The Fourth Estate against the Third Estate… and the winner?! In the last presidential debate this underlying battle was revealed on the stage. Literally. In the insightful analysis below of the overarching issue of the debate – the contention between the media and public officials – by Robert Tracinski in the TheFederalist.com, the ability for Republican presidential potentials to handle a hostile media surfaced admirably.

1. Real Debate: Media vs. Candidates

2. The “hostile media” test for Republicans

Via thefederalist.com Instead of being a chance for the Republican candidates to debate each other, the CNBC debate ended up pitting the candidates in a debate against the mainstream media.

And that’s what was awesome about it.

A presidential primary is not just an opportunity for candidates to stand around giving their policy positions or telling us the heartwarming and inspirational stories of their upbringing. It’s about putting them to the test and seeing if they can handle some of the real challenges of the job. Can they think on their feet and keep their cool? Can they make a personal connection with the average American? Can they handle stress and make decisions on the fly?

Someone once compared presidential contests to crash test dummy simulations: it is a series of artificially induced crises intended to show how the candidates will deal with a real crisis. And if we want to test out the candidates in real-world conditions—well, what’s more realistic than figuring out how they deal with a biased, hostile media? Anybody remember moderator Candy Crowley weighing in on Barack Obama’s side during one of the debates with Mitt Romney in 2012? That’s exactly what a Republican candidate can expect in the general election. And it’s certainly what he (or she) can expect while in office. A hostile media is the air a Republican politician is required to breathe, so it’s good to have a nice, strong test to see who chokes and who can handle it. The debate was a fiasco, but it was a useful fiasco. Via thefederalist.com

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