Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Candy Crowley Shills for Obama at Hofstra Debate!

I saw the pre-debate criticisms of Candy Crowley, and I held back from commenting. I wanted to give her a chance. But I can honestly say now that this was the worst debate moderation in presidential debate history --- and I've been watching them since 1988. The moderator's jobs is to moderate, which means to act as a referee and keep the proceedings on track. A moderator is never a participant, for to do so means inevitably to take up sides. So for President Obama to call on Crowley for a fact check during the debate is like asking the NFL refs to give you a favorable spot for the first down in the 4th quarter of a game that's all tied up. No one would ever countenance it, and as the post-debate spin picks up, especially over the next couple of days, CNN's going to come in for enormous criticism for propping up the president and violating the announced rules and advanced directives of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Ann Althouse has this at Instapundit:

CANDY CROWLEY INSERTED HERSELF INTO THE DEBATE, OUTRAGEOUSLY, to break up Romney’s most dramatic moment, when Romney was questioning what Obama said the day after the attack in Benghazi. Obama had said he’d called the attack an “act of terror” and Romney was staring him down about it. Crowley broke up the showdown, saying “He did in fact call it an act of terror,” which took the wind out of Romney’s sails. We were advised to check the transcript, but the dramatic moment was lost. The transcript shows Romney was right, and Crowley and Obama were wrong.
Althouse updates with Patrick Brennan at National Review, "‘An Act of Terror’?" (at Memeorandum):
President Obama claimed tonight that he called the Benghazi attack an act of terror the day after it occurred, in the Rose Garden. Mitt Romney seemed skeptical, and asked him whether he stood by that statement — that he’d called it terrorism, rather than a spontaneous act arising out of a demonstration.

But here are his remarks....

One could take that as a reference to acts which include the tragedy in Benghazi, obviously, but there was clearly no effort made to label it an act of terrorism. One reason why this might be: According to U.S. law, acts of terrorism are premeditated. The Obama administration’s line for days following Obama’s Rose Garden statement suggested that the attack wasn’t premeditated.
Read the whole thing for the context. And while it's clear that the president only made an oblique reference to "acts of terror" ---- and not an explicit, purposeful condemnation of a premeditated attack ---- the exact wording provides presidential wiggle room, and then progressives will just continue to shill for the administration's cover up.

This was a new low in presidential debates. If folks will remember, as I always argue, we're no longer in a media environment where professionalism demands strict impartiality. We've long returned to a "partisan press" in which media outlets take sides. What was entirely new tonight is that a debate moderator who was charged with the trust of objectivity and fairness injected herself into a debate to deflate the momentum of the Republican challenger. It was as if Candy Crowley was of the monarch's cortege, and she juggled a court performance to place the king in the best possible light, not allowing a glimpse of true frailty of the man behind the throne. It was the spectacle of feigned impartiality in the service of entrenched power. In this case, the president was being brought down low, with truth to power charging from the challenger's attacks, then only to be deflated by a "fact-checking" moment that works to the default advantage of the incumbent. That alone made the debate a travesty of democracy.

There in fact had been a good number of back-and-forth rounds between the candidates, and I was expecting that folks might, some more moderate folks, call it a draw. But on the economy, on taxes and ---- especially ---- on energy policy, Mitt Romney was eviscerating the president. It was almost no contest at those moments. Romney, like during the first debate, was in his wheelhouse. And Crowley clearly sensed the president's trouble and gladly shilled for him at key points, shouting down Romney's attempts to get in brief clarifications and then, of course, taking sides when it came to the president's request to "check the transcript." Seriously. I've never seen such an outrageous thing at a debate. But clearly, Obama needed help.

More at Memeorandum.

Expect updates.

9:29pm Pacific: Fact-checking the debate fact-checker, at WaPo, "Fact Check: Libya attack":
What did Obama say in the Rose Garden a day after the attack in Libya? ”No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation,” he said.

But he did not say “terrorism”—and it took the administration days to concede that that it an “act of terrorism” that appears unrelated to initial reports of anger at a video that defamed the prophet Muhammad.
Romney was right.


And over at Althouse's blog, "'The moderator will not... intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments during the 2 minute response period'":
That was the contractual term that Candy Crowley agreed to and blatantly violated in the debate tonight. She let us know in advance that she wasn't going to follow it...
More at the link.

And boy, like I said, she sure did blow off the advance directives not to deviate from the impartial script. It's a staggering assault of the process, and a blow to the decency and sense of fair play of the average voter.


This is a scandal; a total and complete media scandal committed by a woman who promised to violate her contract and to insert herself into the debate. All she did for weeks was brag about how she intended to grab the spotlight -- and boy did she ever.

Absolutely disgraceful.