Bachmann cries 'bias' after Saturday debate
November 12th, 2011
11:16 PM ET
11 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. Bob in Pa

    Of course CBS is biased. It is a shame to think that George Westinghouse's legacy is the CBS network.

    November 12, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. Tam

    Well, it's the truth. She is what she is, God help her - and us.

    November 12, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. Liberty4all

    and Ron Paul is consistently polling in the double digits in Iowa and NH, yet he is treated like he is polling at 4%. He got 90 seconds of speaking time in an hour. If anyone needs to be outraged it is the Ron Paul campaign.

    November 12, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. no1atall

    Reality sets in for a non-candidate. But hey, you'll always have that 'straw poll you won eons ago. All this and more on the 'Tea Party Clown Car Show!

    November 12, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  5. Me in MN

    Bachmann and her campaign staff should just accept the fact that the news media and most of America do not consider her a viable candidate. Given that tonight's debate was focusing on foreign policy, what did she expect? Being due south of Canada is not foreign policy experience.

    November 12, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    Heck Michelle even a TEA PARTY group suggested that you quit so get the hint. You're NOT going to win and you're really a waste of time. NEXT!!!!

    November 12, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. tif31

    Boo Hoo Boo Hoo Boo Hoo

    November 12, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  8. LegendRx

    This stuff is priceless ( as I throw another handfull of popcorn in my mouth) Like Obama said ("I will wait untill the last one get voted off the Island") Look's like Michele Bachmann, the rant, is next . . . or could it be Perry, the empty suit? Tune in tomorrow. For-sure!

    November 12, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  9. Dawid

    Yeah, it hurts doesn't it Bachmann? Now you know what Ron Paul faces every single debate, and every time there is a Republican event.

    It's time to put an end to media bias not only for Ron Paul but for all the candidates. A debate is supposed to question ALL the candidates on ALL these issues. Stop allowing mainstream media to control YOU. Speak up during these debates, and do your own research on the candidates.

    The media is no longer a reliable source for information.

    November 12, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  10. Adam Friedman

    Perry – 5 questions, 2 follow ups
    Newt – 5 questions, 1 follow up
    Cain - 5 questions, 1 follow up
    Romney – 4 questions, 1 follow up
    Santorum – 3 questions, 2 follow ups
    Bachman – 3 questions
    Huntsman – 2 questions, 1 follow up
    Paul – 1 question, 1 follow up

    If anyone needs to be kciking some asses over this debate, its Paul.

    November 12, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  11. Phil D.

    HAHA. She should talk to Ron Paul about this media bias.

    November 12, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    What she said today “Obama is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA” , “ I would be willing to use waterboarding” she won’t cut aides to Pakistan .
    We have stop stupid comments like this so we have to cut her times CBS did a good job

    November 12, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  13. thomas

    At least Cain didn't call her a princess !

    November 12, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  14. Brian Owen

    she is starting to sounds like Ron Paul.

    November 12, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  15. Brian Owen

    and ron paul got less time then this lady.

    November 12, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  16. Dan from Tx

    America always has a bias for winners and against losers. I thought a Republican, of all people, would understand that.

    November 13, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  17. realamerican

    Cry all you want MB And blame everyone else for your own demise. Fack is we are so sick of you your stupidity and your lies. Just because you cant take the hint and stop imposing yourself on the rest of us doesnt mean theyre bias they flat out know you have nothing intelligent to say. Your latest performance makes point clear. Hop on your broom and fly away before a house falls on you!

    November 13, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  18. Mike Omaha, Ne

    Welcome to Ron Paul's problem. And he is more of a serious candidat.

    November 13, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  19. brian

    Don't worry CBS. Americans don't mind you deciding who runs and who wins these elections.

    November 13, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  20. steve

    that ugly thing doesn't have a chance anyway

    November 13, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  21. Bill

    Bachmann also said at the debate that the U.S. should less Socialist and be more like China! She's living proof that "religious universities" are total scams.

    November 13, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  22. Cardog

    Let me be perfectly honest. I do not like Michelle Bachmann now, when she was only sticking to her craziness in Minn.. Now that the cream so to speak has risen to the top and she's not part of the cream, hopefully sooner then later she will simply go away. Please......

    November 13, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  23. steven craniac

    Why is this bi zitch complaining now ?? LOL......I mean, Rick Perry is ahead of this IDIOT in the polls !! Michelle Bachman is lucky if she gets 4% in Iowa recently polls suggest, and she warrants equal time in these debates ?? Why ?? Perhaps she needs to be reminded she hasn't been showing up in Congress, where she has been getting paid for not working......,typical Tea-baggin' MORON !

    November 13, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. Henry Miller

    Fair. Right. Ron Paul got 90 seconds.

    November 13, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  25. ComeOnnnnnn

    Pretty insulting... She wont win. After the last few weeks, who knows if any of them will, but she deserves the same speaking opportunity afforded to all candidates.

    November 13, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
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