On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Jan Crawford devoted a full story to President Obama's deceptive claim that he called the Benghazi attack an "act of terror" early on, as she recounted the administration's initial reluctance to call it a terrorist attack. The CBS correspondent also implicated debate moderator and CNN anchor Candy Crowley in bolstering Obama's distortion.
After showing a clip of Obama and Romney clashing over whether Obama had used the words "act of terror" early on, Crawford showed a clip of what the President said the day after the Benghazi attack, but then exposed Obama's revisionism:
Julie Rovner, NPR's resident ObamaCare flack, failed to include any conservatives experts for her report on Medicare on Tuesday's All Things Considered . Rovner played two sound bites each from Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation and from MIT's Jonathan Gruber, whom the Washington Post named the Democratic Party's "most influential health-care expert." She didn't mention either individual's liberal affiliations.
The closest that the correspondent got to mentioning their left-of-center politics is when she pointed out how Gruber "likes the way the Affordable Care Act takes on Medicare with a variety of approaches."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played the part of Obama campaign stooge when he promoted the President deflecting Libya criticism by slamming Mitt Romney: "...[He] firmly and pointedly chastised Governor Romney for politicizing a tragedy like this, a national tragedy. The father of Ambassador Stevens said, quote, 'It would be really abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer then turned to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and sanctimoniously demanded: "So I want your response, not to the President, but to the father of Ambassador Stevens." Ryan responded: "What we owe Chris Stevens, what we owe these Americans who gave their lives, are to make sure that we get to the bottom of this so we can prevent something like this from happening again."
Wednesday's banner New York Times headline on the second presidential debate was studiously neutral: "Obama and Romney Mount Biting Attacks in Debate Rematch." Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny's underlying report played it straight, as did Peter Baker in his front-page "news analysis," under the punchy headline "Punch, Punch, Punch."
But while the Obama cheerleading was muted in print, Times journalists let their slant show during live fact-check of the debate, and especially on the TimesCast. Baker wrote for Wednesday's edition:
"She committed an act of journalistic terror or malpractice last night. If there were any journalistic standards, what she did last night would have been the equivalent of blowing up her career like a suicide bomber."
So said conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh Wednesday regarding Candy Crowley's shameful behavior during the previous night's presidential debate (video follows courtesy Daily Rushbo with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
While CBS This Morning hosts served Vice President Joe Biden softball questions on mostly horserace issues and debate optics, they challenged Paul Ryan to defend his voting record.
"Does Governor Romney believe the President was right to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law? You voted against that act, didn't you?" pressed co-host Anthony Mason. In contrast, when Biden was asked about the Libya fiasco at the very end of his interview, Norah O'Donnell molded it into a more friendly question.
The second 2012 presidential debate hosted by Candy Crowley got the full court press from the New York Times, with live fact-checking online and a 40-minute TimesCast wrap-up, that found Times reporters wrongly defending Obama and bashing Mitt Romney on a fiery exchange on Libya. Times journalists were highly supportive of Barack Obama's performance and critical of the "peevish" Mitt Romney, who "was arguably showing disrespect for the president," as Jackie Calmes insisted.
Times journalists also falsely insisted that President Obama had called the Benghazi attacks "an act of terror" in a Rose Garden speech the day after, and that Mitt Romney had made a "serious gaffe" when he suggested Obama had not. Yet in fact, as two other Times journalists softly pointed out later in the videocast, Obama was only speaking generally when he said in his Rose Garden speech that "no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation." Of the Benghazi assault, Managing Editor Richard Berke admitted that Obama "didn't say 'it was a terrorist attack.' It was more of a vague quote."
Just before 1 p.m. ET, Rush Limbaugh said the following about CNN's Candy Crowley and her performance as "moderator" last night in the second presidential debate: "In the real world, she would have committed career suicide last night."
The liberal tilt of questions selected by CNN’s Candy Crowley was so obvious, even the gang on NBC’s Today — hardly a conservative bastion — thought it remarkable. Correspondent Chuck Todd observed Wednesday morning: “The President also benefitted from many questions posed by the so-called undecided voters, covering issues near and dear to his liberal base....”
Going into Tuesday night’s debate, the MRC calculated that since 1992, moderators have called upon voters with a liberal agenda twice as often as those with a conservative agenda. The citizens selected by Crowley matched that tilt exactly, with six pro-Obama/liberal-themed questions, vs. three pro-Romney questions, and two others scored as neutral.
Even worse, Crowley interjected herself into the debate to validate President Obama’s erroneous claim that “the day after the attack [in Libya], I stood in the Rose Garden and told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror....”
Displaying a stunning double standard on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gave Vice President Joe Biden plenty of room to applaud President Obama's debate performance, while fellow co-host Matt Lauer hammered Congressman Paul Ryan on issue after issue.
In her first question to Biden, Guthrie wondered if the President had "repaired the damage from his lackluster performance in the first debate," then followed up with: "Is the President's strategy here to beat Romney by disqualifying him in the minds of voters?" Meanwhile, Lauer began his interview with Ryan by asking essentially the same question: "A lot of the reporting this morning says that the President was the aggressor and may have won back some of the momentum lost after the first debate. Would you agree with that?"
In my Monday post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about the "Million Muppet March," the astroturfing Obama-supportive operation being managed by Michael Bellavia -- a gentleman whose animation firm "just so happens" to have Sesame Workshop as a major client -- I questioned how he and the rest of the group can be so sure that they "can just use the Muppet characters ... at a brazenly political event without worrying about consequences."
