Bachmann cries 'bias' after Saturday debate
November 12th, 2011
11:16 PM ET
2 years ago

Bachmann cries 'bias' after Saturday debate

Spartanburg, South Carolina (CNN) - Michele Bachmann accused CBS News of 'media bias' Saturday night after her campaign was included on an email chain that suggested she would get fewer questions than other candidates in a debate co-sponsored by the network and National Journal.

"I think it's only respectful to allow the candidates to be able to speak and not intentionally ahead of time make a decision to limit candidates' opportunity to speak to the American people," the Minnesota congresswoman said after the debate, which was held in South Carolina. "Clearly this was an example of media bias."

In the email chain, a CBS employee notified CBS News political director John Dickerson that Bachmann's spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, had volunteered the candidate for an interview on Dickerson's post-debate webcast. The employee copied Stewart on the email and told Dickerson that she had been cc'd.

Dickerson replied, apparently unaware that Stewart was on the email chain.

"Okay let's keep it loose though since she's not going to get many questions and she's nearly off the charts in the hopes that we can get someone else," he wrote.

Bachmann's campaign sent the email chain after the debate, claiming it suggested planned bias at the debate.

The congresswoman, who's now registering in the single digits in national polls, was not asked as many questions as the front-runners in the race.

Furious with Dickerson's response, Bachmann's campaign manager Keith Nahigian stormed through the spin room, where he said, "John Dickerson should be fired. He is a piece of shit. He is a fraud and he should be fired."

But in a statement obtained by CNN, the news network described the email chain as a "candid exchange."

"It was a candid exchange about the reality of the circumstances–Bachmann remains at 4% in the polls," said a CBS News spokesperson.

Dickerson agreed, saying "Bachmann is at 4 percent in the polls and has been for a while."

He added: "Other candidates aren't. I sent an email based on that."

Asked about claims of bias, debate moderator and CBS "Evening News" host Scott Pelley said he didn't know about the chain but that he and co-host Major Garrett of National Journal tried to be fair with time to all the candidates.


Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (348 Responses)
  1. rightospeak

    She is absolutely right . It was not a debate . It was a CBS PROPAGANDA MACHINE promoting its favored sons.Ron Paul got even less time. Huntsman and Paul got the least to say . Huntsman even mentioned during the debate : " sometimes it is cold in Siberia " referring to being ignored . The presstututes did not even catch that. What a travesty of Democracy , what shame that we can not even address the serious problems this country is facing.Promotion of WARMONGERS and idiots will not help our country.

    November 13, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Bachann Turner Overdrive

    For once I agree with Michelle Bachmann. There is terrible bias in the media. The media is totally biased IN FAVOR OF ignorant, hateful and embarrassing white women who are running for the republican nomination for president. They also enjoy reporting on automobile accidents, fires, and natural disasters.

    If it weren't for the "train wreck" bias enjoyed by Michelle Bachmann, she wouldn't be allowed any questions at all!!!

    November 13, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. getu

    She never answer question when chance is given any way, so no one wants to here her poisenouse coments, so better not to ask her. good.

    November 13, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. unretired05

    After some of the comments she's made she should be thankful that she wasn't asked more questions.

    November 13, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Hokiehi

    Get over it, they've been doing it to Ron Paul every time he has run.

    November 13, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. yboolf

    Cry baby

    November 13, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. rockhead

    For the most part the GOP candidates mission statement seems to be "defeating Obama" and "repealing his policies" just as the last set of elected congress people's (GOP) agenda has been to bring congress to a standstill to make sure Obama is not re-elected and the country be damned...

    Its too bad, because I expect the people who get elected and those aspiring to, should have as their PRIMARY mission the "governing of the country for its good" instead of acting like embittered, spoiled children who did not get a turn at the swings in the schoolyard.

    just saying....GOP, grow up !!

    At the current rate you will still be a worse choice than the incumbent if you keep harping on Obama and having nothing or your own to say independently of him/his policy decisions. Unless you can project an image of being able to govern, the incumbent would be a better choice assuming that the GOP'ers don't give Huntsman or Ron Paul the nomination...

