After last night’s debate, the only issue that was resolved unambiguously was whether CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent, Candy Crowley, could be an objective and unbiased debate moderator – she proved unflinchingly that she could be neither.
At center stage was whether President Obama recognized the murders of four Americans in Benghazi, including a United States Ambassador, as an act of terror the next day.
In the debate, President Obama misleadingly stated, “the day after the attack [in Libya], I stood in the Rose Garden and told the American people … that this was an act of terror….” To be clear, President Obama did not call those murders in Benghazi an act of terror the next day, nor did he, or anyone else in his administration, do so until weeks later.The issue during the debate was whether Obama labeled those murders in Benghazi as an act of terror the next day – not whether he ever mentioned the word ‘terror’ in his speech.
Identifying President Obama’s deceptive statement, Governor Romney correctly looked to press his advantage, to which the President seemingly had no answer for either the Governor or the American people – that was until Candy Crowley, the presumed impartial moderator, injected herself into the debate on behalf of Obama.
Crowley attempted to blunt Governor Romney’s momentum by dishonestly stating, “he [President Obama] did, in fact, call it an act of terror.” In fact, President Obama did not call those murders an act of terror the next day in the Rose Garden; rather he made a general reference to terrorism in his closing remarks which is distinct from labeling those murders as an actual act of terror.
Here is a link to the transcript of President Obama’s speech from the Rose Garden that day.
Indeed, Obama in his speech made a general reference to terrorism, but, again, that is not the same as stating clearly that those murders were an act of terror. Moreover, in the very same speech, he went on to discuss religious tolerance – thus, laying the foundation for the subsequent video that he and his administration would push as the cause of the deaths in Benghazi for the next two weeks.
More interestingly, even if Crowley’s interpretation is to be believed – that the President clearly acknowledged those murders as an act of terror the very next day – this begs the question, why then did he and other high ranking officials in his administration spend so much time pushing an irrelevant video for the following two weeks?
This obvious follow-up question to Obama’s attempt at misdirection was never asked nor addressed in the debate.
In an effort to defend her blatantly biased statement during the debate, Candy Crowley stated that Obama did say “acts of terror” in his speech. The problem with this defense is that that was never the issue. The issue during the debate was whether President Obama labeled those murders in Benghazi as an act of terror the next day – not whether he ever mentioned the word ‘terror’ in his speech. This is an important distinction that went to the heart of the issue.
[E]ven if one were to view Obama’s statement as being debatable, this was an issue for voters to decide, not for a biased moderator in the middle of a debate to decide.
Further, while speaking with Anderson Cooper later in the evening, Candy Crowley attempted to explain away her biased performance by stating that she believed that Governor Romney was “right in the main, but … picked the wrong word.” If this is true, that Candy actually believed that Governor Romney was “right in the main,” why then did she intervene on behalf of President Obama?
Moreover, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were arguing opposite ends – so, if Romney was “right in the main” it necessarily follows that Obama was not “right in the main.” Yet, Candy Crowley still intervened on behalf of President Obama even knowing, if her later statement is to be believed, that Romney was “right in the main.”
Of course, Governor Romney was more than right in the main, he was 100% correct – Obama, the day after the attack, did not call the murders in Benghazi an act of terrorism. Nevertheless, even if one were to view this as being debatable, this was an issue for voters to decide, not for a biased moderator in the middle of a debate to decide.
Sadly, Candy’s liberal bias not only unfairly affected this issue, but plagued nearly the entire debate.
For example, though CNN’s Candy Crowley felt the need to erroneously fact check Mitt Romney, apparently even when he was correct in the main, she never once felt the need to fact check Barack Obama’s misrepresentations, such as with the auto bailout, numerous references to tax cuts which were not actual new cuts, or Obama’s misrepresentation of oil production under his administration. Nor did Crowley even challenge President Obama’s laughable and incredulous explanation for rising gas prices under his administration – that the economy is doing so well, gas prices are going up.
Further still, the majority of the questions selected had a distinct liberal bias. For example, one question perpetuated President Obama’s campaign myth of a war on women. Another question attempted to tie Governor Romney to former President George W. Bush. A different question raised yet another Obama campaign talking point in regards to outsourcing. Another question tried to help Obama’s campaign with regards to Hispanic voters. A question even tried to blame President Bush for Obama’s failed economic record.There was not one question with respect Israel, nor a single question about Iran or Afghanistan. However, there were questions about the supposed war on women and AK-47’s in America.
