I said it going into the debate regarding all the discussion of the moderator and CNN’s Candy Crowley’s noted objection to the moderator rules agreed upon by both campaigns. It was maintained that the moderator should be there as an impartial referee to ensure fairness, and not to insert their opinion or personal bias.
Well are we surprised? You have to think that going into the debate, Candy Crowley was overly sensitive to two things, the poor performance of her guy, President Barack Obama at the first debate and the criticism that was hoisted from the left upon Jim Lehrer’s conduct as moderator.
As any professional referee will tell you, they are there to make sure the rules are followed and they know things have gotten out of control when a game or contest becomes more about them than the game itself.
Case in point, Crowley by her insertion into the debate, became a two against one proposition, and exposed her bias. This epitomizes the main issue that alienates viewers and listeners. This is what’s killing journalism on a larger scale and the likes of CNN on a smaller and even smaller scale.
Their talent base and resources are worthy of a larger audience and greater influence, but their product is compromised and limited. The proven and honored principles of excellent journalism have been rejected for sensational and emotionally charged reporting that does little to advance a society or a nation.
Sadly, our media has abdicated its time-honored and respectable position in our society to replace check out stands tabloid reporting. TV Network Audience levels and top Newspaper and magazine circulations have all dwindled under this new normal of reporting.
They have all lost audience and interest because they have intentionally ignored their reason for being, to document history. Save your opinion for the editorial pages and segments of your programming. Use your talent and resources to report the news and trust your audience.
I can appreciate the temptation to influence opinion, but what if like Candy Crowley, you get it wrong? She got it wrong in front of nearly 60 million viewers and then walked it back on CNN with an audience of only a fraction of the original audience size. And to add to the problem, she violated the principle of being a moderator, which is making sure there is fairness. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, she gave the president what amounts to, an opportunity to rewrite history.
Most Americans do not believe the president in the context of his rose garden speech specifically said that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. This is especially difficult when backed by the president’s words on Letterman, the View, in a Univision interview, his speech at the United Nations, where he mentions the video six times and says nothing of terrorism, Jay Carney’s insistence along with Susan Rice’s Sunday reports that it was about the video on five different TV channels.
The bottom line is that Candy Crowley either misrepresented the CNN brand or exposed it. The fact that CNN rallied to her side and saw no problem with what she did says volumes about their bias and explains their dwindling audience. Believe it or not, America is smarter than you think.