MSM to GOP Dissidents: You can attend – but you can`t speak!
They may seem interminable, but in fact the GOP Presidential debates are proving very valuable. Last night’s for a crucially important reason: it produced proof of the MSM’s steely determination to control and limit public debate.
Two candidates have complained (with perfect justice) about the way they were treated: Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann. The facts are decently presented in GOP Candidates Blast CBS for ‘Disgraceful’ Bias at South Carolina Debate By Matthew Jaffe ABC News Nov 12, 2011
“Paul’s spokesman Jesse Benton accused CBS of “disgraceful” actions that stemmed from an “arrogance” in thinking that “they can choose the next president.”
“Ron Paul consistently polls among the top three in the key early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire,” Benton said in a statement. “He is polling in double digits in most respected polls. …And, Congressman Paul has contrasting views on foreign policy that many Americans find worthy of inquiry and discussion. CBS’s treatment of Congressman Paul is disgraceful, especially given that tonight’s debate centered on foreign policy and national security.
“Congressman Paul was only allocated 90 seconds of speaking in one televised hour,” Benton said.”
The Paul campaign is absolutely correct. Paul is the only dissident out of the eight on foreign policy (alas, not on immigration) and effectively excluding him from contribution meant in reality last night was a joint press conference, not a debate.
Michelle Bachmann got a little more time – and incontrovertible proof she was being kept to a minimum. Deliciously, CBS News Political Director John Dickerson accidently sent her campaign an email telling his staff not to commit to an after show interview:
“…let’s keep it loose though since she’s not going to get many questions…”
Fox Nation has the facsimile: Bachmann Blasts CBS For Manipulating Debate, Has Proof Nov 13, 2011
Michelle Bachmann’s repression – which I have noted before – is not due to foreign policy. There she is deplorably conformist.
Where she is a dissident, however, is on immigration. Her NumbersUSA grading of B- is the easily the best of any contender: far ahead of Mitt Romney at C- to say nothing of Newt Gingrich at D-. She even tried to raise the topic in last Wednesday’s narrowly controlled debate on the Economy.
The GOP candidates in general continue to behave as if approval by the MSM Establishment is more important than catching the imagination of the Republican electorate. Foreign policy and Immigration are issues of which they are deathly afraid.
And based on the evidence of Saturday’s debate they have some justification.