Politics in Candyland

Crowley's debate moderating was far from moderate

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There are a number of things to question about CNN’s Candy Crowley’s handling of the presidential debate Tuesday night.

Despite a real-time stopwatch on CNN itself, she gave President Obama 10 percent more speaking time than Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The questions she selected to be asked seemed drawn from Democratic talking points. And one observer noted she interrupted Mr. Romney 28 times, Obama only nine – at one point actually telling Mr. Romney to “sit down.”

But the most blaring wart on Crowley’s moderating came when Mr. Obama claimed he called the embassy attack in Libya an act of terror one day later, and Mr. Romney disagreed.

Crowley – oddly stepping into the role of instant fact-checker – declared that Mr. Obama was right that he had, indeed, quickly called the attack an act of terror.

Unfortunately, most viewers will have gone on to something else by the time the debate was over and Crowley, during post-debate analysis on CNN, admitted that Mr. Romney was actually “right in the main.”

Excuse us, Candy. Do you mind saying that louder?

Here’s the unbridled truth, which Ms. Crowley didn’t get to in the debate: Mr. Obama did indeed use the word “terror” in his Rose Garden remarks after the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans. But he was speaking in general – not specifically about the Benghazi, Libya, attack: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

So, a fair assessment of the dispute is this: While the president certainly seemed to imply it, he did not, in fact, say the Benghazi attack was an act of terror.

So, Ms. Crowley, belatedly enough, is correct: Mr. Romney was “right in the main.”

You would hardly know it from watching the debate or Crowley’s handling of it, however. She shouldn’t have tried to fact-check the claim on the spot, and hopefully she regrets that.

But all of this misses the larger point – and it’s a point that a better moderator might have raised: Regardless of what the president said in the Rose Garden that day, the fact is that his administration, for the better part of the following week, perpetrated a hoax story – that the attack on our embassy was the result of a Muslim protest gone bad. The administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, went on the Sunday talk shows five days later to further gin up the “protest” story. But the administration later had to admit that there wasn’t even a protest outside the embassy that day.

It was always a lie.

Ms. Crowley did meekly admit in the debate that Romney was right about the administration’s odd delay in telling the truth – but by then the point was lost.

Furthermore Mr. Obama himself, in his Sept. 25 speech to the United Nations, six times cited an anti-Muhammad video that his administration was blaming for the nonexistent protest and subsequent attack on our embassy in Libya. Why, if he was so convinced on Sept. 12 that it was an act of terror and not a spontaneous protest of a video, did he continue that bogus story in his U.N. speech? And so long after the Sept. 11 embassy attack?

Again, it’s a point that a better moderator – or Republican candidate – could’ve made.

As it is, Ms. Crowley’s ill-advised injection of herself into the dispute led to a false impression – favoring a candidate, Mr. Obama, that most conservatives suspected she preferred from the outset.

On that count, and that count alone, she didn’t disappoint.

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Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 10/18/12 - 12:34 am
13
2
"Crowley's debate moderating was far from moderate"

Ya think? Did anyone that pays attention think she would be?

And what does it matter in the end? Any voter over the age of 25 that is undecided is a voter in name only. A particular class of people that apparently walks around in a zombie like stupor. There is nothing to motivate this zombie class to the polls, no new hope or change, no messiah, just the same ole' same ole'.

2010 was but a taste of things to come.

allhans
24011
Points
allhans 10/18/12 - 12:48 am
11
1
With 65.6 million viewers

With 65.6 million viewers estimated to have been watching this farce, it was damaging to all three participants, Romney, Obama and Crowley.
The attempt to fact check was a bad decision by Crowley and then later, finding she was wrong, having to backtrack.
Politicians seem to be doing a lot of that late.

burninater
9684
Points
burninater 10/18/12 - 01:10 am
6
9
It is deliciously ironic that

It is deliciously ironic that after deliberately ignoring the context of the "you didn't build that" line, people are so desperately trying to get people to fully understand their interpretation of the context of the "acts of terror" line.

