Side by side images of Gavin Newsom and Ron Desantis making exaggerated faces while speaking.

Get Ready for a Truly Insufferable Night of Television

Tonight, for some perplexing reason, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom will come together for a debate. Why? Who knows! No one asked for this, no one wants it, but it’s happening.

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DeSantis is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination. For the entirety of his campaign, he’s been sitting at a distant second place to Donald Trump, although GOP megadonors have recently decided to throw their financial weight behind Nikki Haley instead of him. Basically, DeSantis has no chance of being president but he’s clearly desperate for a national spotlight.

Similarly, Newsom hasn’t officially announced any plans to run for president in 2028 but everyone knows that’s his goal. Newsom is extremely centrist by California standards (to the perpetual frustration of many of his constituents) and this debate seems to be his opportunity to make his appeal to “moderate” and even center-right Fox News viewers.

How to watch the Newsom/DeSantis debate

The debate will, in fact, take place on Fox News. Sean Hannity will be moderating, whatever that ends up meaning. This is also basically just an episode of Hannity’s Fox News show, as it will take place during his normal 9PM slot on Thursday, November 30. The event is slated for 90 minutes, airing on Fox News and Fox News Radio, as well as, though you need a cable login to watch there.

What will they be debating?

Fox News is calling this event “DeSantis vs. Newsom: The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate,” and will feature discussions of “key issues including the economy and inflation, immigration and the border, and crime,” according to the network.

We’ve seen how DeSantis approaches these subjects already and it’s hard to watch. Expect rampant disinformation, obnoxious interruptions, and wild anecdotes not grounded in reality.

I’m honestly not sure what Newsom’s role here will be. He’s giving up a lot of power by going on Fox News and legitimizing them as a platform in the first place. Again, my guess is that he’s going to be giving an overly moderate response to DeSantis’ extremism, so progressives will likely want to spare themselves the headache and skip it entirely.

(featured image: Mario Tama/Getty Images, Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.