Skip to comments.Bad News Bob [Schieffer]: Dan must have been pleased.
Posted on 10/14/2004 8:25:33 AM PDT by xsysmgr
Bob Schieffer was easily the worst moderator of the four selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the one who most clearly favored John Kerry. This might not be surprising after all, CBS has emerged this year as the network favoring John Kerry to the point of spreading forged documents across the country to paint Bush as a man who defied orders.
The spin was apparent from the first question, when Schieffer asked, "Will our children and grandchildren ever live in a world as safe and secure as the world in which we grew up?" This echoes the Kerry back-to-normalcy theme, that we should have less terror over terror. A week ago, Gwen Ifill jumped on the latest war news, Paul Bremer's saying that more troops were needed in Iraq. Schieffer failed to press Kerry on the most recent controversy over his statement that terrorism should be a "nuisance," like prostitution and gambling. He also failed to ask about John Edwards's suggesting people in wheelchairs would walk if Kerry and Edwards were elected.
With Bush, Schieffer seemed eager to push him into extreme-right territory, demanding he answer whether he wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and then asking why he "did nothing" as the assault-weapons ban expired. He asked Bush what he would say to an American whose job was just outsourced to another country. Schieffer's questions were laced with liberal terminology, from "a woman's right to choose" to "affirmative action."
Two questions stood out as the most biased to Kerry last night. The first was on the draft issue, a strange choice for a domestic-policy debate. Schieffer asked: "Senator, the last debate, President Bush said he did not favor a draft. You agreed with him. But our National Guard and Reserve forces are being severely strained because many of them are being held beyond their enlistments. Some of them say that it's a back-door draft. Is there any relief that could be offered to these brave Americans and their families?"
"Some of them" say it's a backdoor draft? John Kerry has been saying it's a backdoor draft all year. Schieffer wasn't so much asking Kerry a question as reading his campaign brochure to him.
The other read-the-brochure question came just minutes before: "The gap between rich and poor is growing wider. More people are dropping into poverty. Yet the minimum wage has been stuck at, what, $5.15 an hour now for about seven years. Is it time to raise it?" Schieffer only failed in utterly servile liberal bias by not asking "isn't it time" to raise the minimum wage?
Schieffer did ask two tougher questions about what President Kerry would do: How would he pay for his "massive" health-care plan, and would he just leave Social Security alone and kick the can of reform down the path? But the real bias in Schieffer's questions came in how they emphasized every bad-news assumption, suggesting that the country is going in the wrong direction under President Bush. Reread the previous paragraph to see how rich and poor are dividing and more people are dropping into poverty.
Take this fairly tough question to Kerry, suffused with assumptions about "skyrocketing" inflation: "You pledged during the last debate that you would not raise taxes on those making less than $200,000 a year. But the price of everything is going up, and we all know it. Health care costs, as you all talking about, is skyrocketing, the cost of the war. My question is, how can you or any president, whoever is elected next time, keep that pledge without running this country deeper into debt and passing on more of the bills that we're running up to our children?"
One question to Bush did the same: "Health-insurance costs have risen over 36 percent over the last four years according to the Washington Post. We're paying more. We're getting less." His next question to Bush was, "We all know that Social Security is running out of money, and it has to be fixed." Even the flu-shot question underlined the bad news. Schieffer couldn't imagine asking a question about anything positive happening during the Dubya Era that John Kerry might reverse if elected.
Even when pressing Kerry on the question of Catholic bishops, Schieffer went soft: "Some Catholic archbishops are telling their church members that it would be a sin to vote for a candidate like you because you support a woman's right to choose an abortion and unlimited stem-cell research. What is your reaction to that?" Whereas Schieffer challenged that Bush had "done nothing" on furthering gun control, Schieffer didn't ask why Senator Kerry has "done nothing" to defend the culture of life his church seeks to create and uphold. It would have been better to ask Kerry whether he had considered leaving the Catholic Church for a more hospitable environment for his permissive, abortion-on-demand worldview.
If John Kerry wins this election, the media elite will declare that the debates were the turning point. Then, it will be up to Republicans to explain to their supporters why they took the debate-moderator question so unseriously, and why they allowed themselves to be placed at a competitive disadvantage by letting liberal moderators set the agenda. Bob Schieffer surely underlined the need for more Republican spine on this negotiating point. Dan Rather must have watched his friend spin the debate toward Kerry and smiled.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and an NRO contributor.
I have to say, though... W did such an outstanding job fielding those unfair questions, that at first I thought Schieffer had been more fair than the other mods.
KERRY: Well, two leading national news networks have both said the president's characterization of my health-care plan is incorrect. One called it fiction. The other called it untrue.
