If you watched the GOP debate last night, you probably cringed at the blatant partisanship on display from the moderators. It wasn’t just you; the rest of the media was disgusted with how CNBC handled the debate. Skeptical? Here were four reasons even liberal news outlets couldn’t hide their disgust:
1.) The moderator’s questions were “awkward and fumbling.”
From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
…From Twitter snark to the spin room, CNBC took a beating for questioning that was awkward and fumbling at times, and at others seemed derived from an opposition research book.
2.) They tried to create stupid controversies.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe that when it comes to covering prospective presidential candidates, the media is more interested in creating controversies about them than it is in reporting where they stand on the issues.
The questions asked by the CNBC reporter-moderators in the early going last night showed exactly why voters feel this way, and Senator Ted Cruz called them on it.
3.) Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer competed for the James T. Kirk Overacting Ham of the Year Award.
…But mostly CNBC’s debate was mess—and to regular CNBC viewers, a familiar one. How bad was it? Straight-ahead moderators John Harwood and Becky Quick seemed to be broadcasting from Planet Face the Nation, lobbing serious policy questions. Meanwhile, the more flamboyant Cramer and Santelli practically competed for overacting honors.
4.) CNBC’s “smarmy moderators had it coming.”
From The Boston Globe:
…It was brutal takedown, and CNBC’s smarmy moderators had it coming. Cruz is far from the first conservative to rail against liberal media bias, but he did it about as effectively as it can be done in 30 seconds. The clip of that moment will go viral. It may or may not give a boost to Cruz’s presidential hopes, but it will certainly reinforce the public’s sense that the mainstream media isn’t trustworthy.
There’s going to be a lot of debate over who won the debate last night, but if these headlines are any indication, everyone has already pegged CNBC as the loser.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for the American Principles Project.