In Debate Shakeup, Republicans Are Reportedly Afraid To Anger Fox News' Roger Ailes

According to The Washington Post, one point of consensus among the GOP presidential campaigns after they met to discuss restructuring the debate format is  “the secure standing of Fox News Channel.”  The Post reported that “any changes” to the debate format “would be applied to debates after next week's Fox Business Network debate,” because, according to one source, “people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes, the chairman and CEO of Fox News] mad.”

In the aftermath of the October 28 CNBC Republican presidential primary debate, conservatives reacted with outrage, and charged that the network demonstrated liberal media bias. While some media figures pointed out that there wasn't much of a difference between Fox and CNBC's debates, the RNC responded to the criticism by suspending NBC's future presidential debate, a move that political journalists criticized as a “harsh” response to “crisis mode.”  

The Washington Post's David Weigel and Robert Costa reported November 1 that representatives from a majority of the Republican presidential campaigns met to map out  “new demands for greater control over the format and content” of the remaining Republican primary debates. The Post reported that  “the campaigns reached an early consensus”  during the meeting, agreeing that the changes would take effect after Fox Business Network's debate, because, according to one source,  “people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes] mad” :

The campaigns reached an early consensus on one issue, according to several operatives in the room: the secure standing of Fox News Channel. Any changes would be applied to debates after next week's Fox Business Network debate. Among the reasons, according to one operative in the room, was that “people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes] mad,” a reference to the network's chief.

Bush campaign manager Danny Diaz recommended that Telemundo be reinstated after being dropped along with NBC. But the campaign of businessman Donald Trump, represented by manager Corey Lewandowski, threatened to boycott a debate if the Spanish-language network that Trump has clashed with was granted one.