My take on this morning's "march"-related news is that "march" organizers have quietly been prevented from doing so. That's because they're not calling it the "Million Muppet March" any more. It's now the "Million Puppet March." The remarkably incurious Associated Press, in a brief report this morning (presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes), unskeptically relayed the group's pathetic name-change excuse:
Candy Crowley is rightfully coming under fire for acting like a biased referee in Tuesday night's presidential debate.
On CNN's Starting Point Wednesday, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Ut.) scolded Crowley saying, "It wasn't necessarily your place to try to be fact-checker" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Mitt Romney senior adviser John Sununu had another contentious encounter with CNN's Soledad O'Brien Wednesday.
At the conclusion of their lengthy Starting Point segment about Tuesday's presidential debate, O'Brien thanked her guest for coming with Sununu responding, "It's always good to come on the groupie channel" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
During Tuesday's post-debate coverage on CNN, as the panel discussed moderator Candy Crowley giving cover to President Obama's attempt to defend his initial flawed response to the Benghazi terrorist attack, CNN correspondent John King blamed former Governor Mitt Romney for giving Crowley the opening to undermine the GOP candidate's criticism of Obama for taking so long to recognize that the attack was a premeditated act of terrorism.
Shortly before 11:30 p.m., CNN anchor Anderson Cooper had raised the subject as he defended Romney's reasoning and suggested that Obama was taking himself out of context to cover his own tracks. Cooper:
A little over a half-hour before the debate, Matthews went on a tirade against the pro-life movement. His fury mostly centered on Rep. Paul Ryan, whose pro-life views, according to Matthews are akin to Sharia law that is practiced and advocated by radical Islamists. He also sounded the alarms that the Republican ticket may want to “operate [the United States] under a religious theory.” After exposing the theocratic conspiracy of the Republicans and the Sharia enemies within – Matthews came off as utterly unhinged.
Debate moderator Candy Crowley admitted on CNN's Debate Night in America that Governor Romney was “right in the main” but “picked the wrong word” on the Obama administration’s immediate response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
Immediately following the second presidential debate, Crowley was repeatedly asked for her thoughts on what she had just witnessed first-hand at Hofstra University. On everyone's mind was the foreign policy discussion between the two candidates, in which Crowley defended the president for what he said in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12 about the Benghazi consulate attack that occurred the day before. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
At the conclusion of the second presidential debate on October 16, Chris Matthews could hardly control himself when he confidently declared that President Obama "clearly" won the debate. In fact, he proclaimed that President Obama had "punched Romney hard"during their ninety-minutes showdown. It sure sounds like the rhetoric of a man who stated that "all that came before" in American history –"led to" Obama.
Minutes after the second presidential debate ended on Tuesday, ABC pundits Matthew Dowd and Donna Brazile brushed off the three-plus minute advantage of speaking time President Obama had over Mitt Romney under CNN's Candy Crowley's moderation. Dowd asserted that this imbalance would lead to "conservatives and Republicans attacking Candy Crowley, and when that happens, that is a sure sign that President Obama won this."
Brazile seconded this taunt: "When Republicans lose debates, they always find something wrong with the moderator or the referee." The two ABC panelists didn't give such an assessment after the first debate on October 3, even though liberals, such as Howard Fineman, attacked moderator Jim Lehrer.
After embarrassing herself with her incompetently biased attempt to “fact check” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley has already began trying to save her shattered credibility. In a panel discussion afterward, a fast-talking Crowley tried to spin away her offensive conduct by admitting that Romney was indeed correct in casting blame on the Obama Administration for falsely blaming an anti-Islamic video for attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“It was one of those moments, and I could even feel that here, you know, when you say something you’re not expecting,” Crowley insisted, admitting she simply couldn’t help herself from unprofessionally inserting herself into a heated dispute between presidential candidates.
CNN correspondent and second presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley disgraced herself tonight, repeatedly intervening to save a floundering President Obama and showing why many Americans were rightfully suspicious of her ability to moderate a presidential debate fairly.
Her most outrageous act tonight was her incorrect seconding of Obama's statement that he declared the Libya terrorist attacks to be "terror." While Obama did indeed use the word, this is not what he meant by it. Instead, he was simply referring to "acts of terror." There was no mention of Al Qaeda or any of its affiliates with respect to the actual attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.
Conceivably the biggest moment in Tuesday's presidential debate was when moderator Candy Crowley injected herself into the discussion siding with Barack Obama on remarks he claimed he made in the Rose Garden following the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Long-time Democrat campaign strategist Joe Trippi said on Fox News shortly after the debate's conclusion that this looked like "the ref just threw the flag" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the blame for the avoidable tragedy that occurred in Benghazi last month, one would think the media would be a little more critical of an administration that initially tried to cover it up with misinformation. While this sounds like a logical presumption, it hasn't been the case. Clinton was applauded for "falling on her sword" and taking responsibility for failing to protect those who were killed in the attack on the consulate.
MSNBC's Martin Bashir and his contributors didn't seem to think an apology was necessary however, blaming the Republicans in Congress for imposing cuts on foreign aid and embassy protection instead. In other words, it was all their fault and the Romney campaign has no right bringing it up. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
Will you be tuning in to the second presidential debate tonight? If so, please join fellow NewsBusters readers for a running commentary and discussion of the contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The debate starts at 9:00 PM Eastern time. We will also be featuring a livestream video of the debate inside this posting
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Former debate moderator (and liberal journalist) Carole Simpson has been making the media rounds before Tuesday's presidential debate, giving President Obama the edge and implying that the standards for debate moderators are sexist. She continued that on Tuesday's Starting Point.
She gave Obama the town hall-style debate advantage as a "people person" and "touchy-feely." In contrast, she cited criticism of Romney "that he doesn't relate to ordinary people." [Video below the break. Audio here.]