After Donald Trump announced that he will not attend Thursday's Republican debate because he dislikes moderator Megyn Kelly, Kelly said that Trump "doesn't get to control the media."
But is that true? On Wednesday, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah argued that if Trump isn't controlling the media, he's at least playing it quite well.
"Once again, ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump has won the only fight that matters to him — the fight for attention," Noah said. "Taking part in one more debate wasn't going to help Donald Trump get that much press. But blowing one off? That's like Deflategate crossed with a natural disaster crossed with a celebrity sex tape."
Trump's stunt could be a brilliant move, Vox's Andrew Prokop argued:
By not attending, Trump will dominate press coverage before and after the event with his refusal to show up, fomenting a media circus that drowns out his rivals on yet another of the precious days before Iowa. Plus, his competing fundraiser to raise money for wounded veterans makes him look good. The actual debate will seem boring and irrelevant with him not there, and he'll unmistakably communicate to future debate hosting networks that he is willing to walk away if he doesn't get what he wants.
For now, it certainly seems to be working. Practically all the political media — including The Daily Show! — is talking about Trump's stunt. Of course, there's still time for it to all blow up in Trump's face, particularly if the other presidential candidates manage to portray him as a whiner who's not attending the debate just because he can't get what he wants.
But at least from Noah's perspective, this is a brilliant move — and the media is playing right into it.