When Donald Trump told Fox News he would boycott the seventh debate, my Twitter feed filled up with journalists assuring me he would and that this was all a publicity stunt to rev up ratings. But I kept my powder dry as I have learned to do with breaking news."@gene70: @FireFlyFury @megynkelly @realDonaldTrump And this is the bimbo that's asking presidential questions? pic.twitter.com/oU1uUGnuWb"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2016
We all know these debates are worth millions. The 24 million viewers the first one gave Fox News translates into (gets out pocket calculator) lots of money. Trump -- who has nothing to gain and everything to lose from these game shows (read the transcript of Nixon-Kennedy 1960 to find out what a real debate is like) -- decided to compete with this one. He scheduled a speech for 9 p.m. to run on CNN against the Fox News Debate. Friday morning's overnights on the audiences each draws will be the new goat entrails for the Cable News Conservatives in DC to sift through in order to ascertain Trump's chances in Iowa.
These are the same aces who said he would be gone by Thanksgiving. They are telling us that the thousands who stood in the cold on Saturday patiently waiting to get in the auditorium in Sioux Falls, Iowa, to see him won't show up for the caucuses because it is too complicated and takes too long.
On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the experts told me it was a dumb move by Trump to dump Fox News like this. Oh? I want the experts in Washington to explain to me why Bill O'Reilly -- the dominant force in cable news -- the guy who regularly gets triple the audience of his rivals on CNN and MSNBC combined -- was begging Donald Trump on Wednesday night to appear on that debate tonight.
We know why. Business. The network got too big for its britches and insulted the man with a childish press release. Ailes wanted to piss Trump off. He succeeded. Smart money says Trump will draw more viewers than the seven dwarfs running out the string will attract to the debate. Rand Paul, who refused to accept a position in the children's table debate, will take Trump's place. It's like Johnny Manziel replacing Cam Newton. At 75, Ailes should know by now you don't defecate where you dine.
Please spare me the nonsense about Trump being only an entertainer. That's what they said about Reagan. Trump is entertaining, but amid the jokes and the pokes, Trump has a message that resonates. However, he should work on his charm.
In June, the experts told me that Trump hurt Republicans by insulting Hispanics by saying he was going to toss the illegal aliens out. Instead, he brought in Democrats, independents, and people who are not registered to vote. I may not do the Daily Scoreboard anymore, but I am the Scorekeeper and I am keeping score. People will be held accountable.
For Trump, this development is great. He gets out of the shadow of Fox News. CNN will owe him one. But they all do. He does all their shows it seems. Maybe not Rachel Maddow or Al Sharpton, but he does go on MSNBC. Trump has good advisors and does his homework.
Too bad the experts in Washington talk only among themselves and do not do their homework. They read polls instead of learning what is going on. There are a few exceptions. Byron York, Jake Tapper and Mark Steyn do their homework. And I think O'Reilly and Greta Van Susteren do their homework as well. But the others?
When Trump drew 24 million viewers to the debate in August -- triple the record set by Barack Obama -- the political experts in Washington should have known something was up. They missed the story of the election because it never occurred to them that Trump was anything but a clown or a buffoon.
On Wednesday night, Ailes was reduced to having his star talent -- the tent pole of his prime time lineup -- beg The Donald on national TV to show up for the debate, all because Ailes spit out a childish press release mocking Trump.
Fox News made its bed and sleeps alone tonight. Trump is out from under Fox News and looking to November, having already kneecapped Hillary by linking her to Bill Cosby in a TV ad. This race can be over very quickly. But we shall see, shall we not?
One more thing, Putin, Iran and the rest of the world are watching this. They are seeing someone who won't take their shit. Remember how Iran released the hostages the moment Reagan became president? Don't think they forgot. I am guessing that sphincters are tightening in Moscow and Tehran over Trump's antics.
Yes, Trump is not a conservative. I know this. His supporters know this. The entire universe knows this. But he is also nobody's fool, and they still haven't figured that out in Washington, where they still think Obama is smart and competent.
And one more time: