CNBC’s debate was a biased joke, says … Terry McAuliffe?

posted at 4:01 pm on October 31, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

And so we have reached national consensus on at least one political issue. When the former chair of the Democratic National Committee goes on the air to complain about liberal media bias against Republicans, we have truly reached the brotherhood of Americankind, my friends. On top of that, the DNC chair in question is better known for throwing elbows than reaching across aisles:

Gov. Terry McAullife said the Wednesday debate was like a “circus” and compared the spectacle to the 1970s game show “The Gong Show.”

“This is about democracy — we have the greatest democracy in the world,” McAullife told host Bill Rehkopf on 99.1 WNEW on Friday. “That was like ‘The Gong Show’ the other night.”

He added that the debate was “an embarrassment to our country.”

“I thought it was an absolute farce. I thought it was a joke,” McAullife said. “I thought it was an embarrassment to our country to have those folks up there with the questions they were doing.”

One might wonder whether McAuliffe is pandering to a purple state, but he’s not eligible to run for another term as governor due to a one-term limit. He might be a good Democratic option for the Senate, except that Democrats already have both Senate seats in Virginia, and neither Tim Kaine nor Mark Warner show no signs of imminent retirement. Most curiously, McAuliffe is working behind the scenes for Hillary Clinton in this election cycle. One might expect a surrogate (or at least an envoy to the big-ticket donors) to use this opportunity to sneer at Republicans rather than John Harwood, Carl Quintanilla, and Becky Quick — or to at least defend NBC News, which isn’t exactly unfriendly territory for Democrats.

Instead, McAuliffe is comparing the debacle to “The Gong Show,” which is a bit unfair to Chuck Barris. At least “The Gong Show” had no pretensions about its cultural value. Barris played the whole gag for laughs, using it as a parody of talent shows and the thirst for celebrity. Harwood et al think they defended democracy against the Republican horde, and want to blame the candidates and the voters for not submitting quietly to their abuse.

This will make it much more difficult for CNBC, NBC, and its defenders to push their revisionist narrative about the debate. It wasn’t going to succeed anyway, but McAuliffe’s broadside should sink it for good.


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Comments

CNBC should transfer John Harwood, Carl Quintanilla, and Becky Quick to their North Korean news branch.

VorDaj on October 31, 2015 at 4:09 PM

was “an embarrassment to our country.”

But enough about Jeb.

faraway on October 31, 2015 at 4:09 PM

I’m holding my judgement on CNBC and their debate until the Redford/Clooney movie comes out.

Limerick on October 31, 2015 at 4:09 PM

McAwful’s annoyed that their bias wasn’t hidden with more subtle language.

S. D. on October 31, 2015 at 4:10 PM

For the 310 million American citizens who did NOT watch the debate, the narrative is and always was going to be “Republican candidates show they are extremists, unserious, and unable to handle tough questions from the media without crying about bias. Unlike the Democrats, who got tough questions and handled them well.”

So why even talk about it? The battle lines are already drawn, the media narratives are already written and we’re just beating a dead horse at this point.

We all know what the deal is — and yet the RNC and the candidates keep doing these “debates” cycle after cycle after cycle. Clearly they don’t have a problem with it.

Timin203 on October 31, 2015 at 4:13 PM

The4y should just stream the rest of the debates themselves.

VorDaj on October 31, 2015 at 4:14 PM

He’s trying to limit the damage–damning with faint damnation, as it were. Or maybe it just was really that bad.

Doc Holliday on October 31, 2015 at 4:15 PM

Well said, Ed.

John the Libertarian on October 31, 2015 at 4:17 PM

McAwful’s annoyed that their bias wasn’t hidden with more subtle language.

S. D. on October 31, 2015 at 4:10 PM

That^

Mimzey on October 31, 2015 at 4:20 PM

McAwful’s annoyed that their bias wasn’t hidden with more subtle language.

S. D. on October 31, 2015 at 4:10 PM

Maybe he’s bashing CNBC for being a business channel, business which is generally on the side of the Repubs. I mean, there has to be an angle here, right? We’re talking about Terry McC. The Clinton attack dog. Maybe to burnish his own “independent” credentials?

