CNN's Crowley Omits Sound Bites From Conservatives in Palin Report

Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN’s Candy Crowley neglected to include sound bites from conservatives during a report about Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s American Morning, other than from the former Alaska governor herself. While Crowley did acknowledge the widespread support that Palin has among conservative Republicans, she only used clips from moderate commentator David Frum, Democrat Bill Owens, and colleague Wolf Blitzer.

The CNN senior political correspondent’s report, part of a series on the Republican Party’s future, highlighted how Palin was a “high voltage candidate,” and included five sound bites from the Republican vice presidential nominee. After noting her continued popularity amongst a “loyal following in the GOP” and her active year following the 2008 election, Crowley zeroed-in on the former governor’s weaknesses: “A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found 85 percent of Republicans say Palin agrees with them on their most important issues. But here’s the rub: only 49 percent of independents feel that way. It’s a telling measure of her political reach and its limits, that the Republicans who won governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey this year politely rejected Palin’s offers to campaign for them....Her clout is inside the party.”

The correspondent used the brief clip of Blitzer as an example of how Palin is a “a headline magnet,” while the sound bite from Owens lead in to an account of the vice presidential candidate’s role in the New York 23rd congressional district race this year. Before playing the clip from Frum, Crowley stated that “Palin is doing selected interviews, Oprah et al, to promote her book. Look for news and a best seller from a GOP mover and shaker, a politician fueled by celebrity- lucrative, but not necessarily good.” The former Bush speechwriter and Palin critic would go on to compare her to current governor of California: “Americans tend not to elect celebrities. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the exception, but more often than not, people want something in their political leaders that is more steady, stable and predictable.”

Crowley concluded her report by noting that “of half a dozen Republican consultants I spoke with, including four who supported the Palin nomination, all see her as playing a part in rebuilding the party, none thought she would be the next presidential nominee, and only two thought she would even run.” You mean out of those six Republicans, she couldn’t find a reputable conservative to include in her report?

The full transcript of Crowley’s report, which first aired 24 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Tuesday’s American Morning, and reran later in the day on The Situation Room:

JOHN ROBERTS: We first profiled the President’s inner circle. Now, all this week, we’re taking a look at the future of the Republican Party in our in-depth series, ‘GOP, The Next Chapter.’ Today, it’s Sarah Palin. With her new book ‘Going Rogue’ hitting shelves in exactly one week’s time, will she be a contender in 2012?

Our Candy Crowley is giving it her best educated guess.

CANDY CROWLEY: Good morning, Kiran and John. A little political trivia- not since 1920 has there been a failed vice presidential nominee who would later go on to be elected president. Also true- not since- well, since forever, has the political world seen a failed vice presidential candidate quite like this one.

CROWLEY (voice-over): She was a high voltage candidate-

SARAH PALIN: I think I’m going to have to cast my vote for the maverick.

CROWLEY: Lighting a fire in the grassroots of Republican land- fresh, folksy, fierce.

PALIN: I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.

CROWLEY: Sarah Palin remains, of course, the most recognizable name in the Republican Party, a headline magnet.

WOLF BLITZER: Political ticker- Sarah Palin apparently is trying to re-launch a controversy she started, over the so-called death panels.

CROWLEY: She has a loyal following in the GOP, critics her supporters love to hate, and a way with words.

PALIN: You betcha. It’s drill, baby, drill.

CROWLEY: Just over a year after the defeat of the Republican ticket, the Republican number two is Amazon’s number one in nonfiction presales. Writer of books, giver of speeches, muser of politics on an unusually-active Facebook account and robo caller on behalf of a conservative group in this year’s Virginia governor’s race.

PALIN (via telephone): Virginia, hello, this is Sarah Palin calling to urge you to go to the polls Tuesday and vote to share our principles.

CROWLEY: A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found 85 percent of Republicans say Palin agrees with them on their most important issues. But here’s the rub: only 49 percent of independents feel that way. It’s a telling measure of her political reach and its limits, that the Republicans who won governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey this year politely rejected Palin’s offers to campaign for them. Both Republican governors-elect owe their victories to huge majorities of independent votes. Her clout is inside the party. In a New York congressional race, she helped push a Republican Party candidate out of the way for a more conservative candidate. That battle won, Palin lost the war. The split made way for a Democratic victory.

CONGRESSMAN-ELECT BILL OWENS: Thank you very much.

CROWLEY: These days, Palin is doing selected interviews, Oprah et al, to promote her book. Look for news and a best seller from a GOP mover and shaker, a politician fueled by celebrity- lucrative, but not necessarily good.

DAVID FRUM: Americans tend not to elect celebrities. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the exception, but more often than not, people want something in their political leaders that is more steady, stable and predictable.

CROWLEY: Fans and critics inevitably point to this moment as Palin’s biggest political problem. The vice presidential candidate criticized for her thin resume quit as governor of Alaska with about a year and a half left in her first term.

PALIN: Only dead fish go with the flow.

CROWLEY: It’s the kind of rogueness that made her a household name, but in the end, may make Palin a player who helps shake the party rather than lead it.

CROWLEY (on-camera): Of half a dozen Republican consultants I spoke with, including four who supported the Palin nomination, all see her as playing a part in rebuilding the party, none thought she would be the next presidential nominee, and only two thought she would even run- Kiran and John?

ROBERTS: Candy Crowley this morning with that profile. Candy, thanks so much.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center