My monitor is blurry through my tears for you.

Oh wait, no it's not.

Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 10/18/12 - 02:02 am
10
4
burn

Well there was no deliberate ignoring of context on the “you didn't build that” line, on any sane's person part at least. It was perfectly clear. As a matter of fact there was no ignoring of context by anybody that has built anything. Obama stuck out foot and proceeded to acrobatically insert said foot into mouth.

While we are at it, why, does this Prez go out of his way to sculpt each response to have multiple meanings? What ever happened to yea is yea and nay is nay?

Does he stand by his record of the last 4 years? Yea or nay?

carcraft
27073
Points
carcraft 10/18/12 - 05:34 am
11
3
Romney has Obama

Romney now has Obama in a little box that Obama built, and yes he did build it! Romney is simply going to ask why Obama if, as he stated, he knew it was a terrorist attack from day one, why the stories about the demonstration the video? Obama has said he is responsible so is he responsible form the mucked up message? Why the referance to the video 6 times in the UN speech? Remember Obama said from day one (according to Obama and confirmed by Candy Crowley) that this was a terrorist attack. Why was Rice spreading a false narrative that it was in response to a video and a demonstration that got out of hand? Is any one in charge, or is every body just running off in any old direction?

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 10/18/12 - 06:41 am
5
13
If only Crowley had allowed Romney to run roughshod over her

If only Crowley had allowed Romney to run roughshod over her like he did Lehrer, everything would have been ok. It's interesting that the AC had no mention of that in their Oct. 4 editorial after the first debate.
Quote from Obama:
"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done."

Even though he was giving the speech to mourn four Americans(or "for" if you read the Faux "News" transcript), the right tries to say he didn't call it terrorism? Give me a break.

We're still waiting for all of the AC's fact checking of Romney. A search of "John Kerry flip flop" in the AC editorials had:
"No matter how many "flip-flops" Kerry did in the past "
"no more flip-flops"
"What Kerry needs is for Americans - at least those still capable of being persuaded - to put aside his flip-flopping past"
"despite all his past flip-flops"
" Cataloguing several of Kerry's major flip-flops "
"may be in order to accommodate Kerry's flip-flops."
"accommodate Kerry's flip-flops."
"John Kerry has become legendary for flip-flops. But this past week his campaign has done the near-impossible: flipping and flopping simultaneously." (Wow, twice in one paragraph.)
"Presumptive presidential nominee John Kerry, notorious for his flip-flops"

It's strange that a search of "Mitt Romney flip flop" only comes up once, and that's relating to a S.C. advisor in the Romney camp calling Fred Thompson a flip flopper. Is the AC committing "an act of hypocrisy", or are they "hypocrites"? Evidently, there's a big difference.

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 10/18/12 - 06:55 am
8
3
tech what were the 2

tech what were the 2 paragraphs b/4 the one you cited..remember this is the adminstration that now call acts of terror mad made disater and the ft hood shooting, work place domestic violence. this is the admisnstratin that paid 75k to show a video disclaimg the blamed video in the muslim world..this is te admistration that for almost a month every word out blamed that videio over and over again. then obumler when intervied stated we need not bring up that video because its best to ignore it..you cant make this stuff up..we have children in govt now..and the children are spoiled little brats and selfserving..

jack234
774
Points
jack234 10/18/12 - 07:29 am
5
12
I just want to be the first

I just want to be the first as an independent to thank President Obama for keeping us safe and there has not been another attack inside our borders like the 911 attack during the Bush watch. It is not fair to blame Bush for that just because it happened under his watch. I see where another attempt was foiled yesterday that would have resulted in many lost of lives. Since this administration doesn't toot its own horn, as an independent and the independent group of voters that I belong to, I just want to express my sincere thanks to the present administration.

seenitB4
90950
Points
seenitB4 10/18/12 - 07:43 am
7
3
Robot maybe

Can we get a robot to ask questions next time......probably would do a better job.....

Riverman1
87009
Points
Riverman1 10/18/12 - 07:54 am
8
3
Liberal line: "So what if it

Liberal line: "So what if it was a lie about the video and demonstrations causing the deaths. Obama won the point with Crowley backing him up. How dare Romney question anything about our foreign policy? We're not going to say anything else on the matter."

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 10/18/12 - 08:19 am
4
8
I'd like to see timers on the

I'd like to see timers on the mics so when time was up it simply turned off. Which position should we fact check Romney on since he's been on both sides of pretty much all of them?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPgfzknYd20&feature=player_embedded

Bizkit
33022
Points
Bizkit 10/18/12 - 08:22 am
8
4
Tech watch the youtube video

Tech watch the youtube video of the speech. It is all about context. The first thing he does is talk about tolerance of religion- a direct reference to the movie. He called the incident an "attack" and they would get the "killers" -no mention of terrorism or mention or terrorist or Al qaeda. Lastly he mentions the incident occurs on 9/11 and goes on and on and then mentions "no acts of terror will. " in a general sense in reflection of 9/11 and goes on to say we must maintain our resolve against terrorist acts. Then he spent the next two weeks at the UN and elsewhere talking about the movie. Watch the move:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0wllKURCq8
So he keeps saying killers, attackers-no terrorist. He said terrorist acts only in context of 9/11.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 10/18/12 - 08:26 am
0
0
You have to remember:
Unpublished

The left are like robbers and murderers. They will say and do whatever it takes to escape ( in this case, responsibility) without regard to the safety of the general public. If they have to ruin, murder or steal to reach their goal, they have no compunction to stop.

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 10/18/12 - 08:28 am
7
4
LIKE FT HOOD we will just

LIKE FT HOOD we will just call it something else. we cant stop all attacks its impossible in an open society..but when all the warning signs are there and we chose to ignore it for polotical correct reasons there is a problem....toot its own horn you mean like bin laden????

Bizkit
33022
Points
Bizkit 10/18/12 - 08:30 am
7
4
Even if he did say it vaguely

Even if he did say it vaguely once- the two weeks following all the speeches were about the movie. So at a minimum he contradicted himself and seems incompetent in regard to the whole issue.

Riverman1
87009
Points
Riverman1 10/18/12 - 08:35 am
11
3
The whole matter of the

The whole matter of the administration's response to the attack is ridiculous. We all KNOW what happened. UN Ambassador Susan Rice and others repeatedly said it was a spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand. Now Rice says she had misinformation. Are we to believe the President knew the day after the attack that it was Al Qaeda terrorists and didn't tell Rice and the others? I'm starting to get embarrassed for them trying to get out of the cover-up when the whole country knows the truth.

shrimp for breakfast
5460
Points
shrimp for breakfast 10/18/12 - 08:35 am
4
4
I must admit

The moderatror was lousy. Is this the best we could come up with?
I suggest Honey Boo Boo moderate the next debate.

Jon Lester
2367
Points
Jon Lester 10/18/12 - 08:38 am
4
7
You would prefer an infomercial format

and free reign to let any assertion go unchallenged, no matter how plainly fabricated? The rest of us have heard the facts of the matter and put Benghazi behind us, honoring the wishes of the Stevens family to stop politicizing the issue. Besides, action is being taken in Libya, even as we speak.

http://www.facebook.com/jonlestercongress

justthefacts
22739
Points
justthefacts 10/18/12 - 08:51 am
9
3
Tonight

Maybe the President will clear things up on the Comedy channel's Daily Show tonight. You know Jon Stewart will asking the tough questions! At least it will be intentionally funny.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 10/18/12 - 10:21 am
4
9
If a mayor or sheriff did a

If a mayor or sheriff did a press conference after an event of gang violence on their streets, and said, “No acts of gang violence will ever shake the resolve of this great city," wouldn't everyone know what he was talking about?

This is ridiculous.

Riverman1
87009
Points
Riverman1 10/18/12 - 09:08 am
8
3
"If a mayor or sheriff did a

"If a mayor or sheriff did a press conference after about of gang violence on their streets, and said, “No acts of gang violence will ever shake the resolve of this great city," wouldn't everyone know what he was talking about?"

