Some major media outlets have decided to sit out the Republican presidential primary debates.
Neither Politico nor the New York Times submitted requests for proposals earlier this year to serve as co-hosts, partially out of concern about the high cost of partnering with the RNC and a network on the debate, people close to the process said. Some media outlets are also wary of damage to their brands if and when Trump or another candidate decides to make the moderator a target on the debate stage.
Not all mainstream outlets are steering clear. Multiple people told me that the RNC was impressed by Lester Holt’s pitch for a Republican presidential primary debate, and that members offered praise for how he had conducted previous presidential debates and interviews. Fox News has already locked the first televised contest.
The Republican National Committee sought to involve a broad range of media in part to draw its candidates out of a right-wing political bubble, Semafor reported earlier this year.
“I don’t think we can isolate ourselves to just conservative news media,” Jonathan Barnett, an Arkansas committee member, said at the time.