The second presidential debate is done. It’s canceled. They wanted to do it virtually—and didn’t tell the Trump campaign about these tweaks first. Trump refused. Yet, before that development, this contest was heading for rocky shoals. The moderator for the second debate was C-SPAN’s Steve Scully. He’s the network’s political editor and was a former intern for Joe Biden. He shared an anti-Trump New York Times op-ed in his feed and then was caught asking former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who has now turned against the president, for advice on Twitter. Cortney wrote about it yesterday:
C-SPAN host Steve Scully was poised to moderate the second presidential debate on October 15. Conservatives had their concerns about him, considering he once interned for then-Sen. Joe Biden and has posted party pictures with
So, with Scully already on the watch list of Trump supporters, imagine how they erupted when he tweeted out a strange question for former White House press secretary turned Trump enemy Anthony Scaramucci," should I respond to the president?"
The tweet disappeared in a matter of hours, but the negative coverage didn't. And now critics are demanding he resign.
Supposedly, this was not him. Get this—he was hacked. That was Scully’s excuse for this unseemly interaction. His account was nuked for a bit, but then came back. It’s now back, but his tweets are protected. Yeah, well, even Politico noted Scully’s past tweets that shred the "I was hacked" defense. This isn’t the first time Scully has stepped on a landmine and used this as an excuse (via Politico):
I don't care how "good" of a person Steve Scully is. He's a debate moderator who interned for Joe Biden, tweeted out "not Trump, not ever," and now got exposed to have been coordinating with Scaramucci and is blaming "hackers."— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 9, 2020
There is no coming back from this. He's done. pic.twitter.com/Lcx35feoL2
c’mon https://t.co/s7fstIwMmg— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 9, 2020
It's not the first time that Scully has used the excuse to disavow posts in his name, having done so at least twice in the past.
"I apologize for some earlier TWEETS...account was hacked...those tweets did not come from me. Thanks all for alerting me," he wrote in March 2013.
"I apologize for Saturday's tweets regarding weight loss, etc. I still have my day job at C-SPAN...darn those hackers. Have a great Sunday" Scully wrote in May 2012.
Hacking has been used as a frequent explanation for public figures defending actions online. Former California Rep. Katie Hill invoked it earlier this week after her old congressional Twitter account posted messages purportedly sent by “Katie’s former staff” blasting the forthcoming film adaptation of her memoir.
Oh, Katie Hill—I could venture there, but that’s for another time. Hell, just journey over to our sister site, RedState, to take a trip down memory lane on that one; you can thank Jen Van Laar.
No one believes this. No one. https://t.co/hxkmiXSF3G— Matt Wolking (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@MattWolking) October 9, 2020
But back to Scully, he has to know that no one believes this. The debate is off, so this should simmer down eventually, but what a train wreck. The debates are already facing criticism over moderator bias, which was seen explicitly in the first bout between Biden and Trump. And now, we have "I was hacked" nonsense when another moderator with ties to Biden is caught with unseemly tweets about Trump. Scully has since wished the next moderator, NBC News' Kristen Welker, good luck.
Scully erased his tweets then protected his verified account. Anyway he follows me, so here is his last tweet. pic.twitter.com/avkfoPoFpD— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) October 10, 2020
This was quite a fiasco that’s for sure.
BREAKING: The second presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden is officially off. With Trump's COVID-19 infection, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates said the candidates should not be on stage together. https://t.co/4B1p2gXOgz— The Associated Press (@AP) October 9, 2020
JUST IN: The second presidential debate set for next week in Miami has been canceled, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) October 9, 2020
BREAKING - Commission on Presidential Debates has cancelled the Oct. 15 debate. Not sure this could have been handled any more poorly on several levels.— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) October 9, 2020