Of Course ‘National Review’ Was Disinvited From the Debate

You can either be a partisan or a moderator.

The conservative magazine National Review was to be among several co-sponsors of Monday’s Republican debate. They have been disinvited by the Republican National Committee after a special issue denouncing Donald Trump.

Some on my Twitter feed argue that this shows that the Establishment is now cozying up to Trump. But to have done anything else would have simply added fuel to the Trump fire. As an RNC spokesman put it, “a debate moderator can’t have a predisposition.”  Indeed, as Jack Fowler observed on NR’s blog, “We expected this was coming. Small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald.”


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Yea, I agree. I’m no Trump fan, but once an entire publication devotes an issue to advocating for, or against, a particular candidate they can’t be considered objective enough to be one of the debate moderators.

  2. nitpicker says:

    Except CNN continues to invite Hugh Hewitt.

  3. Hewitt has not endorsed any of the candidates nor has he specifically attacked any of them in the manner of the NR article.

  4. James Joyner says:

    @nitpicker: @Doug Mataconis: Right. It’s fine to have the folks behind Townhall and Hot Air, for example, because there is a diversity of viewpoints. But once “The Editors” take a position against the frontrunner, they simply can’t be allowed to host a debate.

    And I say that as one who share’s NR’s view on Trump.

  5. Bruce Henry says:

    @James Joyner: There is a “diversity of viewpoints” at Townhall and Hot Air? Well, I guess if you disagree about the precise ways in which Obama sucks, that’s a “diversity of viewpoints.”

  6. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Bruce Henry: Since this is a GOP primary debate, the diversity of viewpoints in question is the preferred outcome of the Republican primary, not the general election or national politics at large.

  7. James Joyner says:

    @Bruce Henry: What @Gromitt Gunn said.