Today, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the upcoming Trump-Clinton showdowns. But, as Josh Israel over at ThinkProgress points out, there may be one massive conflict of interest for Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who will be moderating the last debate by himself: his personal and professional connection to Roger Ailes.
Since his ousting from Fox News, Ailes has been prepping Trump for the very debates that Wallace will be moderating. And, while Wallace is no Jeffrey Lord, he has spoken openly about his close ties to the former Fox head. As Israel notes, consider Wallace’s reaction in The New York Times to his boss’ departure from the company:
Roger Ailes is the best boss I’ve had in almost a half a century in journalism. I admired him tremendously professionally, and loved him personally. He and Rupert came up with the idea of Fox in the beginning, and as sad as I am for Roger to go, I can’t think of a better person to keep the vision of Fox News going than Rupert. ... I intend to stay at Fox and work for Rupert as hard and as loyally as I did for Roger.
There are people in tears. I shed mine a couple of days ago when the stories started to come out, that made this day seem like it was likely. I never knew a boss who transmitted a sense of mission, a team of common purpose, more than Roger did. And the thing that’s different from any place I ever worked is, people feel a personal connection to Roger, and I think a lot of people feel a deep sense of personal loss.
While it is entirely possible that Wallace will act as a fair moderator, Trump, who has tweeted before about “rigged” debates, may have just gotten exactly what he wanted.