/his Sister Souljah moment

LashRambo on October 31, 2015 at 4:20 PM

He’s trying to limit the damage–damning with faint damnation, as it were. Or maybe it just was really that bad.

Doc Holliday on October 31, 2015 at 4:15 PM

Oh, like, “The MSM isn’t like that at ALL! I’ve never seen such a thing. It’s gongshowesque! Where did THAT come from? Soooo bizarre.”

LashRambo on October 31, 2015 at 4:22 PM

Infinitly.

VorDaj on October 31, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Instead, McAuliffe is comparing the debacle to “The Gong Show,” which is a bit unfair to Chuck Barris. At least “The Gong Show” had no pretensions about its cultural value. Barris played the whole gag for laughs, using it as a parody of talent shows and the thirst for celebrity.

Gene-Gene the Dancing Machine.

RickB on October 31, 2015 at 4:27 PM

McAuliffe auditioning to be the next Speaker of the House for the Republican majority if Ryan doesn’t work out.

xblade on October 31, 2015 at 4:29 PM

My fellow Philadelphian, Chuck Barris, would have been a better moderator than those three clowns.

Of so would my fellow Philadelphian WC Fields, and he’s been dead for a few decades…

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2015 at 4:29 PM

“I thought it was an embarrassment to our country to have those folks up there with the questions they were doing.”

In a not very well constructed sentence, he was talking about the GOP candidates answers, not the moderators doing the questioning.

Walter L. Newton on October 31, 2015 at 4:37 PM

“I thought it was an embarrassment to our country to have those folks up there with the questions they were doing.”
In a not very well constructed sentence, he was talking about the GOP candidates answers, not the moderators doing the questioning.

Walter L. Newton on October 31, 2015 at 4:37 PM

…It was Terry the Fairy speaking…that’s what I thought he was trying to say too!

JugEarsButtHurt on October 31, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Funny how MeGYN Kelly attacking Trump with the leftist ‘War on Women’ meme wasn’t biased, right Ed?

fossten on October 31, 2015 at 4:48 PM

McAulife’s comments make perfect sense from Hillary’s perspective. He’s poisoning the media well. Making it toxic and impossible for anyone to ask challenging questions at a debate for fear of being accused of acting like CNBC. It’s actually rather brilliant. Hillary doesn’t care of CNBC or the media as a whole are diminished. She will make common cause with the GOP candidates if it serves her purpose of further shielding her from public scrutiny.

And folks THIS is what happens when the Journalistic Media loses the complete trust of the masses and discredits itself entirely. They are no longer credible to act as a true agency of truth. CNBC cost the media what pathetically small amount of moral imperative they had left. The road to dictatorship is paved with such partisan fools surrendering their principles.

patches on October 31, 2015 at 4:48 PM

“I thought it was an embarrassment to our country to have those folks up there with the questions they were doing.”

In a not very well constructed sentence, he was talking about the GOP candidates answers, not the moderators doing the questioning.

Walter L. Newton on October 31, 2015 at 4:37 PM

That’s my understanding of McAuliffe’s critique. He was criticizing the answers, not the questions. He probably really fumed about Rubio’s calling Hillary a liar.

The Dem “debate,” on the other hand, is more like “What’s My Line?” The “line” changes from poll to poll.

onlineanalyst on October 31, 2015 at 4:51 PM

The embarrassment for the Democrats is that their lap dogs were not coy about being the Democrats’ lap dogs.

bartbeast on October 31, 2015 at 4:58 PM

Wow! A Democrat who has her foreign policy head screwed on right. I can hardly believe it. Good looking too. Infantry better at foreign policy than many Republicans like Rubio the foreign policy deranged imbecile for example.

VorDaj on October 31, 2015 at 4:22 PM

Yeah, she’s basically admitting that Putin kicked sand in Dog Eater’s face and Dog Eater needs to respond to that. There is no other strategy.

climbnjump on October 31, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Is this the guy Rush calls “The Punk”?

Because he does look like a punk.

Aizen on October 31, 2015 at 5:13 PM

Instead, McAuliffe is comparing the debacle to “The Gong Show,” which is a bit unfair to Chuck Barris. At least “The Gong Show” had no pretensions about its cultural value. Barris played the whole gag for laughs, using it as a parody of talent shows and the thirst for celebrity.

