EDITORIAL: Candy Crowley a moderator, not a fact-checker
Oct 21, 2012 (Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A moderator of any presidential debate shouldn't be in the business of fact checking, but apparently CNN's Candy Crowley didn't get the message.
On Tuesday, during the debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, Crowley, the moderator, interjected herself into the debate, correcting Romney on his assertion that Obama took 14 days to acknowledge the embassy attack was the work of terrorists.
The larger question is why for many days afterward others in the Obama administration maintained the position the attack was the result of a anti-Islamic YouTube video. Obama himself in the address to the United Nations cited the video six different times.
In hindsight, it shouldn't have taken this long for the American people to find out what happened at our embassy in Benghazi, but that isn't the primary point here.
The point is that as a moderator, it is not Crowley's job or any other moderator for that matter to fact-check a presidential candidate. She fact-checked Romney on Libya. That was wrong, but if you are going to play that game, you should at least be even handed.
Obama was also factually wrong on issues in the debate, according to The Associated Press, but Crowley didn't interject and fact check the president.
You could make the argument that if a moderator isn't in a position to fact-check all of the assertions, then they shouldn't be in the position to correct just one like Crowley did.
The truth is that fact-check stories after the debate indicate that both candidates misspoke and somewhat manipulated the facts during the event.
You could also make the argument that there was some favoritism from Crowley toward Obama since she didn't call him out when he was factually inaccurate.
Her bias could have had the effect of tipping the scale in favor of Obama.
That is not what the American people deserve from a moderator at a time when they are trying to decide who to vote for this November.
Crowley's actions, even if unintentional, were disappointing coming from a seasoned newsperson.
There is one more debate to go and we hope that moderator Bob Scheiffer learned something from this unfortunate incident and doesn't do anything to favor one candidate over another.
The American people deserve better.
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