BUSH: In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, never mind.
Anyway, let me quote the Lewin report. The Lewin report is a group of folks who are not politically affiliated. They analyzed the senator's plan. It cost $1.2 trillion
Because James Baker is an old school Repubublican who probably doesn't even think there is a liberal bias in the media.
Schieffer was a one-man laugh track for Kerry.
But in any case -- what a DUMB thing for a two-time gigolo to bring up.
was Schieffer's question about the flu shots the lamest you've ever heard or what!!!
here we are in the middle of a friggin' war and Schieffer's concerned about getting a flu shot???
I heard that and I laughed out loud!
But Bush should have carried that line a little further and asked,
"Was one of those two networks the one that Dan Rather works for?
And was the other the one that faked the pickup truck fires a few years back?"
Bob Schieffer did an outstanding job. Bob reperesents the only shred of credibility CBS has left, and if I was him I would go get a raise, a BIG raise, right now.
This very first question struck me as strange -- Schieffer and I are roughly the same age, both baby boomers. When I grew up, I seem to recall endless liberal hysteria about imminent nuclear extinction. They talked about constantly and used it to bash conservative politicians, from the famous "daisy-picking" commercial against Goldwater to ridiculing Reagan for his defense build-up.
So when exactly was this idyllic, pastoral Eden that "we all grew up in"?
I've watched the debate twice and I still believe Bob Schieffer did a good job. He's one of the good guys trying to be fair. Some won't be happy until the likes of Hannity or Rush are moderating.
I disagree. Most of his questions were set ups for Kerry to hit out of the park or land mines for Bush to step on.
After reading the above article I agree that Schieffer, with a voice that certainly sounded fair, asked Kerry several loaded questions. The back-door draft question was classic old-school media style of taking the talking points from the Democratic platform and dessiminate it Goebbels-style as though it is the widely-accepted truth (since they and their canddidate have repeated it the required number of times).
I give Lehrer the low point--a D minus. Schiffer was just sort of old and boring and a Kerry supporter. I'll give him a B minus. Even Charley Gibson came in with a C plus.
I give the sober lady at the Cheney/Eddie debates the best score. If I hadn't known she worked for PBS, I'd have thought her a combination of Baptist Church Lady and a Family Court Judge. Poker-faced and utterly professional. She gets my "A"--
FROM HERE ON OUT, THE DEBATES SHOULD NOT BE HOSTED BY A NETWORK PERSON. AT ALL. Obviously due to the establish hard bias of the so-called MSM. The Communist Broadcasting System (CBS) should have been the last network that Bush would have even agreed to appear before (questions hosted by). I am not knocking Schieffer -- they are just the WRONG PEOPLE to be asking the RIGHT QUESTIONS. KERRY WAS ALLOWED TO DODGE THE IMMIGRATION QUESTION...THAT BOTHERED ME. Bob should have nailed him on that. That was his job.
The debates should take place overseen and sponsored by UNBIASED ORGANIZATIONS who can deliver the serious, hard questions to both candidates and throw out the candidate that does not answer them. Too much footsie and tap-dancing.
Truly a strange (and unchallenged) quote about a safe world of the past- I seem to remember growing up in a country that spent hundreds of billions of defense dollars maintaining a nuclear shell game of "mutual assured destruction" which could have occurred with 20 minutes notice... a country where SAC forces went on full alert more than once to launch a nuclear attack and were pulled back within moments of crossing the fail safe line...... a world in which such stalwart nations as India and Pakistan built their own nucs and came perilously close to using them against each other more than once... a world in which starvation and genocide in Africa became a familiar face on Halloween UNICEF boxes .... a world in which a hundred million people disappeared in Russian and Chinese gulags .... a world in which the master of one of those gulags came to the United Nations and told the world he would bury America.... a world in which Israel was at war three times ... a world in which hundreds of Germans were executed by other Germans for trying to climb a wall in Berlin and Russian tanks crushed human beings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia..... a world in which a million Iranians died while repelling an invasion by Saddam Hussein's army.... a world in which Olympic athletes were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists while the games went on ... a world in which airliners were hijacked and blown apart in the air on a regular basis.... a world in which American diplomats, embassies, and mainland buildings became targets for terror bombings
>>> Did you also notice how Bob seemed to laugh a little louder when Kerry talked about "marrying up" than when bush said "Listen to them... stand up straight and don't scowl."
I did too. There are better places to look for media bias, IMO.
Bob Schieffer's guffaw laughter at Kerry's final remarks about his wife and her money was embarrassing. Shieffer's loud laughter was forced and Kerry's remarks weren't that funny.
No wonder Bob didn't publicly chide Dan for peddling forgeries.
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