Gene-Gene the Dancing Machine.

RickB on October 31, 2015 at 4:27 PM

Best of Gene

And remember this angle? From wiki:

In Barris’s autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, he claims to have worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an assassin in the 1960s and the 1970s. A 2002 feature film version, directed by George Clooney and starring Sam Rockwell, depicts Barris as killing 33 people. Barris wrote a sequel, Bad Grass Never Dies, in 2004.

The CIA denies Barris ever worked for them in any capacity. After the release of the movie, CIA spokesman Paul Nowack said Barris’ assertions that he worked for the spy agency “[are] ridiculous. It’s absolutely not true.”

Del Dolemonte on October 31, 2015 at 5:21 PM

JohnGalt23 on October 31, 2015 at 4:29 PM

” I was once in love with a blonde ,she drove me to drink,for this I will always be indebted to her”, WC Fields.

celtic warrior on October 31, 2015 at 5:23 PM

Funny how MeGYN Kelly attacking Trump with the leftist ‘War on Women’ meme wasn’t biased, right Ed?

fossten on October 31, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Kelly asked Trump about several insulting/condescending remarks he had made about women. Things he had actually said. FACTS.

It is always fair to ask a candidate about past statements. It was especially relevant to ask Trump this question, because it is all but certain that the Dem nominee will be a woman.

Only a dolt would see that as an inappropriate or biased question, and Ed isn’t a dolt.

Trump supporters, OTOH…

Meredith on October 31, 2015 at 5:29 PM

Rinse.
Peen us.
Repeat.

Galtian on October 31, 2015 at 5:31 PM

Well I appreciate him saying so I could link it for someone who didn’t believe that the criticism of the moderators was bi-partisan.

Cindy Munford on October 31, 2015 at 5:37 PM

Wait? Did I imagine his criticism?

Cindy Munford on October 31, 2015 at 5:38 PM

Meredith on October 31, 2015 at 5:29 PM

Hey TruCon, still mad that you couldn’t get the deposit on your ball gown back.

RickB on October 31, 2015 at 5:47 PM

I do hope that John Harwood knows that this forever will be the defining moment of his career.

Rod on October 31, 2015 at 6:29 PM

I do hope that John Harwood knows that this forever will be the defining moment of his career.

Rod on October 31, 2015 at 6:29 PM

Connie Chung — tricked Newt’s mom on video, disappeared

Dan Rather — represented a Word DOC as from the 1970s, disappeared

Charlie Gibson — looked down his glasses at Sarah Palin asking about the Bush Doctrine, disappeared

Katie Couric — treated Sarah Palin like a child, got an award for it, disappeared

John Harwood — time will tell

LashRambo on October 31, 2015 at 6:41 PM

It wasn’t going to succeed anyway, but McAuliffe’s broadside should sink it for good.

Really? Is TM that influential?

True believers will defend CNBC to the grave.

Final thought, if the consensus doesn’t lead to fairer coverage (or to one vote), the lesson the press will learns is the attacks are worth it in the long haul.

mankai on October 31, 2015 at 7:04 PM

CNBC had the same intention toward ALL of the candidates that the commentators in the first two debates had against Trump. Look at Megyn’svpre-debate Twitter and Hugh Hewitt’s proudly proclaimed intentions.

So now what Salem has been doing 15 times a day in Trump hit pieces is suddenly supposed the be bad.

Double-standard much?

kunegetikos on October 31, 2015 at 7:10 PM

McAuliffe For President 2018

Younggod on October 31, 2015 at 7:19 PM

er 2020 that is

Younggod on October 31, 2015 at 7:19 PM

Meredith on October 31, 2015 at 5:29 PM

…FOAD…

JugEarsButtHurt on October 31, 2015 at 7:39 PM

Connie Chung — tricked Newt’s mom on video, disappeared

Dan Rather — represented a Word DOC as from the 1970s, disappeared

Charlie Gibson — looked down his glasses at Sarah Palin asking about the Bush Doctrine, disappeared

Katie Couric — treated Sarah Palin like a child, got an award for it, disappeared

John Harwood — time will tell

LashRambo on October 31, 2015 at 6:41 PM

Candy Crowley- rigged a debate for Obama by backing up false claims about Benghazi being an attack by waving a “transcript” in her fried-chicken-stained hands (previous low standard. She’s out of the basement)

Brian Williams- serial liar about his exploits

John Harwood is on the cusp of greatness. He can truly be named Time’s journalistic hack of the century.

