In a GOP primary season where comparisons to reality television have been invoked time and again, there’s concinnity in the debate machinations themselves turning into something resembling Survivor: Host Edition.
The latest moderator axed by the Republican National Committee is the National Review, which, for its part, is wearing its [dis]invite like a badge of honor. Here’s publisher Jack Fowler‘s explanation, delivered in a post on the site late Thursday:
Tonight, a top official with the RNC called me to say that National Review was being disinvited. The reason: Our “Against Trump“ editorial and symposium. We expected this was coming. Small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald.
In addition to the editorial Fowler cited–sample text: “Few of us will ever have the experience, as Trump did, of having Daddy-O bail out our struggling enterprise with an illegal loan in the form of casino chips”–the publication’s Trump takedown included a print issue devoted to that effort.
— National Review (@NRO) January 22, 2016
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer‘s explanation for sidelining National Review, as delivered to BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray, was that “A debate moderator can’t have a predisposition.”
Some had a different theory:
RNC again gives Trump cover, booting National Review from co-hosting debate after anti-Trump issue > https://t.co/B63bhxELgs
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) January 22, 2016
Is it—is it weird that the RNC is dishing out retribution in defense of Trump. Are they ~THAT~ scared?? https://t.co/1GuPxDVk4w
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 22, 2016
And for those keeping track at home, National Review was supposed to be a partner of an NBC-hosted debate that would have taken place on Feb. 26. When the RNC cancelled its partnership with NBC because of October’s CNBC debate, it moved National Review to a Feb. 25 debate in which it would partner with CNN, but now National Review too, exits the stage.