Byron York frames this morning’s report from CNN’s Brian Stelter succinctly and accurately:
Usually networks tout big debate. At CNBC Thursday, 'producers were given internal guidance to move on.' https://t.co/53JnDC2Qdc
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 30, 2015
CNBC’s debate panelists have spent the last 36 hours pushing back against an avalanche of criticism as politically motivated, but they knew better almost immediately. On the flight home, they sat stunned as the bad reviews from other journalists piled up, and piled on:
“We were shell-shocked,” one source said.
The poor reviews were piling up — declaring CNBC the biggest loser of the night — and the moderators Carl Quintanilla and Becky Quick knew more would be published by the time the flight landed in New York.
It wasn’t just the moderators and the production team that got shell-shocked. Stelter reports that people at NBC News, which had nothing to do with the debate, are speaking sotto voce about the need to intervene at CNBC when — or more likely, if — they get another debate. Meanwhile, the top brass at CNBC sent out a message to stop talking about the debate, an odd marching order for a broadcast channel that just saw its highest ratings ever:
As the day went on, there was less and less talk about the debate on CNBC. According to one of the employees, producers were given internal guidance to move on.
That was apparently a network-wide order:
At CNBC’s sister news outlets MSNBC and NBC News, producers were advised not to “pile on” the moderator controversy, according to people there.
Harwood, Quintanilla, and Quick can keep pushing back against the criticism all they want. The Silence of the NBC Hosts speaks louder than their revisionism.