By Thomas Madison

It is officially pucker time for Fox News chief, Roger Ailes. He called what he calculated to be a bluff by Donald Trump to ditch Thursday night’s debate if Megyn Kelly was moderating, making it clear that Kelly was going to be there. So Trump announced that he will not be participating. A novice should never play high stakes poker with a pro.

With The Donald refusing to take his phone calls, Ailes has resorted to begging, calling Trump’s wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka, to try to get Trump to change his mind. Nothing doing.

If Trump is a no-show, it could be very bad news for Roger Ailes, especially if the debate’s ratings are not great, as is expected. Everyone knows who the draw is, and it isn’t Mike Huckabee or Chris Christie.

Trump will be hosting his own town hall-style event at the same time as the Fox debate, with proceeds going to veterans’ organizations. I’m not sure which, if any, network is covering the event, but I predict it will have far higher ratings than the Fox debate. Ailes screwed the pooch on this one, plain and simple.

From Chris Spargo, Daily Mail

  • Donald Trump‘s refusal to attend Fox News’ debate on Thursday night has sent Fox News into chaos
  • The network’s CEO has reportedly reached out to both Ivanka and Melania Trump to try and get the Republican front-runner to change his mind 
  • He refuses to attend over the inclusion of anchor Megyn Kelly as one of the debate moderators and will only speak to network head Rupert Murdoch 
  • Trump called Kelly a ‘lightweight reporter’ on Wednesday morning and his campaign manager said she is ‘completely obsessed’ with Trump 
  • Trump currently leads Ted Cruz 30 percent to 23 percent according to the latest poll in Iowa 
  • See more of the latest on the GOP debate as Trump refuses to attend

The Fox News and Donald Trump feud is heating up now that the Republican front-runner has announced he will not be attending the network’s debate Thursday night over the presence of anchor Megyn Kelly.

And while the network appears to be publicly siding with Kelly, who is still set to moderate Thursday’s debate, the network is also reportedly trying to privately plead with Trump the best way they know how – through the women in his life.

Joe Scarborough, who has a close relationship with many people at Fox News, revealed on Morning Joe Wednesday morning that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes had been trying to contact both Ivanka and Melania Trump hoping they could convince Trump to change his mind, but that Trump would only speak to Rupert Murdoch.

Trump may be able to address some of these issues and claims Wednesday night as he is set to appear on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor.

Kelly meanwhile welcomed a surprisingly liberal guest on her program Tuesday night, Michael Moore.

The documentary filmmaker was there to promote his new film Where to Invade Next?, but also took time to applaud Kelly and ask how she was dealing with the very public feud between her and Trump while mocking the presidential hopeful over his refusal to attend the debate.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski continued with their unified attack on Kelly Wednesday morning during an appearance on Good Morning America saying that the anchor is ‘completely obsessed’ with the presidential hopeful.

Troubles: Donald Trump's refusal to attend Fox News' debate on Thursday night has sent Fox News into chaos and network CEO Roger Ailes reaching out to Ivanka and Melania Trump (Trumps above in December 2012)

Troubles: Donald Trump’s refusal to attend Fox News’ debate on Thursday night has sent Fox News into chaos and network CEO Roger Ailes reaching out to Ivanka and Melania Trump (Trumps above in December 2012)

Then, in a move that no doubt left many viewers shocked, Moore appeared to ask Kelly out on a date, saying; ‘I was thinking I was maybe going to have to, like, take you out to dinner afterwards. We could talk. You could emote … get it out. I’m here for you.’

New York’s Gabe Sherman is reporting that Moore’s appearance on Kelly’s show had some at the network fuming, with one of her fellow anchor’s noting; ‘That would be like Rachel Maddow laughing along with Charles Koch as he trashed Hillary Clinton!’

Some at the conservative network seem to be angry that Kelly has now undeniably become the face of Fox News, something which was recently cemented with her appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair.

She has said little about Trump, while he of course has continued to bash her in public and on social media, writing Wednesday morning; ‘I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!’

Trump meanwhile is refusing calls from Ailes and will only speak to the man at the very top – News Corporation founder Murdoch.

Scarborough said on Morning Joe Wednesday; ‘Per our sources, Roger Ailes was calling Ivanka, he was trying to get in touch with Trump, he was calling Melania, people that he’s got a good relationship with, they love Roger. They have a great respect for him.

‘But at this point, Trump’s only gonna talk to Rupert, and they’re going to figure it out.’

Prior to that Scarborough had said on the program; ‘I have a ton of friends at Fox, I love Fox and I know a lot of people at Fox are really twisted up at about how this has gone down and how Megyn Kelly, has somehow, with Michael Moore, taken over the network.’

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