Unbelievably, there was no direct question regarding Obama’s economic failures and only one question regarding the death of an American Ambassador in Libya – which Crowley injected a falsehood on behalf of Obama.
Moreover, there was not a question with regard to Obama’s controversial opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act which was intended to protect living infants who survived attempts at infanticide/abortion.
There was not even a single question with respect Israel, nor a question about Iran or Afghanistan. However, there was a question about AK-47’s in America.
More noticeably, Candy Crowley did not invite Governor Romney to have the last word on a question until about an hour into the debate; conversely she invited President Obama to have the last word question after question.
When Governor Romney objected for equal time, Crowley attempted to dress him down by stating that there were no rules – as if her consistent effort to give President Obama the last word was somehow unbiased.
Further, Crowley interrupted Governor Romney 28 times compared to 9 times she interrupted President Obama – besides being distracting to both Governor Romney and the viewers, this also allowed her to give President Obama a few more minutes to speak, which in a timed debate can be critical.
Quite troubling for the President, even with all of the advantages afforded him throughout the night by Crowley, he still failed to decidedly win the debate.
Before the debate, questions were raised as to whether CNN’s Candy Crowley could be fair and impartial – after the debate, there can be no doubt that she could not and her obvious bias did nothing to allay Americans rising distrust of the Fourth Estate; indeed she effectively fueled further distrust.
UPDATE: CNN’s ResponseLet’s start with a big round of applause for Candy Crowley for a superb job under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. She and her team had to select and sequence questions in a matter of hours, and then she had to deal with the tricky format, the nervous questioners, the aggressive debaters, all while shutting out the pre-debate attempts to spin and intimidate her. She pulled it off masterfully.
The reviews on Candy’s performance have been overwhelmingly positive but Romney supporters are going after her on two points, no doubt because their man did not have as good a night as he had in Denver.
On the legitimacy of Candy fact-checking Romney on Obama’s Rose Garden statement, it should be stressed that she was just stating a point of fact: Obama did talk about an act (or acts) of terror, no matter what you think he meant by that at the time.
On why Obama got more time to speak, it should be noted that Candy and her commission producers tried to keep it even but that Obama went on longer largely because he speaks more slowly. We’re going to do a word count to see whether, as in Denver, Romney actually got more words in even if he talked for a shorter period of time. – Mail Online: CNN Defends ‘Superb’ Debate Moderator Candy Crowley, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219402/Candy-Crowley-CNN-chief-praises-moderator-superb-job-Obama-Romney.html
The above was taken from an email sent to CNN staff members from the managing editor of CNN, Mark Whitaker. Notice how the letter changed the dispute from whether President Obama actually called the murders in Benghazi a terrorist act the next day, which was at issue, to, the much broader, whether or not he even “talked about” an act of terror, which was not at issue in the debate.
Regardless of where one stands as to whether Obama definitively called the deaths an act of terrorism or not, it is clear that this issue was not settled at the time Candy Crowley injected her opinion, as fact, in the middle of a very contentious presidential debate. Without a doubt, this is an issue that should have been left for voters, not for a biased moderator, to decide.
Instead of being an impartial moderator, Crowley gave Obama a much needed escape without the facts at issue – and CNN, in the letter, would not only defend her poor performance, but even applaud her biased work.
Further, notice how the “overwhelming positive” response was not qualified by suggesting that such responses were from Obama supporters. Nevertheless, the criticism was quickly dismissed by conveniently and automatically attributing them to Romney supporters. Would not fair minded Americans be equally upset when a supposed impartial moderator injects her personal opinion for the gain of one party?
Finally, and quite laughably, the letter attempted to explain that the reason President Obama received more speaking minutes than Governor Romney was not due to any bias, but rather because the President “speaks more slowly.” In other words, CNN would have viewers believe that in a timed debate, where both speakers are given a certain amount of time to respond, one can get more time by simply speaking more slowly. Was that a timed debate, or a word count debate and could Crowley be honestly expected to count each speaker’s words in real time?