As journalists rejoice over Republican defeats in New Jersey and Virginia, hyping them as a referendum on President Trump, we at the MRC dove into our archives to remind them that just 8 years ago they said the exact opposite when the exact same situation happened to President Obama. The comparison couldn’t get more apples-to-apples: in both 2009 and 2017, the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey were lost by the party that had just won the presidential election the year before.
How many more broadcast bust-ups will it take before America finally decides to make its presidential election debates tolerable again? I can't take it anymore. Can you? For the past three cycles -- 2008, 2012, and 2016 -- I've chronicled the depressing, systemic bias of left-leaning partisans whom the Commission on Presidential Debates routinely installs as "moderators."
The 2016 presidential and vice presidential debates have already been notable for their bias, with NBC’s Lester Holt pounding Donald Trump with a skewed set of questions during the first debate, and CBS’s Elaine Quijano doing the same with Mike Pence on Tuesday. So what should viewers expect at tomorrow night’s town hall-style debate? A look at the past six town hall debates finds — with one exception — each of the moderators has favored calling on audience members who planned to ask liberal-themed questions.
Unlike a lot of his fellow liberals, Jonathan Chait doesn’t believe presidential-debate moderators should be on-camera fact-checkers, but Chait’s reason for opposing the idea is unambiguously anti-conservative. In an item posted a few hours prior to Monday night’s Clinton-Trump clash, Chait argued that the way Republicans dealt with Candy Crowley’s intervention in a 2012 Romney-Obama debate “suggests the party would never tolerate such a role by the media on an ongoing basis,” given that “the GOP exists within an epistemic bubble that creates its own reality and disregards the findings of mainstream experts in economics, science, and other fields…Conservatives created this alternate ecosystem precisely to insulate their side from scrutiny from journalists who were not working within the conservative movement. And the simple reality is that, if debates become forums for media to subject candidate claims to fact-checking by the standards of independent arbiters, Republicans will refuse to participate in them.”
As the first presidential debate looms, fact-checking Donald Trump has become a New York Times obsession. Jim Rutenberg bewailed the candidate’s falsehoods and urged debate moderators to hit him hard in his Mediator column on Monday, “A Moment of Truth For Debate Moderators.” Meanwhile, James Poniewozik reviews a PBS Frontline biography on the two major candidates and was glad to see that it eschewed “false equivalence” and made Trump look scary.
Univision/Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos continues to do his best to justify the underlying bases behind the MRC's "Ramos Must Go" campaign. This week's multinational syndicated opinion column features a call for debate moderators to join him in abandoning objectivity and inserting themselves into the debates.
Newly-announced presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson broke onto the national scene at a National Prayer Breakfast in 2013 when he, while sharing the same stage as the President, had the courage to rail against the deficit, political correctness, and the tax system while also standing up for religious values and advocating health savings accounts as an alternative to Obamacare.
Ted Cruz’s announcement that he is running for president was immediately greeted with hostility from the liberal media. On Monday, MSNBC’s Jonathan Alter questioned, “Is this 1964 when the Republican Party decided it would go with its most extreme candidate?” Donny Deutsch, also on MSNBC, called Cruz “unelectable” and added “I think he’s the worst. I think he’s scary, I think he’s dangerous, I think he’s slimy and I think he brings no fresh ideas.”
President George W. Bush sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley for an interview that aired on Sunday’s State of the Union to promote his recent book profiling his father entitled 41: A Portrait of My Father. During the discussion, Crowley asked Bush about a recent New York Times review that suggested the book was the younger Bush’s attempt at ridding himself of any “baggage” that existed between him and George H.W. Bush. For his part, the younger Bush dismissed the Times for pushing “typical psychobabble of somebody who has no clue what he's talking about.”
Candy Crowley, who aided Barack Obama in a 2012 debate with Mitt Romney, will be leaving CNN, according to the network. In a memo, network President Jeff Zucker announced, "...Candy has let us know that she has made the decision to move on..."
Candy Crowley on what Rush Limbaugh would label the state run CNN show of State of the Union seemed to place her blind trust in the assurances of state affiliated medical personnel that a travel ban on the Ebola Hot Zone nations of West Africa was both unnecessary as well as harmful. It took guest Senator Ted Cruz to make it clear to Crowley just why such a ban was absolutely necessary.
Marc Lamont Hill, liberal CNN contributor and host of HuffPost Live, appeared on Sunday’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley and did his best to smear former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for daring to criticize President Obama on foreign policy. Appearing alongside Neera Tanden, Newt Gingrich and S.E. Cupp, Hill proclaimed that Panetta’s criticism of Obama was “the most disgusting example of Monday morning quarterbacking I have ever seen.”