I wrote this piece for The Advocate about last week’s Republican presidential debate. Now, I don’t think that any of the questions were unfair or shouldn’t have been asked, but it was clear that FOX had a definite strategy in determining which questions to ask to which candidates in order to further their goal of helping to elect a Republican president.
One part of the debate was especially telling for me. –
One prominent example of this strategy includes issues of concern to LGBT Americans. I know from my discussions with them that Fox executives know that opposition to civil marriage is an unacceptable position to the majority of Americans in 2015, but they also know that those who still oppose marriage equality make up a large portion of the GOP and Fox audience. They chose to pose the only question about marriage to Ohio Gov. John Kasich because his previously stated answer on the subject was the least offensive to most Americans of all the candidates. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has an answer similar to Kasich’s, but Kasich had the home state audience, guaranteed to show approval.
The Kasich position on marriage stops short of endorsing marriage equality so as not to offend the antigay portion of the GOP but recognizes the reality that civil marriage for gay couples is now legal in America. His position also recognizes the reality that most Americans have gay people in their lives and they want to share in the joy that marriage brings their gay friends and family members — even when his ultimate position is to deny them that joy under the law. His position is more based in reality than the positions of most of the Republican field.
Most in the field hold positions far outside the mainstream and that are just not realistic, such as supporting a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage or Rand Paul’s Fantasyland position to do away with civil marriage altogether — for gay couples and straight couples! That’s why Kasich was the only one to get the question, because by limiting the answers to only Kasich’s, Fox could include the issue in the debate without making the Republican Party look totally out of touch with real life in 2015.
Read my entire op ed here.