Debates

By Kyle Drennen | October 15, 2012 | 3:09 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd analyzed the state of the presidential race following a series of new national polls showing a slight Romney lead: "Well, look, the first debate really did sort of shift things....the numbers I've seen, and in talking to both campaigns, something shifted fundamentally."

However, only four days earlier, on Thursday's Today, Todd argued the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped," leading co-host Savannah Guthrie to conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact." That was as the ABC and CBS morning shows highlighted Romney's clear momentum.

By Noel Sheppard | October 15, 2012 | 11:02 AM EDT

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien just can’t stop herself from appearing like she works for the White House rather than the supposedly most trusted name in news.

This was so apparent on Monday’s Starting Point that guest Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, asked her, “Am I debating with the President's campaign?” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | October 15, 2012 | 12:50 AM EDT

With less than 48 hours to go before Tuesday's presidential debate, the moderator's role is being questioned because of things Candy Crowley has said on CNN.

Time's Mark Halperin reported late Sunday:

By Noel Sheppard | October 14, 2012 | 1:00 PM EDT

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):

By Noel Sheppard | October 14, 2012 | 11:27 AM EDT

NBC’s Saturday Night Live began its program last night with a vulgarity that although bleeped was as obvious as the nose on Jimmy Durante’s face.

In the opening segment spoofing Thursday’s vice presidential debate, Kate McKinnon playing ABC’s Martha Raddatz channeled Samuel L. Jackson in the movie "Pulp Fiction" telling the contestants, “Don’t try to f—k me like I’m Jim Lehrer” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | October 13, 2012 | 3:03 PM EDT

Jay Leno spent nearly three minutes of his opening monologue Friday trashing Vice President Joe Biden for his performance during Thursday's debate.

Although the Tonight Show host did poke some fun at Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin, the bulk of his jokes targeted Biden including him saying it was "really smart" of moderator Martha Raddatz "to cut Joe off after that third scotch and soda" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | October 13, 2012 | 1:33 PM EDT

Barack Obama must be getting really nervous about his reelection prospects.

On Saturday, his campaign announced that former President Bill Clinton and rock legend Bruce Springsteen will be headlining a get-out-the-vote event in Parma, Ohio, Thursday.

By Matt Hadro | October 12, 2012 | 7:34 PM EDT

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.

By Noel Sheppard | October 12, 2012 | 7:11 PM EDT

"One would think that Biden’s debate preparation was watching repeatedly 'The Shining,' and I think he did an excellent imitation of Jack Nicholson."

So marvelously said syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday's Special Report on Fox.

By Matt Vespa | October 12, 2012 | 5:08 PM EDT

On this morning’s edition of CNN’s Starting Point, host Soledad O’ Brien praised vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz for her “commanding” performance last night.  A performance that demonstrated that she too is in the running for the Vice Presidency of the United States. It took O’Brien less than five minutes to compliment Raddatz’s “ perfect pitch,” despite Vice President Biden’s pervasive interrupting, which muddied the debate and prevented a clear and cogent dissemination of the Ryan’s views.  Furthermore, CNN correspondent Dana Bash trivialized the vice president petulance by saying that is “who he is.”

By Clay Waters | October 12, 2012 | 2:55 PM EDT

The Biden-Ryan vice-presidential debate Thursday night brought out the media's "fact check" squads, including the New York Times, which had a squad of reporters evaluating the statements of Joe Biden and Paul Ryan online during the debate. Still, with perhaps 15 reporters on the job Thursday night, the paper still had to out-source a crucial Biden misstatement on Libya to the one-man fact-check machine at the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, the next morning.

The Times boiled down a few of its findings for Friday's print edition under "Check Point" on topics including Medicare, the stimulus, and the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

James Taranto has written at Opinion Journal that this new-style media "fact checking" is "overwhelmingly biased toward the left" and "gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts." The Times's debate product doesn't refute Taranto's argument. Reporter Michael Cooper had the top "Check Point" item and per usual found the Republican at fault:

By Ryan Robertson | October 12, 2012 | 1:27 PM EDT

In her analysis of the vice presidential debate on the October 12 edition of Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski showed disdain for Paul Ryan and utter adulation for Joe Biden's performance. She was alone in her wildly pro-Joe assessment.

As far as she was concerned, Biden utterly thrashed Ryan, and the liberal MSNBC co-host loved every minute of it: [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]