Analyzing Republican Candidates’ Displeasure after Recent Debate
By Christopher Scott
The main highlight from the third GOP debate was the conservative party walking away displeased with CNBC and its moderators for the questions they asked, as they believed the broadcasting company was contributing to the liberal agenda in the media, illustrating distasteful bias.
However, the conservative party must blame Ronald Reagan for any type of media bias that exists in America today.
The comments that sparked the GOP to attack the moderators John Harwood, Becky Quick, and Carl Quintanilla came from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
“This is not a cage match,” said a frustrated Cruz, who was disgruntled at the questions the moderators asked the candidates.
And you look at the questions—”Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?” Mr. Cruz said. “How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?”
Marco Rubio’s comments drew more attention to the media as a whole, not just the moderators like Cruz’s comment did. “I know the Democrats have the ultimate Super PAC,” said Rubio. “It’s called the mainstream media, And I’ll tell you why.”
Rubio directed his assault on the Democratic party by attacking its leading candidate in the polls, Hillary Clinton.
“Last week, Hillary Clinton went before a committee. She admitted she had sent e-mails to her family saying, ‘Hey, this attack at Benghazi was caused by Al Qaeda-like elements.’ She spent over a week telling the families of those victims and the American people that it was because of a video,” Rubio said.
To summarize his point Rubio concluded with, “Yet the mainstream media is going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
CNBC was trending on Twitter after the broadcast for controversial reasons. While some tweeters supported the broadcasters for asking tough questions, others ripped CNBC and the moderators apart.
Even Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus tweeted at the end of the debate “CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled. #GOPDebate.”
The conservative party has the right to disagree with the way the debate was handled, but if one were to take a look back in history, she could come up with the conclusion that the conservative Ronald Reagan contributed to the reason why any type of media bias is permitted.
Ronald Reagan is regarded by most Republicans as one of the greatest presidents to come out of the GOP, but because he vetoed the Fairness Doctrine, he’s also the reason why news stations are permitted to have a political bias.
The Fairness Doctrine was “an FCC regulation that required owners of broadcast licenses to present both sides of controversial issues considered to be in the public interest,” according to the Huffington Post’s Nancy Graham Holm.
In August of 1987, the doctrine was dropped as Reagan vetoed it. His new FCC Commissioner at the time, Mark. S. Fowler thought broadcasters should be marketplace participants.
Fowler wanted broadcast stations and media outlets to run as a part of the free market and not be confined to restrictions by the FCC, but this has led to a clear unfair advantage for liberal media coverage as a majority of the major news stations are left winged.
Senior Political Columnist Anthony Carney of The Washington Examiner, which is a conservative slanted media outlet, wrote “The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC–the largest media outlets with the exception of Fox News–all slant clearly left.”
He also added that a vast majority of newspapers and magazines also slant left, and he wasn’t examining their opinions section, he was examining the overall news operations of the outlets.
The reasoning for this slanted coverage according to Carney is because most journalists hired at these major media outlets are liberals. A 2014 research study by the Media Research Center found that 30 former reporters were Obama officials.
It should be noted that the Media Research Center identifies themselves as conservative.
Time Magazine’s Dan Fletcher believes “The Fairness Doctrine, which mandated that broadcast networks devote time to contrasting views on issues of public importance, was meant to level the playing field.”
Now that the doctrine does not exist, broadcast stations can create a public agenda, and force it upon their listeners instead of presenting all of the facts supporting both sides of an argument so listeners can make their own decision.
The candidates also accused the moderators for asking “gotcha” questions.
A “gotcha question” is defined by Political Dictionary as “a question posed by a reporter in an effort to trick a politician into looking stupid or saying something damaging.”
Disgruntled at the questions and overall performance of the third debate, the GOP took matters into its own hands.
According to the Washington Post, on November 1, Republican attorney and power broker Ben Ginsberg chaired a meeting with representatives from all the leading campaigns, except for Carly Fiorina’s, to discuss a new format for debates.
The objective was to take control away from the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the news stations broadcasting future debates.
The meeting was the brainchild of neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Ben Carson. The demands included, but are not limited to, promises moderators must make before hosting the debates such as not asking candidates to raise their hands to answer questions and not showing audience reaction to answers to questions.
The RNC also announced that they will not work with NBC and Telemundo in the February presidential primary debate.
Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have attacked the party for these actions.
According to NBC News, Obama believes the complaints from the candidates are showing signs of their future ineffectiveness if they were to lead on the world stage.
“Every one of these candidates says, ‘Obama’s weak, Putin’s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out,’” said President Obama at a democratic fundraiser in New York City. “And then it turns out, they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators,” he added. “If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”
While Obama was trying to make the Republican Party candidates look weak because they couldn’t handle tough questions, he too complained about bias media coverage in May of this year.
Investor’s Business Daily reported that Obama criticized Fox News for posting poverty reportage that was unhelpful to Democrats’ “narrative” for more spending. Fox News does not have any ties with the Democratic Party, but they do have ties to the Conservative Party as Fox owner Rupert Murdoch is widely known as a conservative.
There’s a clear media bias coming from Fox News just like there’s a clear media bias in the liberal stations Carney listed. One of those parties is ABC News.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was caught hiding a $75,000 gift to the Clinton Foundation according to Investor’s Business Daily back in May 2015.
Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash” exposed that the Clinton Foundation used only 9 percent of its profits for charity in his book. So, the contribution made on behalf of one of the top journalists of ABC made a contribution to a Democratic Party candidate’s campaign. So, yes, there is a media bias as people and stations will report on the news serving a political agenda.
Even President Obama believes there needs to be a change in the way media reports.
“We’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we are going to have to change how the media reports,” the president said after criticizing Fox News’ report on poverty.
In February of 2014, the FCC suggested monitoring news stations content, broadcast material and even management to prevent media bias, but it was deemed a violation of the first amendment which firmly displays the freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Conservative radio host Sean Hannity said in a Time Magazine interview the Fairness Doctrine is a violation of the first amendment.
While the Fairness Doctrine allows the media to say what they want to say, it also allows for them to create an agenda, so politicians cannot complain when they are asked questions that are specifically tuned to make them look like fools.
Regardless of what your source for news may be, understand the outlet is permitted to have some sort of slant in its product.
They are permitted to have a liberal or conservative agenda, which makes it difficult nowadays to differentiate fact from opinion.
The solution for this problem is unknown.
However, people should look at all sides of a report before they draw a conclusion, as the world of media has unpredictably evolved from what it was in 1987 because of the creation and expansion of the internet.