William Katz:  Urgent Agenda






I LOVE IT – AT 9:11 A.M. ET:  Finally, a prominent Republican actually had the guts to call out press bias at the presidential debates.  From The Politico:

Frank Fahrenkopf, a co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, said tonight that the Commission made a "mistake" by selecting CNN anchor Candy Crowley to moderate one of the 2012 presidential debates.

Fahrenkopf, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, was speaking at the Las Vegas Country Club in Nevada. According to Jon Ralston, the Nevada-based political journalist, Fahrenkopf told the audience there that he was proud of the 2012 debate moderators, but added: “We made one mistake this time: Her name is Candy."

Crowley, who moderated the second, town-hall-style debate, drew heavy fire from conservatives for challenging Mitt Romney after he suggested that President Obama had not called the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, "acts of terror."

According to an agreement between the Obama and Romney campaigns, the moderator of the town hall debate was to refrain from asking questions or participating in the debate. Crowley had promised to defy that agreement even before the debate started.

Crowley later defended the interjection, saying she was just "trying to move the conversation along."

COMMENT:  Crowley's interruption was entirely inappropriate, and she should have apologized.  It gave the clear, intended impression that Romney had made a factual error.  That was for President Obama, Romney's debate opponent, to point out, if it were true.  By interjecting, Crowley put her finger on the scale.

The blessing here is that at least we didn't have Gwen Ifill to contend with in these debates.  Queen Gwen was apparently miffed that she wasn't included this year in the roster of moderators.  She does not believe in neutrality, so the luck was ours.

Frank Fahrenkopf was one of the best of the Republican national chairmen, and is highly respected.  I'm glad he spoke out.  Only if our side fights back against press bias do we have any chance of denting that situation.

February 20, 2013