Citing media bias, specifically a series of “inaccurate or downright offensive” questions, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus announced Thursday the GOP will suspend its partnership with NBC News for a planned February 26, 2016 presidential debate.
In a letter written to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, Priebus noted:
“While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of ‘gotcha’ questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates.
What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas.”
In an e-mail response, NBC expressed dismay:
“This is a disappointing development. However, along with our debate broadcast partners at Telemundo we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party.”
Pondering their next move, GOP candidates will assemble in Washington D.C. Sunday evening for a conference to determine alternatives to the format for remaining debates.
In an appearance Sunday morning on This Week, Dr. Ben Carson, whose campaign arranged Sunday’s meeting, stated:
“We need to mature in the way that we do these debates if they’re going to be useful to the American people.”
Viewers recognized the strong undercurrent of malice concealed among the line of questions during the debate.
What should have been a forum for legitimate and thoughtful voices to broadcast innovative policies to alleviate the persistent economic dislocation turned into a circus with CNBC moderators and GOP candidates trading barbs on several occasions during the evening.
In one unforgettable moment, Senator Marco Rubio calmly described the mainstream media as the Democrats “ultimate SuperPAC.”
Not only did CNBC’s ratings flounder, the cable network will suffer elsewhere: Due to the shameless and utterly unprincipled partisanship of CNBC’s moderators, the GOP’s withdrawal will cost CNBC millions in advertising revenue.
Even more to the point: No founded defense of CNBC’s moderators’ behavior or slant has emerged.
[AP] [The Hill] [GOP.com] [CNN] [Photo courtesy Brunchnews.com]