Hyping an “exclusive” interview with Donald Trump - as if the New York City billionaire rarely does interviews with media - Fox News Channel’s figurehead Bill O’Reilly spent fifteen minutes pleading with the Republican front-runner to reconsider his decision to skip Thursday night’s FNC-hosted GOP debate.
“I’m trying to convince you that your tact is wrong because it’s better for the folks to see you in a debate format,” said O’Reilly, as if there is a shortage of information about Trump available to interested citizens.
“Newt Gingrich, four years ago,” continued an impassioned O’Reilly, “was treated much worse, much worse than you have ever been treated by anybody.”
Since Trump’s official announcement of his presidential campaign, he has been regularly denigrated by much of the media as a racist, misogynist, hater of Mexicans and Hispanics, “Islamophobe,” and modern American version of Adolph Hitler. Gingrich was chastised for allegations of infidelity with an ex-wife.
Advising Trump to follow Gingrich’s model of pushing back against perceptions of unfair debate moderation, O’Reilly kept begging the real estate mogul to attend tomorrow’s debate.
Switching gears, O’Reilly then attempted to appeal to Trump’s religious Protestant sensibilities, asking for forgiveness - presumably to FNC’s Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.
Next, O’Reilly claimed that missing the debate would cost Trump an opportunity to further develop his political skills while “under pressure.”
Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were then invoked, as if somehow their souls were transmitting messages to O’Reilly, commanding Trump to participate in the debate.
Defending Megyn Kelly’s innuendo-laden question from the first GOP debate which framed Trump as sexist against women was O’Reilly’s next strategy.
Going epic, O’Reilly then claimed that Trump’s absence from the debate would hurt America.
Finally, O’Reilly was reduced to begging Trump - albeit goodheartedly and cheerfully - to attend as a personal favor between friends.
Trump claimed to be committed to avoiding the debate, declaring that he will instead host a fundraiser for wounded veterans. His campaign has reportedly invited competing networks to carry the event, which will take place at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Super PACs supporting Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign have offered to donate $1.5 million to veterans charities if Trump will participate in a one-on-one debate with the Texas senator.
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