Jeff Crouere

This year, Americans are being subjected to another presidential election season of unfair and unbalanced debates.

After two debates, the American public has seen liberal Jim Lehrer of PBS exercising no control over the proceedings and liberal Martha Raddatz of ABC allowing Vice President Joe Biden to interrupt Congressman Paul Ryan 82 times.

Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have done well in debate environments that were not fair. In the first debate, Governor Mitt Romney clearly won with an outstanding performance; however, Lehrer allowed President Obama four additional minutes of air time.

Raddatz did an even worse job by allowing Biden to mug for the camera and talk over many of Ryan’s answers. According to Chris Wallace of Fox News, Biden’s performance was “unprecedented” as Ryan was especially mistreated. In fact, Wallace claimed that he had never “seen a debate in which one participant was an openly disrespectful of the other as Biden was to Paul Ryan…It was openly contemptuous.”

Other commentators noted that Biden was “rude” and “cranky.” This was Joe Biden being himself, which is an unpleasant sight to behold. The American public could have been spared this obnoxious behavior if the moderator had exercised some control over Biden. Instead, Ms. Raddatz gave the Vice President free reign to hog the spotlight and an extra 80 seconds to spew out his demagoguery.  In contrast, she interrupted Paul Ryan 31 times and asked him much tougher questions. 

In the debate, Raddatz was clearly doing the bidding of the Democrats. Ryan was debating not only Biden, but the moderator as well. He is good, but facing two opponents instead of just one made his task even more challenging.  

Raddatz was as biased as any debate moderator in history, but her performance should not have surprised anyone. It was revealed this week that Barack Obama was a guest at her wedding. She later attended the wedding of Michelle and Barack Obama with her ex-husband, who was subsequently appointed FCC Commissioner by President Obama.

These ties are disturbing and reveal a personal connection between Raddatz and Obama. The relationship may not have ended in the early 1990’s for it was revealed that Raddatz visited the White House on December 18, 2009. The purpose of the visit is not disclosed, but it does raise questions about the leanings of Raddatz. To make matters more troubling, on March 26, 2012 Raddatz visited Vice President Biden at his residence as part of a ceremony marking “Women’s History Month.”

Once all of these connections between Raddatz and both the President and Vice President were revealed, she should have resigned as debate moderator. Not surprisingly, she refused to withdraw and the Commission on Presidential Debates took no action.

A reputable organization interested in fairness would have issued an apology and selected another moderator. Sadly, the Commission on Presidential Debates leans to the ideological left and is biased against Republicans. There can be no other conclusion for the commission selects the moderators for all of the debates. For this year, four debate moderators were selected and every one of them is a liberal. As a result, the commission failed to provide fair and balanced forums for the American people.

In the next two debates, viewers should not expect to see much improvement. The moderators will be Candy Crowley of CNN and Bob Schieffer of CBS. Both of these “journalists” are staunch liberals who use their respective programs to promote Democratic politicians and policies. It is no wonder that no reporter or anchor from Fox News has ever been chosen for these debates, even though the network enjoys higher ratings than the other cable news outlets.

The Romney campaign should not have tolerated this kind of biased debate format. They should have rejected these liberal moderators and threatened not to participate unless more balanced selections were made. If Romney and Ryan had refused to attend, the Commission on Presidential Debates would have been forced to choose objective journalists.

Unfortunately, Republicans have a history of allowing the commission to stack the deck against them. At the next debate, Governor Romney should make it clear from the outset that he will not allow the moderator to provide an unfair advantage for the President.

A biased debate format does a disservice to not only the American people, but, also, to the entire election process.  


Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com