Shaking Milwaukee: Tucker and Trump’s New Media Triumph

News & Politics

Welcome to the future.

On Friday afternoon the political world was wondering whether or not former President Donald Trump would or would not show up on the upcoming Republican debate being hosted by Fox News.

The debate, set for August 23rd in Milwaukee and moderated by Fox hosts Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier, is set to follow in the long (very long!) tradition of televised presidential debates that first appeared in the classic 1960 Kennedy-Nixon televised debates — a full 63 years ago. There were four televised debates held in 1960, hosted in rotating fashion by the three broadcast networks of the day, CBS, NBC and ABC. The fourth debate was again hosted by ABC.

There would not be another televised presidential candidate debate until 1976, and from that time until now televised debates have become a regular feature of not only the fall general election but in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

You Might Like

This time around, the network of choice for the Republican Party’s primary candidate debate was, unsurprisingly, Fox News. There were ground rules set by the Republican National Committee revolving around the amount of money raised that would enable a candidate to get on the stage, with a considerable collection of the announced candidates making the grade.

So the question that was everywhere in the political and media world in the run-up to the Fox debate? That would be whether the former president, far, far ahead in the polls and clearly passing the bar for debate stage eligibility, would actually appear on stage – or not?

And then on Friday afternoon there was an entirely new approach announced. An approach that has upended the long running traditional media approach for a presidential debate. 

Here is the headline from the New York Times

Trump Plans to Skip G.O.P. Debate for Interview With Tucker Carlson

The former president’s apparent decision to skip the first debate is a major affront both to the Republican National Committee and to Fox News, which is hosting the event.

And….bam! In a blink the former president and popular former Fox News host upended a 63-year old formula for televised debates.

While the platform for this Trump-Tucker conversation has not been announced it is certainly possible that it will appear on Tucker Carlson’s X channel that he has been using with regularity since his abrupt dispatch from his seriously popular Fox News show. In theory it could appear on the conservative Newsmax. But Tucker’s use of X seems like it may be his choice. In either case, the discussion would be streamed online.

But put aside the politics of all this. The really notable fact here is that a major presidential candidate and a serious media host are getting around the once golden media model of a major network hosting a presidential conversation, and doing this by presumably using serious 21st century technology.  Which is to say — no more of the 20th century media model of various network correspondents sitting across from a collection of presidential candidates to moderate a debate televised by this or that network.

In short? Who needs Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS or NBC to have a presidential debate/discussion – when all you need is a popular host, a candidate and 21st century media technology?

One suspects that as the future moves on there will be more of this upending of old media tradition. In fact, well down the road the Trump-Tucker conversation may be to future debates what the Kennedy-Nixon debates were in 1960. That would be a groundbreaking new media moment that will have future debates hosted and centered on an entirely different model that is entirely possible now because of 21st century technology.

So make no mistake. The announcement Friday afternoon of the Trump-Tucker conversation has an importance far beyond the politics of the moment. It is, in fact, a glimpse into the future of presidential debates or conversations as presented by 21st century – not 20th century – media technology.

Welcome to the future! 

Articles You May Like

Two women arrested, charged for throwing baby back and forth in Daytona Beach: report
PBS Hypes Smear on ‘Popular Authoritarian Movement Within the Republican Party’
Elliot Page wants to eliminate gendered award categories, calls it ‘binary thinking’
New Yorker profile finds comedian Hasan Minhaj made up stories about racism against Muslims in the US
Wrap Your Mind Around the CDC’s New Convoluted ‘Vaccine’ Guidance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *