Tonight’s town hall-style presidential debate will ostensibly feature questions from undecided voters, but the evening’s agenda will really be decided by the moderator, as CNN’s Candy Crowley will select which of the more than roughly 80 voters in the room will actually get a chance to talk to the candidates.
Reviewing the five previous town hall debates, the journalist-moderators have tended to skew the agenda of these so-called citizen forums to the liberal side of the spectrum, but not always. Overall, questions have been twice as likely to favor liberal causes versus conservative ones.
Criticism of Barack Obama came from a surprising source Sunday.
Appearing on Meet the Press, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw said the President “is going to have to answer for” the explosion in the federal budget deficit that “happened on his watch” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's Tom Brokaw blasted Joe Biden's debate antics on Friday's Morning Joe. "I mean he just can't contain himself," note Brokaw. "And he's become a caricature on the talk shows."
"I just don't think you should be laughing during a discussion about thermonuclear war with Iran," Brokaw called out Biden, who repeatedly shook his head at opponent Paul Ryan while smiling and laughing.
There has been a lot of harsh criticism for Barack Obama's performance at Wednesday's presidential debate, but maybe the strongest came Thursday from former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw.
Appearing on MSNBC's Daily Rundown, Brokaw said, "I think that this morning we have a kick-start to this presidential campaign. If it had been Romney performing like the president last night, it would have been over" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday's NBC Today, special correspondent Tom Brokaw demonstrated the blatant media effort to ignore Obama administration failures surrounding the consulate attack in Libya: "Romney turned out to give the President air cover. There are serious questions about what happened in Libya and the absence of security and what is our Middle East policy, but Romney's missteps really have given the President more camouflage than he would have expected." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brokaw lamely attempting to blame Mitt Romney for the failure of the media to ask tough national security questions of Obama echoed a recent revealing statement by CBS News political director John Dickerson, who declared that it was solely Romney's responsibility to hold the President to account over Libya because the media would not.
Brian Williams, on NBC’s Thursday night coverage of the DNC, unleashed the biggest howler of the night when he told White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett: “You, I guess have to play mistake-free ball now for 60 days, hope for nothing but positive coverage. That's a tall order.”
Delivering positive coverage for Obama was certainly not a "tall order" for Williams and his fellow NBC News colleagues, as they spent most of the night praising Team Obama and dumping on Mitt Romney. (Video after the jump)
Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of FNC’s Hannity the former NBC Nightly News anchor was challenged by Hannity about his industry’s “bias.” Brokaw, initially tried to deflect the question as he charged: “I think you have a bias to the right” and then resorted to semantics as he feebly countered: “bias is the wrong word.” (video after the jump)
“I’m frankly, fed up, with the one-sided bias,” a frustrated Newt Gingrich asserted on Sunday’s Meet the Press, citing two blatant examples. First: “Where is the outrage over overt, deliberate racism” in Vice President Joe Biden telling a black audience “if the Republicans win you will be ‘in chains’”?
Second, President Obama “voted three times to protect the right of doctors to kill babies who came out of abortion still alive. That plank says tax-paid abortion at any moment, meaning partial birth abortion -- that’s a 20 percent issue,” a position which Democrats “couldn’t defend...for a day if it was made clear and as vivid as all the effort is made to paint Republicans.”
Just moments after Mitt Romney finished his acceptance speech, NBC’s Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd painted the GOP nominee as a backwards-looking candidate who was going back to the GOP’s “extreme” and less “inclusive” past.
On NBC’s live coverage of Thursday’s Republican National Convention, Brokaw recalled covering Romney’s father and observed that while George Romney “fought” to make the GOP “more moderate,” “less extreme” and “more inclusive” his son was becoming “much more conservative.” For his part, Todd thought Romney’s speech was full of “optimistic nostalgia” and “return to” phrases that reminded him of failed ‘96 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole’s acceptance speech that looked “backwards.” Todd added: “I think the Obama folks are gonna be responsive to that.” (video after the jump)
On NBC’s live Wednesday coverage of the GOP convention both Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw used Condoleezza Rice's speech to paint the GOP delegation as close-minded on immigration, education reform and Barack Obama’s background. Right after the former Secretary of State's speech, Williams snarked: "Portions of that speech could have been delivered at next week [DNC] gathering in North Carolina. Some candid talk to tepid applause on immigration." He then added that Rice made the "rare utterance at a GOP convention of the American truism that zip code determines education in our country."
For his part, Brokaw took a shot at the GOP crowd as he chided: "What was so striking to me was one other line that she had: 'It does not matter where you come from it matters where you are going.' Well to a lot of delegates, on this floor, it does matter where President Obama came from. Because they've been very critical of his Kenyan father, who had a different faith than many of them would embrace and they've raised lots of questions about where his ultimate loyalty is." (video after the jump)
Bad weather may have forced Vice President Joe Biden to skip his plans to make mischief at this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, but Democrats don’t have to worry: the liberal “news” media have been “counter-programming” GOP conventions for decades.
It doesn’t matter whether the nominee is a conservative like Ronald Reagan, or a moderate like John McCain — network reporters always seem to scold the delegates and platform as too conservative, hostile to women, anathema to blacks, and an all-around turn-off to voters. [Below the jump: Video montage of the media's anti-GOP bias, 1988-2008]
During a report about "why we love the British" on Thursday's NBC Today, special correspondent Tom Brokaw declared: "In one of our election years, the British watch America with a sense of bewilderment." Left-wing BBC anchor Katty Kay sniffed: "When we talk about God, guns, and government, those are the three big things we don't understand." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
She then lamented: "The role of government here [in the United States] is much more complicated, people don't want it in America. In Britain, we expect government to provide things for us."