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. peter

    Oh, stop your whining, Michelle. This is not about the media deciding anything, it's about the people who are dissing you left and right. Your odds of being heard is getting to be about as good as my odds. Get over it, you're a loser. A hateful, irresponsible, ignorant, prejudiced... did I mention hateful?... loser.

    November 13, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  2. Emilio Dumphuque

    It's because she's not considered a serious candidate, like Trump. She was just an early "not-Romney".

    November 13, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  3. Aaron

    Nobody cares about her anymore. The only use of letting her talk is to get more stuff for Leno to joke about.

    November 13, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  4. 2020

    congress woman, you have been running wide for too long. Did you do anything to justify taking a pay check from tax payer every month.

    November 13, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  5. End the Fed

    Welcome to the world of Ron Paul.

    November 13, 2011 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  6. kenny

    When Michele Bachmann does get a question about anything all she does is lie and shoot of vile hate so they probably shouldn't have even allowed her 4% on the stage. It's time she went home and applied for Dancing With the Stars with her husband.

    November 13, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  7. ron

    How can the hosts say they "tried to be fair with time to all the candidates." when several candidates get 10-15 minutes of air time, while others get 6-9 minutes of air time? If the hosts honestly believe the debate gave equal air time, please show them a chart of somethng thats demonstrated 60 minutes into the debate, one candidate spoke for only about 2-3 minutes. I would like to make an informed decision but was not able to based on the moderator' asking some some people twice as many questions as others. Please give each candidate 1/8 the time time.

    November 13, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  8. Bob S Ha

    If this lady had something really helpful to say, she'd have said it. Instead, she blames the media! That, is plain sour grapes, and even plainer BS!

    November 13, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  9. Reggie from LA

    "She's playing the media bias card!!" "She's playing the media bias card!!" "She's playing the media bias card!!"
    See how it works. You drone stupid sh** over and over again then imbeciles believe it. You know, when flippant idiots say "They're just playin' the race card again!" Therefore there's no real issue? Just someone invoking a worn out excuse, huh? Bachmann unfortunately has "cried wolf" so many times, she has credibility issues. She always blames the media. Who knows maybe she's right...or maybe she's playing the media bias "card". Poof, be stupid.

    November 13, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  10. stoptheh8te

    She should be happy her questions were limited ... gives her less opportunity to speak in error. Besides I already know what her applause line is ... "make Obama a one term President."

    November 13, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  11. Marry

    Michelle, be thankful! You should know: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. ...Well, you sure already did that! We know! But do not feel too bad – your “friends” have done the same! The GOP/TP is an insult to the voter!

    November 13, 2011 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  12. Steve

    Nice pic of that 'Looney-Tune' – God, I can't believe the people of Minnesota 'elected' this no-mind – must have Northern 'Brain-freeze', LOL

    November 13, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  13. stevetall

    Clearly, Michelle, you are out of your league. Nobody likes a whiner, especially one who is intolerant, hateful, and ready to blame everyone else, but unwilling to take any responsibility for anything. When people start to notice that your opinions are pretty strange, it's not media bias. It's what happens when everyone sees what a piece of work you really are. You don't represent a very large percentage of Americans, lucky for us. It really is time for the kooky candidates to exit stage left! Bye-bye!

    November 13, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  14. ChiTownArkie

    The reality of Bachmann's fail has finally hit home to her and her handlers. Sorry Michelle. You're out and you might be out come the next election in the MN 6th.

    November 13, 2011 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  15. Mike in Houston

    Clearly it was bias. A very reasonable one. Save time for the serious candidates.

    November 13, 2011 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  16. Dave A.

    All of them: CLOWNS. Middle class America:Wake up!!

    November 13, 2011 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  17. krissmith777

    So now she's upset because she didn't get as much speaking time as others?-

    Michelle, you are not even a contender...and the debate had a certain format, and you wanted to break it, but the moderators didn't let you.

    The CBS debate was not biased, Michelle.. The CNBC debate, THAT was biased.

    November 13, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  18. LNB

    Good bye, already...Michele

    November 13, 2011 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  19. Greg

    Why waste time asking questions of a moron? I mean, there are 7 other morons to waste questions on....

    November 13, 2011 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  20. usualone

    When candidates know they are losing, they always resort to saying that the press is unfair. How many times is she going to use the word "disrespectful?" She does need to earn our respect. We can be decent to her, but she does not understand why people do not like her views on things.

    November 13, 2011 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  21. Kris

    Bachmann needs a reality check on all fronts – whether economics, foregin policy, or her poll numbers. She's a loser!

    November 13, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  22. skarphace

    Welcome to the 'shunned' table, Bachmann. Huntsman, Paul, and Santorum welcome you.

    November 13, 2011 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  23. AgrippaMT

    Hee, hee, hee. Michelle now down to single digits. She's not the target of media bias, she's just a loser.

    November 13, 2011 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  24. TomCA

    Who cares Bachmann couldnt get elected to be third grade president.

    November 13, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  25. erik

    I can't stand any of these republican pigs, but it does concern me that any media company has such subtle and pernicious power over our electoral process.

    November 13, 2011 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
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