Fox News employees in ‘total confusion’ as their GOP debate rapidly approaches
There is “total confusion” among high-level Fox News employees with regards to the approaching GOP primary debate on Aug. 6.
According to The Loudest Voice in the Room author Gabriel Sherman, the unprecedented role that the right-leaning TV network is playing in the candidate selection process has some at the channel reeling and accusing upper management of approaching the debate with no real plan.
“There’s total confusion about all of it. The Second Floor is making it up as they go along,” said an unnamed “Fox Personality” to Sherman, in reference to Ailes’ management suite on the second floor of Fox News headquarters.
Earlier this year, the network announced that it would be hosting the first Republican primary debate of the 2016 election season. However, only the top 10 candidates of the 17 declared contenders will be allowed to debate on the main stage.
There will be a second debate — derisively called “the kids’ table” by some — for candidates not polling high enough to make the top 10.
However, Sherman noted, Fox has not said which polls it will be using in its analysis. Different polls show certain variations.
Officials from the campaigns of both former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have tried to get an answer out of the network about what polls they will be consulting when forming up the debate roster. Fox has refused to tell them.
Now, both campaigns are trying to lobby Ailes — a former Nixon aide and Fox News’ CEO — to consider the polls where their candidate is scoring higher.
“Other strategists cautioned that selling Ailes too aggressively could backfire,” wrote Sherman, quoting a “longtime operative” who said, “Anyone who knows Roger knows that ain’t gonna work.”
Meanwhile, the deadline looms closer. The debate will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6.