CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley's moderation of the second presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday night appeared biased, but most conservatives and independents are used to this. As facts and evidence have emerged, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Crowley went easy on Barack Obama and made the debate questions and "fact checking" as favorable as possible to the president. In the newsrooms of the past, this would be a termination offense, and in any case, Crowley should resign.
This controversy is all over conservative news outlets, radio shows and blogs. As I live-blogged the debate, I didn't really register the full impact of the "fact check" incident; I was more impressed that the president declared that he'd ordered security sent to Benghazi "as soon as we learned the embassy had been overrun."
Clearly, security in Benghazi was a long time coming, as so far as I know, it's still not there. CNN (ironically) had acted as a sort of de facto security three days after the attack when Ambassador Chris Stevens' diary and previously confidential documents were retrieved by its reporters. I knew that locals took Stevens to the hospital. Either the president was totally making this order up, or it now takes our "security" more than six weeks to get anywhere.
Casually working this yesterday, I heard a faint replay of the now-infamous "fact check" of Mitt Romney's assertion that the president did not say the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi was a terror attack in Libya.
I heard Obama command Candy Crowley: "Get the transcript." Not ask, not "Can you check" (which would be questionable). He ordered her to act. As I now have discovered, many have asked, why would she have had such a transcript there in the first place?
It seems very likely this whole exchange was designed to clarify what is now known to be a vintage, failed Obama campaign talking point.
On September 30, 2012, in response to the Obama Administration's ever-changing explanations of the attack in Benghazi on September 11, David Axelrod went on a number of Sunday shows telling people that the president had called the attack "terrorism" in his Rose Garden speech given the day after the attacks.
One of the shows Axelrod appeared on was CNN's State of the Union with Crowley.
On September 30, 2012, Crowley was still a reporter, and a good one.
Now, Crowley, the first female moderator of a presidential debate in two decades, has cast shame on the process and on her previously excellent reputation as a journalist.
If Crowley knew the "I called it terrorism on September 12" assertion was an Axelrod rationalization on September 30, why did she go Dan Rather and act like the president's bimbo on October 16?
Women want gender equality? Dan Rather resigned his job at CBS in September, 2004 over his insistence that forged documents defaming George W. Bush that were printed in a default Microsoft Word font, were typed on a 1973 typewriter. The spinning about this journalistic failure was so intense that some suggested the obviously fake memos were created on one of the very early typesetting machines.
Crowley could do better than Rather if she owns up and resigns. Her choice.
And the president? If people want David Axelrod to be president, they should vote for him.