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. pj

    If Bachmann doesn't like the way the press treats her in the USA she can move to China. She seems to appreciate the ways things operate in China.

    November 13, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  2. jim

    welcome to the ron paul club....reality

    November 13, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  3. John

    Michele Bachmann you just don't know when to Quit.

    November 13, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  4. Maxpayne

    Priceless response by the Bachmann Camp. She really knows how to hire a class act! "P.O.S. and should be fired." And this is her third or fourth Campaign Manager. 4% and deservedly so!

    November 13, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  5. Jeff Spangler

    This is how they tell you that you are never going to be the candidate and that you are not worth the waste of time when voters have real questions for the few nominable and electable candidates.

    November 13, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  6. Bill55

    A piece of what? Family Values my foot.

    November 13, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  7. sagae

    Good for her. The debate was horrible and ridiculously unfair. Gingrich is not a serious candidate but Pelley and Garrett kept asking him question after question after question.

    November 13, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  8. DavidE7

    I am not a supporter of Michelle Bachmann, but believe that the media have a sacred obligation to enable the public to make the most informed choice possible in political elections. Giving air time to candidates according to how much money they have is not in the public interest, and those guilty of that should be given the most severe punishment possible.

    November 13, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  9. Bigereads

    Bachmann's handlers are as nuts as she is and very obviously amateurs. This twit is lucky if she can get her own parents to vote for her. She is a filthy liar, constantly calling Obama a socialist and accusing him of things that outright lies. She no more reads the Bible or believes in an Almighty because she bears false witness against the President and anyone else's she doesn't like over and over. She is using religion and pimping Jesus for votes and that is just how lowdown and dirty she is.

    November 13, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  10. lulyn

    Ron Paul got less time than Bachmann. CBS is not fair media. It's biased and a fraud.

    November 13, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  11. steven craniac

    Mrs Bachman, Mr. Cain wants to give you a hand !

    November 13, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  12. Nothiga

    As usual, they all keep dodging questions, answering out-of-point, and frustrating the moderators. What a crop of half-empty skulls!

    November 13, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  13. SiriusVH

    Mrs. Bachmann, apparently, has still not seen the writing on the wall .......

    November 13, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  14. MrJM

    What a desperate move by a floundering organization.

    If there is a POS in this story it is the Bachmann team.

    - MrJM

    November 13, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  15. Oldie in TampaBay

    awwwwwwwww poor baby!

    November 13, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  16. Henry

    Want some cheese with that whine, Michelle?

    wahhhh wahhhhh wahhhhhhhhhh

    November 13, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  17. Welcome to Reality

    This is how the liberal left main stream media operate. Forget fairness and equality. Whoever they want to win, they will do everything they can to make sure the candidate wins. Just ask Hillary about that.

    November 13, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  18. Jim Smith

    She had no complaints when she was on top and got most of the questions.

    November 13, 2011 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  19. sid

    shes still running???? she needs to quit...soon!

    November 13, 2011 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  20. KathyC in Minnesota

    Michele Bachmann is in the cellar as far as her polling goes because she is an IDIOT!! All Bachmann does is complain without nary a solution to the problem.

    Perhaps Michele Bachmann and Hernan cain need to have a demonstration done on them to get the experience that WATERBOARDING is TORTURE. They will change their tune very quickly.

    Her extreme views keep her there. Bachman would support TORTURE??? Give me a break!! I even agree with FOX'S Shepard Smith.."The United States does not f****** torture!"

    November 13, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  21. BlackDynamite

    The media wants certain candidates to be featured and win?
    Welcome to Earth, Michelle!

    November 13, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  22. Jesse

    Shes cooked and it ain't CBS' fault.

    Her campaign manager is a nutcase.

    November 13, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  23. chuck

    Bachmann is no longer relevent in the race–can someone please tell her already.

    November 13, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  24. Dan5404

    She has plenty of time to repeat her same old extremist remarks that aren't being bought by 96%.

    November 13, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  25. txrbt

    Bachmann has been campaigning longer than anyone and has even had talk radio trying to get her nominated ever since. But every time she opens her mouth she slips in the polls. She refuses to take a hint. Nobody wants what she is selling.

    November 13, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
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