That’s the question many are asking in the wake of Saturday’s CBS News/National Journal debate. An email has been leaked which seems to indicate this has been a conscious decision, and not some unlucky happenstance. What it suggests is what we’ve suspected all along: The Media is manipulating these debates to get their own favored result. It doesn’t matter which candidate you support. This entire situation has become a farce, and now we know why. Big Media is engineering the outcomes by deciding who will get question, placement of candidates on the stage, and rigging of the entire spectacle. The Bachmann campaign has posted an image of the email on her Facebook page, and it’s pretty damning. In it, CBS News Political Director John Dickerson tells correspondent Caroline Horn:
“Okay let’s keep it loose though since she’s not going to get many questions and she’s nearly off the charts in the hopes we can get someone else”(bolding mine)
This means they had no intention of asking her many questions. This certainly demonstrates what her campaign has been suggesting for some time: Bachmann’s being moved to the margins not so much by voters as by the media’s portrayal of her. By intentionally slighting her, CBS News is manipulating the results. In their statement accompanying the release of the email, Bachmann Campaign Manager, Keith Haigian, said on Bachmann’s Facebook Page:
This is Keith Nahigian, Michele’s campaign manager. While Michele has been onstage at tonight’s debate demonstrating strong leadership on foreign policy and national security, we received concrete evidence confirming what every conservative already knows – the liberal mainstream media elites are manipulating the Republican debates by purposely suppressing our conservative message and limiting Michele’s questions.
View the attached email by CBS News’ political director from earlier today–we need to show the liberal media elite that we won’t stand for this outrageous manipulation. Help us fight this affront by sharing this with your friends.
This really is a damning indication of how thoroughly manipulated these debates have been. If they’re already deciding in advance to limit questions to a particular candidate, as many have suspected all along, then what sort of debates are these? It’s a show intended to give us the favored result of the media, which is why I have suggested that the sane candidates should instead ditch the remainder of these debates and work to get debates scheduled like the Cain-Gingrich debate. At least in that context, you don’t have hostile moderators, and you can be more assured that you’ll get an honest outcome, rather than a stage-managed result.
At one point, moderator Scott Pelley interrupted Bachmann’s attempt to interject with a response to Congressman Ron Paul. Said Pelley:
“There’s actually a system at work here with regard to the Senator’s question.”
This episode reminds me of another CBS scandal, involving a forged letter. Apparently, the faces have changed, but the dirty tricks remain the same over at CBS News. We conservatives must not accept in any measure what the media tells us about the electability of any of these candidates, because it is clear they are seeking their own ends, and it surely doesn’t serve our interests, or the interests of an honest and fair debate. Other candidates have been making a similar charges for some time, but this leaked email is the first evidence we’ve gotten that this is not accidental, not coincidental, and not a matter of bad luck. It has everything to do with the media’s desire to stage the outcome. Conservatives have every reason to be suspicious, because with this sort of clear shaping of debates, what we now must recognize is that the Media will not showcase for voters all of the candidates on a fair and equitable basis.
It also means something else, and for you, it’s very important now as the accelerated primary season is nearly upon us: On this basis alone, every one of these candidates deserves a re-look. That is the truth of the matter.
Here’s the image posted by the Bachmann Campaign on FaceBook: