In August, I blasted the Commission on Presidential Debate’s choices of three Beltway lib journo-tools — CNN’s Candy Crowley, PBS’s Jim Lehrer and CBS’s Bob Schieffer. So far, they’ve acted just as expected and predicted. As I noted:
While the debate panel trumpeted the gender diversity of its picks, the chromosomal diversity is far outweighed by the political uniformity, class conformity and geographical homogeneity of the group.
Crowley has lived and worked in D.C. for liberal CNN for a quarter-century. Raddatz worked for liberal National Public Radio for five years before joining ABC News; she has been based in the D.C. bureau for the better part of a decade. Schieffer has been a fixture in the nation’s capital at CBS News, home of the faked Rathergate documents, for three decades. Lehrer, the liberal patriarch of PBS News, is nearly as aged a Beltway monument as the Washington Monument itself.
The presidential debates are the last bastion of “mainstream” media self-delusion in the 21st century. They are a ritual laughingstock for tens of millions of American viewers who have put up with leading, softball questions for Democratic candidates and combative, fili-blustery lectures for Republican candidates campaign cycle after cycle.
Tonight, Schieffer takes the stage. Here is the format and topic order he selected:
America’s role in the world
Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
Red Lines – Israel and Iran
The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World
The debate will be held on Monday, October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. The format calls for six 15-minute time segments, each of which will focus on one of the topics listed above. The moderator will open each segment with a question. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Following the candidates’ responses, the moderator will use the balance of the 15-minute segment to facilitate a discussion on the topic. All debates start at 9:00 p.m. ET and run for 90 minutes.
Schieffer has steadfastly refused to acknowledge his biases over the years. But his words below speak for themselves. Can he contain himself tonight? Like Crowley, he’s signaled to the media that he will “interject” himself to stop candidate “filibuster[ing]” when necessary. He has already taken the liberty of redefining what the foreign policy debate is about for voters, arguing to the left-wing Daily Beast: “While the third encounter is devoted to foreign policy, ‘what these debates are about are really about character.’” And liberal L.A. Times columnist James Rainey happily predicted that Schieffer will “throw some curves” tonight. Which way will he lean? You be the judge:
1. Schieffer penned a book in 1989 titled “The Acting President: Ronald Reagan and the Supporting Players Who Helped Him Create the Illusion That Held America Spellbound.” Nope, no bias there! Newsbusters reported that 23 years after it was published, Schieffer finally acknowledged that it was “not entirely true.”
2. In June, Schieffer hosted RNC chair Reince Preibus on his “Face the Nation” program, and lambasted Republicans for focusing on “silly and petty” things — like the $500 million Solyndra bankruptcy. No, really. Preibus held his own. Schieffer showed his true blue colors:
Priebus contrasted the president’s leadership with Governor Scott Walker‘s, an executive who Priebus argued has actually kept his promises. On the other hand, he said that President Obama just loves hearing the sound of his own voice.
At this point, Schieffer jumped in to turn the tables on Priebus and the Republican party, pointing to a recent Republican protest of a David Axelrod speech in Boston and Mitt Romney taking reporters to the Solyndra plant as a kind of campaign stunt. This led Schieffer to ask Priebus just how seriously his party is taking this election.
“Isn’t that kind of silly and petty when you look at it? This campaign should be, it seems to me, about very serious things and very serious issues.”
Priebus argued that Solyndra is a serious, legitimate issue for Republicans to address, because of how well it represents “political cronyism” under Obama. And as for Axelrod’s speech, Priebus dismissed the whole thing as a stunt to make a point in Romney’s home state, and even found it amusing that “these tough guys from Chicago” were “cry[ing] about it.”
3. Schieffer condemned Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer for defending herself against thin-skinned Obama’s tarmac hissy fit over her book. Remember: It was Obama who stalked off rudely after whining about her book (which he hadn’t read), not Brewer. In Schieffer’s reality bubble, Brewer was the “vulgar” aggressor — and he used the incident to complain inexplicably about “social media.” Via MRC: