Michelle Malkin / October 19, 2016

Debate Depressive Disorder

How many more broadcast bust-ups will it take before America finally decides to make its presidential election debates tolerable again? I can’t take it anymore. Can you? For the past three cycles — 2008, 2012, and 2016 — I’ve chronicled the depressing, systemic bias of left-leaning partisans whom the Commission on Presidential Debates routinely installs as “moderators.” It would be one thing if these activists posing as journalists were upfront about their political preferences. But they continue to star in phony debate theater wearing their dime-store costumes of objectivity.

How many more broadcast bust-ups will it take before America finally decides to make its presidential election debates tolerable again? I can’t take it anymore. Can you?

For the past three cycles — 2008, 2012, and 2016 — I’ve chronicled the depressing, systemic bias of left-leaning partisans whom the Commission on Presidential Debates routinely installs as “moderators.” It would be one thing if these activists posing as journalists were upfront about their political preferences. But they continue to star in phony debate theater wearing their dime-store costumes of objectivity.

The even bigger farce? Masochistic Republican Party bosses let them get away with it year after year after year.

Note to President Obama: This is not “whining.” This is truth-telling. I find it rather rich that the complainer-in-chief who spent two terms incessantly attacking Fox News and conservative talk radio is now wagging his waggy-licious finger at anyone else who bears grievances against hostile media and its enablers.

In 2008, the Commission on Presidential Debates allowed liberal PBS anchor Gwen Ifill to serve as unfettered moderator for the sole vice presidential debate. As I reported at the time, Ifill had failed to disclose before the event that she had a book coming out on Jan. 20, 2009 — a date that just happens to coincide with the inauguration of the next president of the United States — titled “Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” The promotional material left no question about Ifill’s perspective. She hyped Obama’s campaign as “stunning” and marveled at his “bold new path to political power.” She also used her access to author a hagiographic pop culture piece for Essence magazine about the Obama family.

When asked to respond to criticism about her ideological and financial conflicts of interest, Ifill acted like a true-blue leftist and played the race card.

This year’s vice presidential debate “moderator” didn’t fare much better. Billed as a “historic” choice because of her Filipino heritage, Elaine Quijano was a historic doormat for Clinton’s babbling running mate, Tim Kaine. Her media cheerleaders, led by The New York Times’ Nick Kristof, naturally invoked the gender card to defend her embarrassing passivity.

Another “diversity” moderator, Telemundo celebrity journalist Maria Celeste Arraras, known as “the Katie Couric of Spanish TV,” soaked up nearly half a CNN GOP primary debate earlier this year representing “the Latino community” on issues such as Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy.

2012, of course, was the year of Bitter Candy — CNN’s Candy Crowley. She notoriously injected herself into the second debate (a town hall debate that was supposed to spotlight citizens’ questions) by arguing with then-GOP nominee Mitt Romney about Benghazi and running interference for Obama.

Crowley was just the latest Democratic plant at a CNN-sponsored election debate. The network has a long history of passing off partisan operatives as “ordinary people” and “undecided voters” during town halls while failing to disclose their political affiliations to viewers. Moreover, there’s no telling how many CNN contributors are acting as moles for Democratic campaigns. We know of at least one. This week, CNN host Jake Tapper was forced to admit that a WikiLeaks-published email showing CNN contributor and DNC head Donna Brazile had tipped off the Clinton campaign in advance to town hall questions was “horrifying.”

And four years ago, we also endured the spectacle of Clinton adviser-turned-ABC newsman George Stephanopoulos pushing the Democrats’ “war on women” propaganda by pressing Republicans on a nonsense contraceptive ban.

Yet, the debate commission and the Republican National Committee keep drawing from the same tainted well of cloistered media personalities. Establishment journos Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC News were repeat moderators this year — with disastrous results. Raddatz, another left-wing PBS alumna and Beltway fixture, created her own bitter Candy moment at the second presidential debate last week when she lost her marbles over Syria and scrapped with Donald Trump over Syria. He was right to call the townhall charade a “one on three” battle.

Actually, “one on three” is not quite accurate. As the Center for Public Integrity revealed this week, a whopping 96 percent of the nearly $400,000 in presidential campaign donations from “people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism” has gone to Hillary Clinton.

Wham! There’s your fact-check of the year, my fellow journalists. I’m looking at you in particular, Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza. Annoyed by mounting social media criticism of liberal reporters tilting their coverage, he tweeted this week: “Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don’t root for a side. Period.”

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. It’s the fuel that sustains the Fourth Estate’s undeserved superiority complex and monopoly over the debates. What would be so wrong with allowing open, transparent, informed partisan journalists from all sides of the political aisle a bite at the presidential debate apple? Abandon the pretenses. Put all the ideological cards on the table. Make the debates honest and tolerable again.

The problem isn’t the partisan press. It’s the poseur press.

COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.