The media’s role in the campaign

By Tom Quiner

Debate moderator Candy Crowley jumped to Barack Obama’s defense

Mitt Romney had Barack Obama on the ropes.

He was moving in for the knock out punch on the president when the media rang the bell and saved the reeling prevaricator.

The scene was the pivotal second debate. The president claimed he called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” the day after our ambassador and three other Americans were murdered.

Mitt Romney called him on it. And then something amazing happened. Debate moderator Candy Crowley jumped to Barack Obama’s defense. She said Obama was right. She implied Romney was the liar. She said the transcript would prove it.

And then she cut off discussion on what now appears to be a Benghazi cover up by the administration and moved on.

The election pivoted on that moment.

Fifty million Americans were left with the impression that Mitt Romney was the equivocator, not Barack Obama. Although Ms. Crowley would later admit that Romney was right, that she was wrong, and that Obama played loose with the truth, few heard her admission.

Mitt Romney knew at that point that Benghazi was off the table, that there was no upside to pursuing it, because the media had Obama’s back.

Had the story been reported like the story should have been reported, Obama would have lost the election.

The scandal has not gone away. Now we’re going to have to deal with it in the coming year, to the detriment of the country. It would have been much healthier to report the facts before the election rather than after.

Candy Crowley’s decision to provide cover for Barack Obama in the heat of the debate may have salvaged the president’s campaign.


  1. Bob Vance on November 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    You really think that was the turning point?

    Obama won. Romney lost. Time to move on.

  2. […] In the second debate, debate moderator Candy Crowley jumped to Barack Obama’s defense cut off disc… […]

  3. Lisa Bourne on November 8, 2012 at 7:35 am

    A good snapshot analysis of the media malpractice can be found here:

    For another dose of how twisted the media is, go watch the video of “Catholic” “journalist” Chris Matthews saying, “I’m so glad we had that storm last week,” in explaining how Hurricane Sandy conveniently aided in the re-election of Obama.

  4. quinersdiner on November 8, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Bob, yes, I think that was a pivotal moment. And you are correct, time to move on. But you’ve got to allow the losing side a little time to lick their wounds and retrench. As always, great to hear from you.

    • Bob Vance on November 8, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Point taken.

      And as always, the best to you and yours.

  5. Robin Crabtree on November 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    The pivotal point came, when after the damage from Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Governor Christie said he wasn’t interested in Romney visiting his state. That told it all…after all the debates.

    • Karen Quiner on November 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      I didn’t realize he said that. Ouch.

      I don’t quite understand how people can suggest that he is presidential material. He would get as old as fast as Sarah Palin did.

      I like that he says what he thinks but he is a bit of a lose canon and does an awful lot of strutting. He would not be good for the party and is not ever going to be electable.