Debates

By Brent Baker | October 18, 2012 | 9:09 AM EDT

A not so undecided “undecided voter.” At 10:12 AM EDT Wednesday on CNN, faux “undecided voter” Susan Katz, who had asked Mitt Romney at the debate the night before how he’s different from George W. Bush, told Carol Costello she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again this year because “I saw in President Obama someone who has ripened with time who deserves another four years to see his vision through.” (“Ripened”?)

A little more than eight hours later, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, on Nightly News, looked at debate reaction from “undecided voters chosen to ask questions” who “were not entirely happy with what they heard,” starting with Susan Katz whom Mitchell showcased trashing Romney for liking “to be in charge,” as if that’s a bad thing for a President.

By Noel Sheppard | October 18, 2012 | 9:02 AM EDT

Last Friday, the Obama campaign released a Mitt Romney attack ad that deceptively edited a September 23 broadcast of CBS's 60 Minutes.

Take a look at the ad side by side with what Romney actually told Scott Pelley (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Seton Motley | October 18, 2012 | 8:37 AM EDT

Ex-Barack Obama Administration $82 Billion Auto Bailout Czar Steve Rattner has a bit of a problem telling the truth.

What Rattner does not have is a problem with the Jurassic Press Media calling him on his serial flights of factual fancy.

By Brad Wilmouth | October 18, 2012 | 1:43 AM EDT

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:

By Matthew Balan | October 17, 2012 | 6:20 PM EDT

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."

By Kyle Drennen | October 17, 2012 | 5:10 PM EDT

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."

By Clay Waters | October 17, 2012 | 4:39 PM EDT

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:

By Noel Sheppard | October 17, 2012 | 4:31 PM EDT

"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):

By Matt Hadro | October 17, 2012 | 2:43 PM EDT

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.

By Clay Waters | October 17, 2012 | 2:12 PM EDT

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."

By Tom Blumer | October 17, 2012 | 1:21 PM EDT

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."

Well, Rush, don't discount her ability to self-immolate just yet. The Washington Post reports that Crowley is backtracking on her backtrack (HT PJ Tatler):

By Rich Noyes | October 17, 2012 | 1:09 PM EDT

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....”