NBC and Politico.com want the ratings bump that will come from hosting the first debate among Republican presidential contenders.
So they issued a diktat that such a debate would occur and that it would be held on May 2. The instructions to the GOP included notice that the guys in charge of the questions would be Brian Williams and John Harris.
The proposed location is the Reagan Library which of course makes the proposed event seem a natural for the candidates who seek to lead the party that President Reagan rescued and revitalized. No GOPer has yet yielded to NBC’s demand, and some, like Senator John Thune, have voiced reservations. (The transcript of Thune’s comments on my January 26th radio show is here. Note to Beltway folks: The program is now heard on D.C.’s AM 1260 WRC live from 6 to 9 PM.)
NBC is of course the hard-left network, with State of the Union coverage conducted by a committee of Larry O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and the sports guy from Montana. Matthews, fresh from a Michele Bachmann-fueled broadcast bender and a briefing from Obama guru David Plouffe, relayed word that the panel should not be upset that gun control was absent from the SOTU. The four horseman of the Obamalypse formed ranks and went off to savage the GOP.
The network that demands it mediate the first big event in the GOP nominating process is avowedly partisan, which is fine. But start with the obvious: Matthews is possessed by an unhinged hatred of Michele Bachmann – and Bachmann will almost certainly be on any podium that includes GOP candidates. Brian Williams and other NBCers cannot be expected to be unaffected by the venom towards Bachmann and other Republicans that continues to flow strongly through the veins of NBC, even after Olbermann’s abrupt canning. No other business in the world would presume to brand itself as “anti” something and then seek credibility as the judge of the products it is designed to destroy.
Politico.com is nowhere near as left wing as NBC, but the web portal has traveled steadily left in the years since it opened shop. Take Politico.com reporter John Allen, for example. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz did. Allen left Politico to go to work for Schultz, one of the left’s most combative, effective and entertaining pugilists. Allen got some training and experience and then came back to Politico, where I am sure his ideology doesn't impact his reporting.
The point is that there are far better moderators available for GOP candidate gatherings.