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In debate flap, voters are the losers

The article, "Absent Trump a present to foes" (Jan. 29), points out a poignant statement from former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania who objected to the media coverage. "What Iowans deserve is to hear from every candidate on equal footing." Just look at the course of the election because the media has not done what Senator Santorum called for.

What has made Donald Trump so successful is the so-called fair and balanced coverage the Fox News network has afforded him. From the moment Mr. Trump announced his candidacy last summer, a marriage of convenience between Mr. Trump and Fox News took place. The shrewd and clever self-promoter adept at conning people has attracted more viewers to the network while Mr. Trump is able to reach more viewers with his message. This marriage serves the self-interest of both parties. For Fox, more viewers means charging sponsors more money for their advertisements. For Mr. Trump, more viewers means potentially more supporters. However, this marriage of convenience has seen some rocky roads.

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The events that transpired between Mr. Trump and the network prior to last Thursday's Republican debate illustrated a lot of political chicanery that is typical of the moral bankruptcy in the media with the citizens being the victims. The public heard Mr. Trump state he would be a no-show at the debate because of the unfairness shown to him by one of the moderators. The public also heard the network assert it would not sacrifice its principles in order to placate Mr. Trump. But what the public did not hear was the behind-the-scenes "wheelin and dealin" that took place between Mr. Trump and Fox right up to the start of the debate. The moderator, Megyn Kelly, showed on the air, after the debate, the two scripts they had — one if Mr. Trump did show up and one if he did not. Both Mr. Trump and Fox News were attempting to "con" the viewers.

Here's one thing you can be sure of: Should Fox be successful in promoting Donald Trump to the point that he is the nominee of the Republican Party, you can be certain that the mainstream media will do everything they can in destroying him while protecting and promoting the interests of the Democratic nominee.

And once again, the voters get the shaft by not having a fair opportunity to hear the positions of all the other candidates on key issues that will affect our country's future.

Ralph Jaffe, Baltimore

The writer is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

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