    November 13, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. joe the plumber

    I'm glad someone is finally curbing how much we have to hear from that nut job.

    November 13, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. John Murphy

    I'm interested in hearing from viable candidates and not opportunists like Ms. Bachmann. Giving her more air time would only give the audience another experience of watching a candidate self destruct, which she has done multiple times already. In fact, at this point, there are several candidates that need to be "voted of the island". These debates should be serious debates of ideas which demonstrate qualifications to be president. Once candidates demonstrate they don't have what it takes, they should save whatever dignity they have left and go home. I know they are thinking, "I'll do better next time", but the gaffes are adding up and Ms. Bachmann is leading the pact in this catagory. Mr. Perry, God bless him, is not far behind.

    November 13, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. justin

    After claiming bias, she screamed "I will not be ignored!!!" and went off looking fo a pet rabbit to boil.You have polles in single digits for a long time, give it up Glenn Close, your fatal attraction is over.

    November 13, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Dennis

    I can't believe she played the "I'm not popular enough" card.

    November 13, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. dennis freeman

    When all else fails resort to the Palin approach – blame the media and be the victim. It's not presidential, just pathetic and moronic.

    November 13, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. Jerry White

    ".... tried to be fair with time to all the candidates." What a joke! Huntsman, Paul and Bachmann were asked very, very few questions. Especially Huntsman, the only candidate with any "real" foreign policy experience. The majority of the questions were clearly directed toward the candidates who are the leaders in the latest polls. I do wonder, however, how Santorum was included in that group. He must have something on the moderators. In addition, the internet "streaming" that CBS provided was beyond awful. It appears that they need to update their technology.

    November 13, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. independent

    Bachman and the rest of the GOP insinuate that water-boarding U.S. troops by foreign combatants is reasonable and to be expected, because the U.S. will be doing the same thing to captured foreign combatants.

    November 13, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. one voice

    You had plenty of time to "speak to the Anerican People" through let's say a jobs bill.............. Do the American People a favor and, GET LOST!!!

    November 13, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Cat

    The reason they do not ask you questions, is that your too stupid to give a good answer. Give it up, bimbo.

    November 13, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. BuckedWheat

    Since you have no chance of winning and you are a complete moron, there's really no need to actually "include you in these debates.

    November 13, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    You want to speak to the American people, Michele? Wean yourself from the teat of free media coverage and hold an old fashioned campaign rally.

    November 13, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Bill

    "Bachmann's campaign sent the email chain after the debate, claiming it suggested planned bias at the debate." It did not suggest bias. CBS said simply that she would get few questions, not that she should get few. And why did Bachmann wait until after the debate to send the email chain? If she wanted more questions, sending it before the debate might have resulted in more questions. Maybe she just wanted to play the victim, attributing her low poll numbers to media bias rather than to her own lack of appeal.

    November 13, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. Matt Landry

    Or, Michelle, clearly this was CBS' attempt to allow candidates that actually have a chance speak more than those that don't.

    November 13, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. Jim

    What about Ron Paul who only got 3 questions when all others 5 or 6!!!!!

    November 13, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. JimimTX

    Bachmann is not a real candidate thus she does not deserve real face time with the American people.

    November 13, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. jim

    "bachmann cries"

    that's all i need to see to know enough of the story.

    November 13, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  24. maine liberal

    She should be thankful she was given less time and questions. Less opportunity for her to say something ignorant or wrong.

    November 13, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Just a thought

    Do we really have to listen to this hypocrit? She has little to do with intelligence. Everything to do with lies and misrepresentation.

    And to Keith in Austin....I visited Austin this past summer. I found the people were very nice, but its obvious there is something in the water and in the air. Stupidity, ignorance, vapid, vaccous; all of which is appropo to all the GOP candidates, but you Sir Bring Dumb to a whole new level – Congratulations. You must be the only american that has ever taken the Stanford Binet test and come out with a minus score.

    Thank Goodness you only count for one vote, as this country would be doomed if the vote for president is isolated to your level of thinking – Which is NONE! But what can one expect ; A Gaggle of Clowns in the GOP primary = a gaggle of clown supporters....makes sense I guess

    November 13, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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