Tonight’s Democrat debate was pretty much a dud. If you’ve watched any of the ones that preceded it, you’ve heard it all before. Crazy people yell crazy stuff. Rinse and repeat.
The real story tonight wasn’t any of the answers given, but the conduct of the moderators in regards to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. We all knew a clash was coming after Warren’s campaign seeded a story to CNN which accused Sanders of telling her a woman couldn’t win the presidency. Sanders has vehemently denied saying that, and to this point, it seems like Warren is the one lying in this scenario.
This slap fight came up at the debate and Sanders once again denied having said it, but it was the moderator’s response that left people asking “what the heck did I just watch?”
CNN: “Sen. Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you’re saying that you never told senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?"
SANDERS: "That is correct."
CNN: “Sen. Warren, what did you think when senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?" pic.twitter.com/BZ1NajmQE9
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 15, 2020
You really have to watch it to get the full effect. The audience starts laughing after she asks the question, which is about the starkest example of journalistic bias I’ve seen at a debate since Mitt Romney got owned by Candy Crowly. This is a he said, she said issue, so why is CNN turning around and asking Warren the question as if it’s a settled fact that Sanders said it?
Worse, the moderator never asks Warren if she heard Sanders say it (that seems like the most prudent question), instead allowing her to dodge the actual issue and repeat her rehearsed talking points about women being better at winning elections.
Incredible. The CNN moderator asked Warren as if it were de facto true that Bernie told her a woman couldn't be president. I cannot believe a moderator did not ask her if it was true. She just said straight up what did you think when Bernie said that to you? I'm blown away.
— Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) January 15, 2020
I’m just gonna throw the tin-foil hat on and say it. This was planned between CNN and Warren. There’s no other explanation for what transpired, allowing her to avoid every single tough question and framing everything favorably to her.
And it went well beyond just the issue with Sanders. When they brought up healthcare, Sanders was pressed three separate times about how he’d pay for his Medicare for All plan. Not once was Warren asked that question. In fact, when Warren did finally mention costs on her own, making a false statement in the process (that going after corporate tax cheats would raise the money), the moderator simply said “thank you” and moved on. Later, Warren would mention her ridiculous “2 cent wealth tax,” which won’t raise near the money she claims, and she was again left to her devices, not being asked once about the details or why the math doesn’t work. Rather, the moderator went back to Sanders to ask him about the total costs of all his plans again.
cnn bout to be like bernie whyd you douse koalas with gasoline?
— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) January 15, 2020
I’m loathe to feel sorry for Bernie Sanders, as he’s basically a communist and has supported some of the worst regimes in history (such as the Soviet Union), but his fans have got to be frustrated by how he was treated. CNN has their chosen candidate and they made it clear tonight.
That question itself indicts CNN for deliberately running the Warren team's hit on Sanders, which was unbelievable on its face, w/o verifying whether Sanders ever said it. CNN is neither a news organization nor a neutral arbiter. It's a propaganda outfit. https://t.co/Om9Novhn2p
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 15, 2020