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Freedom, as to your “top four only” comment, I note that you entirely sidestepped the response when it didn’t agree with you. I decided to watch Fox News for a little while this morning, because I figured they’d be the most likely to talk about their own debate in some detail. They sure did. What did I hear for almost ½ hour before I realized I was entirely wasting my time? Trump was gone, followed by Rubio, Cruz, Rubio, Cruz, Rubio, Trump was gone, Cruz, Rubio, …. What what about Rubio, Cruz? NOT issues, but how they tried to appeal to Iowa voters, how Rubio went after the Evangelical vote, etc., etc. And Trump wasn’t there.

Then they brought on their token Liberal NPR cast-off, Juan Williams, alone with Mary Catherine Ham for their comments. Williams immediately mentioned some guy you’d never guess was even a candidate, based on the earlier yak-yak-talk-talk – Rand Paul. Williams said he made some excellent points, and had some very positive things to say about him – in the 30 seconds or so that was allotted to Fox’s token liberal. End of discussion about Rand Paul. No clips of what he actually said that Williams was referring to, nothing. Cue the few other comments about Christie, Bush, Kasich, etc., with plenty of other comments about the man that wasn’t even there at the debate. Was that a representative ½ hour of Fox’s programming this morning? I have no idea. It most certainly wasn’t “fair” OR “balanced.” And unlike national poll samples, I got enough data to form a reasonable opinion – I figure that in half of one full hour, if that’s all they would include, they represented themselves quite adequately.

USA Today has a recap of the debate with fact-checking. Christie is mentioned twice in the entire article: once in the lineup listing, and then a very brief comment about his jobs creation claim in NJ. Rand Paul was mentioned exactly once – in the lineup listing. Talk about the man that wasn’t there!

You’re having a media complex shape our opinions about who is even worth discussing, then pushing the non-“chosen ones” off stage (literally in the previous debate for Paul), then marginalizing them with the debate questions and discussions, followed by the final whitewashing the next morning when all we hear about is Cruz, Rubio, Cruz, Rubio, and token brief but inconsequential mentions of anyone else, NOT including their policy positions.

So go ahead with your media-selected “top four.” Hope you’re happy with what you get. If the most important take-away from all that is that Donald Trump was “smart enough” to smell a rat (or wealthy enough to have bought up enough insiders to keep him advised of Fox’s plans to embarrass him), then we’re in real trouble.