Not if what really happened was a well planned attack using automatic weapons and RPG's by a well known terrorist organization.

So Obama knew from the start and he was trying to tell us it was an organized attack? Yet, he didn't tell Hillary, Susan Rice and the White House spokesman, Jay Carney?

justthefacts
22739
Points
justthefacts 10/18/12 - 09:15 am
8
4
Communication problem

To river's point. On September 20 — eight days after Obama claims to have called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” — Jay Carney affirmed to reporters that the White House had never called it “a terrorist attack.”
Perhaps the President should more time with his people communicating and less time in Las Vegas.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 10/18/12 - 09:21 am
6
7
This is such a weird issue to

This is such a weird issue to harp on. It's so simple to understand if you're not deliberately trying to be obtuse.

There were many protests about the video in that area that day. Not directly outside of the Embassy, as it turns out. But they thought the attacks, as being part of a protest were a terrorist attack. Turns out, it was a terroist attack without protests.

See, "terrorists" isn't an exclusive organization. It's not a club with a decoder ring and initation. Whether it was part of a protest that got out of hand, which was the original intelligence gathered before contradictory evidence came to light, that's still considered terrorism.

dichotomy
34473
Points
dichotomy 10/18/12 - 09:28 am
8
5
1. I think it was obvious the

1. I think it was obvious the Crowley was in the tank for Obama from the the first question. She constantly interrupted Romney while ALWAYS letting Obama finish his point even though his time was up, gave Obama 10% more time, and interjected herself into the debate in Obama's favor even though she was technically wrong.

2. Even if Obama did make a generic reference to terror in the Rose Garden that does not negate the fact that for two weeks he sent his administration's minions out on the circuit to blame the attack on the Youtube video and he, himself, went to the U.N. and blamed it on the video. Blatant lies.

And Techfan...."Which position should we fact check Romney on since he's been on both sides of pretty much all of them"

The same thing can be said for Obama. I seem to remember video of Obama saying that Bush's debt was "unpatriotic" so Obama doubled it....which is pretty much logical since I think Obama is "double unpatriotic". Wasn't Obama anti-gay marriage before he was pro-gay marriage? Wasn't Obama going to close GTMO before he decided to keep it open?

allhans
24011
Points
allhans 10/18/12 - 09:34 am
7
4
I want to thank George W Bush

I want to thank George W Bush for keeping us safe for 7 years.
It does my heart good just to think about it.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 10/18/12 - 09:57 am
4
5
"I want to thank George W

"I want to thank George W Bush for keeping us safe for 7 years.
It does my heart good just to think about it."

Do people really forget about 9/11? Or do they not think it happened under a Republican President?

Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 10/18/12 - 10:02 am
4
2
Jon Lester opines:

“The rest of us have heard the facts of the matter and put Benghazi behind us”

I do believe that “put Benghazi behind us”, is just code for: “no way, no how, can we support our original position. We tried so very hard to not hurt the feelings of Islamofacist, who cares if we obfuscate? The greater issue is to show tolerance which we did, which I did, do you have a noble peace prize? I didn't think so.”

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 10/18/12 - 10:07 am
2
3
"The rest of us have heard

"The rest of us have heard the facts of the matter and put Benghazi behind us."

That's not what Obama said during the debate... or any other time.

Bantana
2071
Points
Bantana 10/18/12 - 10:14 am
5
7
In the tank?

So...TechFan gives a nice recap of the bias of our print outlet and gets major thumbs down for revealing how being "in the tank" goes both ways?

And TParty, your remarks on the "public" timeline regarding the attack on our consulate are cogent, reasonable and a welcome oasis of sanity in a desert of disdain and suspicion.

One final bit. James Lipton of The Actors Studio had the most penetrating and surprising distillation of "who is Mitt Romney?" that I've ever heard. Shocking in it's simplicity and obvious truth. Leave it to a
teacher of acting to bring the lumber against an actor.

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