Censored? Marjorie Taylor Greene kept out of the debate spin room: The organizers of the presidential debate Wednesday said in advance that surrogates for candidates who did not participate in the debate. But that didn’t stop the Georgia Congresswoman and others from traveling to Milwaukee, trying to get into the room, and complaining when she was turned away
Marjorie Taylor Greene Censored?
The “spin room” is a perennial of political debates, when the candidates themselves and their surrogates go before the reporters and TV cameras to declare that they performed well in the debate.
Traditionally, the spin room has been limited to candidates who were part of the debate.
And leading up to the debate this week Fox News, the network that hosted the debate, made clear that surrogates for Donald Trump, who skipped the debate, would not be allowed in the spin room.
This was a rather major news story heading into the debate.
Per NBC News, Fox had said before the debate that automatic credentials to the spin room would only be given to surrogates of candidates who had participated in the debate, although credentials would be given to surrogates if they were “guests of other news organizations.”
However, that didn’t stop several Trump surrogates, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), from traveling to Milwaukee to test those rules. Greene, for instance, was not allowed in Fox’s spin room- and then went immediately to the rival Right Side Broadcasting Network to complain about it.
“They just blocked us out. They would not allow myself, Matt Gaetz, or any other Trump surrogates to go in the Spin Room. We argued with them, talked to them. This is censorship from Fox,” Greene said on the station.
“I’m sorry, I’m still so mad that we’ve just been blocked out. I literally am furious,” Greene added.
Donald Trump, Jr., was at the debate as well, and not allowed in the spin room. But he too was shown speaking to the media, with numerous microphones visible; the younger Trump also complained that he had been bumped from a Fox News segment last week, following his father’s indictment.
Some Trump surrogates did make it to the spin room, including Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).
Though, this was a form of political theater. The Trump surrogates all knew that they weren’t allowed in the spin room, and very clearly showed up to provoke a stunt. And if someone is claiming to be “censored,” and then can immediately go on national television to complain about it, then they weren’t all that censored.
What of those who did make it into the spin room? The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins was there and talked about what was said there.
“One couldn’t help but pity the dutiful campaign staffers and surrogates who trickled into the spin room in Milwaukee last night. They arrived with an unenviable task: to convince reporters that their respective candidates had won the first debate of the Republican presidential primary,” Coppins wrote, adding that it didn’t appear that anyone had a serious claim that they had won the debate.
“Donald Trump—facing four indictments and leading in the polls by 40 points—didn’t even bother to show up,” the reporter said. “And with many voters tuning in to the race for the first time, Trump’s rivals struggled to show they were equipped to take him down. Few even tried. The former president’s name barely came up in the debate’s first hour—and when the conversation did turn to the subject of his growing rap sheet, most of the candidates defended him. All but two pledged to support Trump as the party’s nominee even if he is convicted. By the end of the evening, Trump’s path to renomination looked clearer than ever.”
Coppins asked several surrogates for non-Trump candidates how they plan to win without confronting the former president directly, while few had clear answers.
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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade.
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