RNC Rescinds National Review’s Debate Invite

Survivor: Debate Host Edition

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.

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:

This does seem to align with an emerging epoch of Trump coverage, that of the right (some of it, anyway) finally giving in and rallying around the Trump.

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.