Where Is Media Outrage Over Republican Debate Demands?

Dave Johnson

The Republican party has cancelled a planned NBC/Telemundo presidential candidate debate because candidates were asked substantive questions and their answers were challenged by moderators in last week’s CNBC debate. Republican candidates are demanding easier and more favorable questions as well as less fact-checking of their answers.

Why is the journalism profession and corporate media mostly silent on this?

Republican candidates are blasting CNBC’s questioning during that debate as part of a “liberal media” conspiracy. For example, Ted Cruz said the debate moderators were “left-wing operatives.” Carly Fiorina also lambasted the “liberal media.”

Representatives of the candidates met Sunday evening and came up with demands for future networks hosting debates. One catch to their demands, however, is that they will not apply until after an upcoming Fox Business Network debate. This was reported by David Weigel and Robert Costa at The Washington Post, in “GOP contenders demand greater control over crucial debates“:

Any changes would be applied to debates after next week’s Fox Business Network debate. Among the reasons, according to one operative in the room, was that “people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes] mad,” a reference to the network’s chief.

Meanwhile Fox Business Network is running ads saying “CNBC never asked the real questions, never covered the real issues.”

CNBC Launched Tea Party

Far from being a “liberal media” outlet, CNBC is credited with launching the Tea Party. Here is Business Insider, Feb. 2014: “Rick Santelli Started The Tea Party With A Rant Exactly 5 Years Ago Today — Here’s How He Feels About It Now“:

“A lot of people have been credited with starting the modern-day tea party but make no mistake, it was Rick Santelli,” Glenn Beck told Business Insider in an email. “His off the cuff monologue spoke the words that millions of Americans felt but could not nor dare not speak.”

Five years ago on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CNBC’s Rick Santelli bellowed what would later become his most famous rant ever.


Conservatives are attempting to intimidate the news networks to gain more favorable coverage, and to force them to allow egregious claims to go unchallenged. Journalists and news organizations (companies) are not stepping up to defend their colleagues and set the record straight. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and Democrats were complaining.

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