lot of political debate junkies are suffering post-Christmas depression
because they've been deprived of the last of the GOP Presidential
Follies of 2011, the debate to end all debates, the blockbuster
originally scheduled for tonight in Des Moines. You remember that one.
First, all the candidates, except Rick and Newt, canceled their
appearances. Then moderator Donald Trump, who was ready to debate
himself if necessary, canceled. His lame excuse: He might throw his
hairpiece into the race, if the TV season permits in May.
A modest proposal came my way, designed to tap into the repressed
fired-up energy for debates, which some may think is right up there with
all-night wrestling as entertainment. Russell Burkett, a program
innovator from California, proposed a real Christmas Family Feud-type
show to fill tonight's vacated time slot, which might be especially
popular in Iowa where one third of potential caucus voters consider
"Would you believe a fight between the Holy Rollers versus the Holy Lifers?" asks Burkett in his proposal.
Where would this ecumenical debate take place? Why, on ION Television, the sponsor of the canceled Iowa debate. Where is ION TV on your TV dial, some might ask?
Why, right next to your IOFF channel, according to media analyst Gene Shalit.
Actually, ION is the old PAX TV, transmogrifying first to i:
Independent Television and then into ION, "a convenient platform for
producers and syndicators wanting a national audience of mostly dead,
uneducated adults," Burkett explains. "These people don't vote... they
And who would be the moderator? Why Donald Trump, of course.
This is the same Donald Trump, who in this hilarious version of a
presidential nominating process, was a viable candidate for president in
his own mind.
The usually staid, non-controversial, establishment National Review referred to Trump
as "a tax-hike-supporting, missile-defense-opposing,
Schumer-Weiner-Rangel-Reid-donating, long-time pro-choice economic
protectionist who in 2008 called George W. Bush 'evil' and lauded
president-elect Barack Obama as a potentially 'great president' who
would 'lead by consensus.' "
With a kind of flexibility that Gingrich would envy, Trump could take both sides of the debate. That won't be necessary.
The holier-than-thou Birthers would be led by the noted right-wing maniac, Joseph Farah,
founder of Western Journalism Center and World News Daily. The Holy
Rollers would be enhanced by his partner, conspiracyologist Jerome Corsi, who will be pushing his new anti-Obama book for the season, which I believe is "Why Obama Stole Christmas."
Any time left over, the debate would rehash all the old arguments
that thrilled the base earlier in the campaign, including the
ever-popular classic, Obama is Muslim.
And who would sponsor the event? Why Richard Mellon Scaife,
of course. Scaife has used the Scaife Family Fortune to fund pro-choice
groups as well as such educational causes as Newt Gingrich's former
GOPAC and other think tanks. So he has a checkbook in both sides of the
Even the Great Christmas Ghosts of Television Past, including Lowell
"Bud" Paxson, founder of Pax TV, wouldn't miss this edition of
Republican Family Feud. Neither would I. But, alas, it is not to be: ION TV plans to run six back-to-back episodes of Criminal Minds tonight.
Happy TV holidays.