Late this afternoon, TMZ reported a leaked email from CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker to the staff of CNN, defending disgraced second presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley. It’s a full-throated list of Barack Obama talking points. Here’s the email:
Let's start with a big round of applause for Candy Crowley for a superb job under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. She and her team had to select and sequence questions in a matter of hours, and then she had to deal with the tricky format, the nervous questioners, the aggressive debaters, all while shutting out the pre-debate attempts to spin and intimidate her. She pulled it off masterfully.
The reviews on Candy's performance have been overwhelmingly positive but Romney supporters are going after her on two points, no doubt because their man did not have as good a night as he had in Denver. On the legitimacy of Candy fact-checking Romney on Obama's Rose Garden statement, it should be stressed that she was just stating a point of fact: Obama did talk about an act (or acts) of terror, no matter what you think he meant by that at the time. On why Obama got more time to speak, it should be noted that Candy and her commission producers tried to keep it even but that Obama went on longer largely because he speaks more slowly. We're going to do a word count to see whether, as in Denver, Romney actually got more words in even if he talked for a shorter period of time.
This is ridiculously biased, partisan, and stupid – or, as CNN might put it, brilliant.
Start with the line that Crowley did a good job “under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.” This wasn’t the Battle of the Bulge. It was a presidential debate. And Crowley put herself at the center of attention with repeated interviews, declarations that she would exceed her role, and finally, an ass-kissing for President Obama worthy of Chris Matthews. Whitaker’s elaboration on her role is simply absurd. Selecting questions is not difficult. Neither is the format. Debaters are supposed to be aggressive. And the notion that she “shut out the pre-debate attempts to spin and intimidate her”? Laughable. Obama intimidated her during the debate into repeating her false fact check of Mitt Romney on Libya.
But Whitaker continues this virtuosic manifesto of idiocy. He says that the reviews of her performance were “overwhelmingly positive.” But they weren’t. Even Politico, which is on the Obama Christmas mailing list, ripped her over her Libya gaffe. So did the Washington Post. So, in fact, did Candy Crowley.
But according to Whitaker, who apparently reads his talking points from Media Matters each morning over a breakfast of non-fat organic yogurt and Kool-Aid, the only people who thought Crowley brutalized the debate were “Romney supporters.” Why? “No doubt because their man did not have as good a night as he had in Denver.
Thanks for that, Stephanie Cutter. Those objective journalists at CNN are doing a stellar job of keeping their biases hidden.
But it gets worse. Whitaker says that Crowley’s false fact check was “just stating a point of fact.” No, she wasn’t. She admitted as much later. So did much of the leftist, Obama-supporting media. She butchered the facts.
But it gets even worse. Whitaker on the dramatic time imbalance in favor of Obama: “On why Obama got more time to speak, it should be noted that Candy and her commission producers tried to keep it even but that Obama went on longer largely because he speaks more slowly. We're going to do a word count to see whether, as in Denver, Romney actually got more words in even if he talked for a shorter period of time.”
A word count?! If the number of words mattered more than the time count, Romney should have spoken incredibly slowly – he should have spoken at approximately two words a minute, then taken up 80 minutes of the debate. He’d have been gypped on time, according Whitaker – he’d only have spoken 160 words. If CNN is now going to account for speaking cadency, they’re punishing people who are articulate, and rewarding people who say “um” a lot. Call it Obama missing telemprompter affirmative action.
CNN’s a joke. Candy Crowley’s a joke. They’re perfect for each other.