NYT Debate Bloggers Aggrieved at GOP Debaters Who 'Whine About Media Bias,' 'Trash the News Industry'

October 29th, 2015 10:25 PM

The third GOP debate from Boulder, Co. moderated by CNBC, drew universal condemnation among conservative viewers infuriated at the obvious bias from the moderators – and glee from those same viewers, when the candidates blasted back at the media.

New York Times political reporters Nicholas Confessore, Alan Rappaport, and Maggie Haberman live blogged the debate among the top 10 candidates, and while the NYT didn't have a problem with the slanted questions from CNBC, they were quite perturbed over the counterattacks from the candidates, a pile-on jump-started by a lengthy and detailed off-the-cuff condemnation by Ted Cruz. Some excerpts from last night's aggrieved Times' play-by-play after Cruz punched back: "...candidates whine about media bias and lack of substance from moderators, and then often refuse to answer the questions or address policy issues....Rubio [is] continuing his mission to trash the news industry."

Maggie Haberman 8:46 pm Cruz is now lecturing the moderators on talking about the substance - that was an amazing recitation of what just took place before he spoke by summing up all the questions. Worth noting that Cruz gave an interview the other day in which he spoke extensively about process and "lanes" for different candidates.

Nicholas Confessore 8:47 pm Cruz is now answering a question about problem solving and the debt limit with a lengthy filibuster about media bias -- and no answer on the question.

Nicholas Confessore 8:49 pm My observation would be that candidates whine about media bias and lack of substance from moderators, and then often refuse to answer the questions or address policy issues.

Nicholas Confessore 9:27 pm Maybe CNBC should give all the candidates a 30-second window for some tendentious media-bashing, just to be fair to everyone.

Alan Rappeport 9:28 pm "The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC, the mainstream media," Rubio says, continuing his mission to trash the news industry.

Maggie Haberman 9:28 pm Rubio gets in on the media-trashing action!

The live feed was interspersed with fact checks, including a dubious one from Jonathan Weisman against Sen. Marco Rubio and his missing votes in the U.S. Senate. Weisman seemed to think that a Florida newspaper had landed a real haymaker when it called on Rubio to resign his Senate seat.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida took it on the chin Wednesday morning when The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel -- a newspaper that had endorsed him for the Senate -- said he should either do his job in the Senate or resign.

Mr. Rubio didn’t defend his record of absenteeism because he has missed a lot of votes, a lot more than the other senators running for president: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and Bernie Sanders.

Instead, he compared himself to other senators like John McCain and Bob Graham, who also missed a lot of votes during their runs for president.

One problem: Those senators never intended to give up their seats if they weren’t elected. Mr. Rubio has already said he will not run for re-election. He is biding time before his departure.

But Weisman never bothered to explain why that made his missed votes a larger problem. In fact, his Times colleague Jeremy Peters took the opposite approach, using the fact that Rubio was not running for re-election to suggest the issue wasn't a major problem for the candidate. After pointing out that "Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain were all sitting senators who let their day jobs suffer a good deal," Martin cited the same point that Weisman did to attack Rubio – that Rubio is not running for re-election – but in the senator's defense.

He is not running for re-election. And he and his campaign advisers see little consequence in staying out of Washington, especially in a divisive Republican nominating contest in which anyone viewed as too close to the reviled federal government is punished politically.

Not even Times reporters were impressed with their fellow journalists as debate moderators, including Times colleague John Harwood. In a Thursday post, Matt Flegenheimer and Ashley Parker found "one clear loser...CNBC" as a subhead advised the hosts: "Stick to Stocks."

In addition, one of the debate bloggers, Alan Rappeport, piled into the small bandwagon for moderate Gov. John Kasich's candidacy in Tuesday's online report, "John Kasich Says He’s ‘Had It’ With Rivals Peddling ‘Crazy’ Ideas." Rappeport eagerly supported Kasich's attack on rivals to his right:

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio shed his nice-guy image on Tuesday, lamenting the decline of the conservative movement and accusing his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination of peddling “crazy” ideas.

At a rally in Ohio, Mr. Kasich, a popular governor known for his moderate views, unloaded on his opponents.

Kasich suggested that conservatives who want to abolish Medicaid and install a flat tax were out of touch.

....Mr. Kasich is suggesting that his party has lurched too far to the right.

“What has happened to our party?” he asked. “What has happened to the conservative movement?”