking the oxygen out of the room'

GOP debate moderator accuses Trump of 'sucking the oxygen out of the room'
Donald Trump talking to Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum during a March 2020 townhall (Creative Commons)

Ahead of Wednesday night’s first Republican debate of the 2024 presidential primary race, Fox News is reportedly hoping its coverage will “bolster” the right wing cable network’s “credibility” after settling Dominion’s defamation lawsuit.

Ahead of moderating the debate, Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum are making the rounds. Both gave a rare interview to The Washington Post, and Baier sat down with right-wing pundit Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.

MacCallum suggested the debate will not focus on the 2020 election, telling The Post, “I think that people understand the facts of what happened.”

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“What I don’t want is to spend the whole evening kind of rehashing that,” she added. “I think people are looking forward, and I think they’re much more concerned with what’s happening in their own lives.”

A new NBC News poll of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers finds more than half believe Trump won the 2020 election.

Some media and journalism experts, however, are blasting The Post’s report, which is titled, “After Dominion case, GOP debate gives Fox News chance to burnish image.”

Well-known professor of journalism Jeff Jarvis blasted the Post, writing on social media, “Its image as–what? WaPo–Murdoch’s fascist mouthpiece with a new sheen?”

READ MORE: Trump's 'ludicrous' and 'absurd' trial date request only hurts his case: former federal prosecutors

Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob called the Post’s article “an embarrassing puff piece.”

“At first when I read the headline, I thought WaPo hadn’t learned a thing. But after reading the story, I think it’s worse than that. It’s an active rehab effort for a propaganda network,” he writes, adding: “It’s infuriating to see Washington Post try to rehabilitate the image of Fox News, which is a stain on journalism that’s been caught red-handed trying to undermine the legitimacy of our elections. Yet WaPo treats Fox as a legit news outlet. Why? Are they in the same club?”

Meanwhile, Baier, supporting McCallum’s position that the debate would not focus on the 2020 election, criticized the ex-president in his interview with Hugh Hewitt (video below).

Noting that Trump has “agreed to turn himself in in Atlanta on Thursday,” referring to Trump’s fourth criminal indictment, Hewitt asked Baier, “Do you think he planned this? Because that would be the worst counter-programming ever.”

READ MORE: Bail bondsman becomes first Trump co-defendant to surrender: Will 'any defendants use his services'?

“I think there has to be some planning Hugh,” Baier replied. “I think it is about sucking the oxygen out of the room for anybody that had a big night on Wednesday, making the rounds on Thursday.”

“I do think that they’re calculated like that,” Baier added. “It’s not a great counter-programming thing, but I do think it is calculated.”

Watch below or at this link.

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