BTW- Notice how CNBC and the whole empire is hunkered down and ignoring this debacle? The only one more seriously avoiding comment on a story is Quentin Taratino and his declaration that all cops are murderers and worthless street thugs like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin were murdered. I hope the movie he has coming out next month dies at the box office as a result.

Happy Nomad on October 31, 2015 at 7:43 PM

LashRambo on October 31, 2015 at 6:41 PM

Happy Nomad on October 31, 2015 at 7:43 PM

I wonder if they’re all members of the same support group or just all meet in the same bar to cry in their beer.

An entire lot of self-centered, arrogant hacks who’ve no one to blame to but themselves.

Rod on October 31, 2015 at 8:16 PM

I think McAuliffe understands if the public sees the MSM as so biased key independent voters will see through the more effective propaganda and the Democrats will lose their media advantage. McAuliffe is just signaling them to cool it before they do major damage

jerryofva on October 31, 2015 at 8:20 PM

One might expect a surrogate (or at least an envoy to the big-ticket donors) to use this opportunity to sneer at Republicans rather than John Harwood, Carl Quintanilla, and Becky Quick — or to at least defend NBC News, which isn’t exactly unfriendly territory for Democrats.

This is pretty easy to explain if you look at how another Clinton operative, George Stephanopolous, handled the 2012 Republican debate sponsored by ABC News. You don’t come out as a fire-breathing progressive slayer of the evil conservative dragons, as Harwood, Quick and Quintanilla — you pick and choose your spots to insert the bias, and then let others in the big media do the rest of the work.

Stepanoplous did that in 2012 by asking Romney that seemingly non-sequitur of a question on the 1965 contraception ruling. He didn’t go full-bore liberal throughout the entire debate, but over the next week, that question and its ties to the Democrats’ ‘War on Women’ strategy was all that others in the media picked up on and talked about.

Every question doesn’t have to be biased. You just need one or two, and then have others in the meida play up the answers to them, so that the millions of people who didn’t watch the debate hear only about that question, and little or nothing else. That’s why McAuliffe was blasting the CNBC group, as a way to try and quarantine them from infecting the public’s perception of rest of the media as being no different from Harwood, Quick and Quintanilla.

jon1979 on October 31, 2015 at 9:49 PM

Kelly asked Trump about several insulting/condescending remarks he had made about women. Things he had actually said. FACTS.

It is always fair to ask a candidate about past statements. It was especially relevant to ask Trump this question, because it is all but certain that the Dem nominee will be a woman.

Only a dolt would see that as an inappropriate or biased question, and Ed isn’t a dolt.

Trump supporters, OTOH…

Meredith on October 31, 2015 at 5:29 PM

The “on your knees” comment wasn’t anything like it was characterized to be by Megyn Kelly, according to the woman it was directed to.

Megyn Kelly scoured the bowels of the internet to come up with damning questions for Trump, and she essentially pulled that one of context and out of thin air.

You are an extremely biased, very ill-informed troll. Everybody seems to understand that except you. Calling anyone else a dolt makes you look…

JannyMae on November 1, 2015 at 1:01 AM

…FOAD…

JugEarsButtHurt on October 31, 2015 at 7:39 PM

Oh, I like that answer even better!

JannyMae on November 1, 2015 at 1:04 AM

While the sentence is odd, vague and easy to misconstrue, I don’t believe McAuliffe was blasting the moderators, I believe he was insulting the Republicans.

Leftys never break ranks, they double down.

AppraisHer on November 1, 2015 at 2:59 AM

Maybe looking to jump in if Jugears takes the leash off of DOJ and sinks the SS Hillary?

Or trying to build credibility in anticipation of 2020 race against the incumbent Republican?

~~~~~ wishful thinking cap off ~~~~~

*sigh*

hillbillyjim on November 1, 2015 at 3:38 AM

Meh.

– weedisgood

Bishbop on November 1, 2015 at 10:32 AM