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. mark

    Sure. CBS is biased against complete idiots. Retards like Bachmann.

    November 13, 2011 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  2. Teresa

    Boo Hoo, go back home, no one took Bachman seriously anyway. She's as believable as President as Palin was as VP.

    November 13, 2011 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  3. DixonIV

    Believe me, if that is true then they did you a favor.

    November 13, 2011 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  4. Allan

    Of course Palin part Deux is claining biase..that's what the "I'm running with no chance but want to write a book to make money" script tells her to do

    November 13, 2011 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  5. Dixie AZ

    I have no sympathy for Mrs. Bachman. She's unqualified and should have already retired from the race.

    November 13, 2011 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  6. Ron

    That was a long 15 minutes. Glad they're over.

    November 13, 2011 05:24 am at 5:24 am |

    Off the charts is a kind depiction of Bachman. Why would they waste time with a delusional nutcase? She called North Dakota a nation.

    November 13, 2011 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  8. motil

    Well, since she's incapable of answering questions intelligently I'd say CBS News was doing her a favor.

    November 13, 2011 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  9. JNo

    Why waste time on a loser? Right choice and waste of a story here. Let's see what Perry is gonna say next!

    November 13, 2011 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  10. NoTags

    Since Bachmann is polling at 3 or 4% it should be obvious to her that only 3 or 4 people out of 100 are interested in what she has to say.

    November 13, 2011 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  11. Scott

    Just using the word "front-runners" is in itself biased for this article writer. They've been calling Perry a front-runner since the day he entered, with no justification and before even being in a debate. Ron Paul keeps winning straw polls and they refused to call him a front-runner. Paul polls consistently in the top three, better than Bachmann, with even less coverage too. Basically, the media tells you who the "front-runners" are based on who they want to win, knowing that the sheep at home would rather vote for a candidate that might win than one they actually have more in common with; an illogical but predictable human condition. And why does the media have bias in propping up candidates? Because they're corporations that benefit from lobbying, regulations, and war. Follow the money.

    November 13, 2011 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  12. SCAtheist

    Everybody is out to get me. My low poll numbers have nothing to do with the fact that I'm stupid and continuously say stupid things.

    November 13, 2011 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  13. SixDegrees

    Frankly, I'd be thankful if I were Bachmann. The fewer questions she gets asked, the fewer she has to open her mouth to answer, and the better she looks as a result.

    November 13, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  14. kafoste

    Listen you're last in the polls and most if not all that spews from your mouth is a bashing of current policy or quips that only you find funny. There is no plan from you other than repealing all of Obamacare which has good points in it but you know thats what the Teaparty and some others want to hear so you continue...youre last in the polls..continuing to drop and now your camp wants to blame everyone else...sound familiar...go ask Sarah how that worked for her

    November 13, 2011 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  15. Arthur

    Why cry Michelle? You have less chance than a snowball in hades.
    We don't need a bi-polar president.

    November 13, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  16. Craig from Pa.

    she doesn't have anything of substance to say anyhow....go home Michelle...the writing is on the wall!

    November 13, 2011 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  17. Nope

    Please Michelle... nobody cares but you. Now take your gay husband and go home.

    November 13, 2011 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  18. Marie MD

    Awwwwww, poor, poor flake. Listen up woman. You are not going to be president or vice president and if the people in your district are half as smart as you (yeah, right) your days in congress are minimal.
    People are stupid but I can't believe that they would vote for you for anything besides a hand holder at the pray away the clinic your husband has where you steal money from the goovernment.
    Wait! You believe in waterboarding? Forget praying waterboard!!!

    November 13, 2011 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  19. charles

    Let her feel it, the same way most americans have been marginalized. She should be greatfull to the network and the american people that many are already decided or voted ; she no longer matrers. Same bull s***t.

    November 13, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  20. Brad76

    Everyone knows the mainstream media is not truthful and balanced. Rather than just reporting the news, they tell you what to think.

    November 13, 2011 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  21. JJ

    Cleary you are an idiot Ms. Bachman.....please go away and take your gay husband with you.

    November 13, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  22. Carol Wolfendale

    I do not believe that the moderators were fair to all the candidates in the debate. Bachmann was not the only one being totally ignored at the debate. I am not so sure it was not a way for the moderators to highlight Cain and Perry as candidates who know nothing. Jon Huntsman was not given a chance to shine or fade.

    November 13, 2011 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  23. We want our freedom back

    Quit your crying. The News media has been doing that to Ron Paul all year long and he's not crying!

    November 13, 2011 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  24. David

    Another lost opportunity to tell some more lies, huh, Michele? No one wants to hear from this loon anyway.

    November 13, 2011 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  25. Jeff

    She could always spew her nonsense on Faux News.

    November 13, 2011 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
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