CBS Blasted For Handling Of Republican Debate

BachmannGrimaceCBS is about as good at managing their email as they are at hosting debates. Last night's Republican debate — in which the moderators from CBS and the National Journal forced wild thematic changes on the candidates every three or four minutes, making it all but impossible for the already-befoggled presidential hopefuls to elucidate any complex thoughts on any issues at all — is being panned from every angle today, and most forcefully by the shrinking Michele Bachmann campaign. Apparently, one of Bachmann's staffers was mistakenly copied on an internal CBS memo, circulated before the debate, in which the station's political director, John Dickerson, directed his underlings to keep Rep. Bachmann's airtime to a minimum. Which they did. 

According to Politico:

[The email said] Bachmann is "nearly off the charts," "not going to be getting many questions," and probably wouldn’t be even be worth inviting to a post-debate webcast.

Other gripes about the debate include CBS's decision to air the last 30 minutes of the event exclusively online — a move that fatally bottle-necked the bandwidth, rendering large chunks of the discussion incomprehensible — and the short shrift given candidates Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul.

Really, though — Bachmann's the tragedy here, because when she did get a chance to speak, she was mind-blowing. For example: Until last night, did you have any idea that the United States is more Communist than China?


  1. oliver says

    Obviously Michele hasn’t seen the documentary film “Last Train Home,” in which a couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower­.

  2. Derek Wain says

    “An email from a CBS producer who predicted that Bachmann would not receive many questions from moderators Scott Pelley and Major Garrett.”
    The email is not a “supposed smoking gun” It proves that CBS intended their anti-Bachmann bias to do what they in fact did: ask Bachmann fewer (60%) questions than asked of Romney and Gingrich.
    When you predict what in fact you do, then it shows intent, in this case intent of bias.
    A recent SmartPolitics analysis found that former Massachusetts governor and front-runner for the nomination Mitt Romney has spoken for over 73 minutes in the last 5 debates, more than any other candidate. Texas Governor Rick Perry came in second in terms of speaking time at 54 minutes, followed by Bachmann at 41.

  3. woodroad34d says

    I find it hard to believe that CBS, one of the least liberal networks that has an older demographic and therefore more conservative, is being malicious to the Republicans or manipulating “us”. Geez, even Fox TV (probably the most pernicious network) has more gay characters than CBS.

  4. say what says

    when your polling at only 4& you shouldn’t even be on the stage to begin with

    that goes for all of them. The only ones that should be on the stage at this point are


    all the others are polling under 10% amongst repubs with 1/3 of repubs still supporting haven’t made up mind/ anybody else but the nit wits we have

  5. says

    CBS made it ‘all but impossible for the already-befoggled presidential hopefuls to elucidate any complex thoughts on any issues at all’?
    Please. They have no complex thoughts. In every debate, they repeat the standard talking points: less regulation, tax cuts for the rich, cuts in spending for the middle class, etc…, a simplistic platform that has failed so often and so spectacularly that it’s hard to listen to without laughing or crying.
    I’ll try to remember that Brandon Thorp thinks these are complex thoughts on the issues. It’ll save me from wasting time on what he writes, much like I’m warned off that legal writier who penned some far right nut kookery.
    I wonder. Has the site been taken over by the Koch brothers?

  6. sandra weston says

    I was very disappointed that CBS did not give the lady equal time to speak. She tried to rebuttal. And was not allowed to do so! It was one sided and I was disappointed. CBS can deny it all they want but they did not give the lady a fair chance. Do it over and apologize!

  7. say what says


    she & santorum & perry (latest poll has him at 4% as well) etc all should count themselves lucky that they are even allowed on the stage

    any sane party would have forced anyone under 10% out by now

  8. Mike says

    On Tuesday of this week Ohio voter soundly rejected an anti-union, anti-middle class bill passed by their unpopular republican governor and republican state legislature. This bill was written by ALEC, a corporate funded lobbiest group that writes and promotes pro-corporate legislation for republican state legislatures. This bill stinks of the Coch brothers and and right wing corporate cash. Ohio rejected it by a margin of almost 2 to 1. Since the vote in Ohio there have been two national republican debates and notone mention of the Ohio vote. All of the republican presidential candidates supported it, some of them even campaigned for it.

    So where were the questions about it? Doesn’t America deserve to know why every republican supports some thing so unpopular with the middle class and something so outside of mainstream America?

  9. TJ says

    Balloon-head Bachmann should go back to her Minnesota job of being a milk maid. Not to denegrate milk maids, but Bachmann is too dumb to be anything else.

    Also, that way, she can keep her obese wife Marcus dressed in the appropriate women’s fashion without bleeding Americans for the money to cloth the pig…

  10. Chris says

    I remember back in the day that each candidate was asked the same question and given equal amount of air time.

    The manipulation of politics through the media is obvious now. Isn’t there honest people working in these companies that are willing to call out this fraudulent sham. What coerced this country’s media to become this way and why didn’t the media expose such efforts to manipulate the American people?

    What ever happened to real journalism and real questions rather than soft ball talking points questions?
    Is it that too few hands have power over all the major networks?

  11. sunofagun says

    Giving more face/talk time is why they lead in the polls. They know this. They know they create the candidates. Why not try a little reversal, and start giving the least amount of time to the candidates they built up. Why not challenge the people living in the sound-byte community to think.

  12. anon says

    These debates could be conducted online in text-only fashion, or with video responses posted to YouTube, which has plenty of bandwidth. Also, the candidates can respond to all the questions on their own websites.

  13. says

    Awwww, poor Michelle Bachmann. She’s running neck and neck with the losers Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman for Biggest Loser in recent polls. Now, I am the first one to call that woman a crackpot and her gay husband Marcus Bachmann, a closet case. But I started the Michelle Bachmann for President campaign in May knowing full well that she guarantees Barack Obama’s second term

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