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The 2014 Duranty Award, First Runner-Up: Candy Crowley

The transcript of Claudia Rosett’s presentation speech honoring Crowley’s performance as debate moderator.

by
Claudia Rosett

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May 8, 2014 - 1:48 pm
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Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

It is one of life’s verities — as the “narratives” of the fourth estate rarely fail to remind us — that journalists tend to regard themselves as the guardians and escorts of civic progress and virtue. Thus freighted with a higher mission than most, they are naturally tempted to insert themselves right into the middle of the nation’s political debates. The more consequential, the better. That may go some distance toward explaining the mess we are in these days.

But for all the power of the pen, the keyboard, the microphone, and the TV cameras, it’s not often that a journalist has the opportunity to influence an American presidential election with the mere utterance of a single untruth.

Such a moment did, however, present itself to our first runner-up. And when it came, she did not flinch.

The selection committee of the Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity is pleased to bestow the award of first runner-up on CNN’s chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, for her extraordinary performance during the 2012 presidential race as moderator of the second debate between the Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama, and the Republican contender, Governor Mitt Romney.

The moment of truth — or, more precisely, untruth — arose out of a question about Benghazi, Libya, and the Sept. 11 terrorist attack which had taken place there just over a month earlier. Questions were swirling around the administration’s attempts that September to blame what was clearly a terrorist attack on a spontaneous mob enraged by a “hateful video.”

In the debate, Mr. Obama claimed that in his remarks the morning after the attack he had called it “an act of terror” (which he had not). Mr. Romney, catching the president in a lie, challenged this revision of history.

And at that fraught moment, Ms. Crowley inserted herself directly into the debate, putting her thumb on the scale for Mr. Obama. The result was to throw the exchange in favor of the incumbent, and to sweep Benghazi, as an issue, out of the race.

What effect this had at the polls that November, we will never know. We do, however, wonder.

But let us provide more context. That September, in what appeared at that stage to be a hotly contested presidential race, Mr. Obama was running on foreign policy platform that included claims about the tide of war receding and al-Qaeda being on the run. On Sept. 11, heavily armed al Qaeda-linked terrorists delivered a nightmare contradiction to that narrative, attacking an American diplomatic compound and a nearby annex in Benghazi. In the attack, four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were murdered. It was the first time in 33 years that a serving American ambassador had been killed. On the 11th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on our nation, it was a terrorist attack, with links to al-Qaeda.

That same evening, Sept. 11, in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement implying that the attacks had been sparked by what came to be known as “the video.” She said: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

The next morning, before hitting the campaign trail to Las Vegas, Mr. Obama delivered his first public remarks on the attacks. Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, he echoed Ms. Clinton’s allusion to “the video.” He said: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

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Top Rated Comments   
I consider her truly evil. Not just dumb, or a tool, but a willing participant in evil. When I see her face I think of election night and how our country voted for a monster and cast away a good and decent man. Maybe we deserve the government the majority votes for, but we don't deserve a dirty press that throws an election. She is despicable.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Candy Crowley did what slime bag Woodstock Propagandists do.

She lied, she rigged, she cheated, she dissembled, she covered up and she bastardized the truth. This is tall timber of despicable people with no conscience that she merits a mere runner up.

Woodstock Weaponized Media is an enemy of truth. And, of freedom.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meh .... blaming Crowley for behaving like the rest of the herd in the liberal/dem MSM is like blaming horses for whinnying, or pigs for grunting, or dogs for barking.

Hey, I'm not suggesting Crowley is just like a ....

Anyway, the real problem wasn't that Crowley was covering Obama's backside but that Mitt Romney failed to call her out on it, and then hit Obama again for lying while collecting bonus points for revealing the MSMer for what she is ... just another Dem shill.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (25)
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As I remember the scene, Candy just happened to have the transcript of Obama's remarks at hand when Obama called on her to verify his false assertion. She did? I wonder why. Why? because the two had already been in cahoots before the debate to play it out as it in fact did. Romney's response was understandably lame. He knew they had stacked the deck against him, and he would just worsen the scene if he proceeded. That sealed his fate, in my opinion. Too bad for us and all the U.S. Thanks a bunch, Candy.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
She should only be referred to as "Full-O-Candy" Crowley. Alinski said to ridicule, so let's ridicule!
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
As long as the Republicans let liberal moderators control the presidential
debates, there will be more Candy Crowleys coaching Democrat
candidates.

I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans OK Al Sharpton as a moderator
for the 2016 election.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am shocked that Romney didn't realize that Obama was incapable of doing a non staged debate! He has never had a press conference that was not staged. I don't think he is capable of answering questions on his own. Surely everyone remembers his first debate against Romney. I thought Chris Matthews was going to have a stroke on air when it was over!!!! He actually blamed the altitude for Obama not being able to really participate fully!!! I think he was stoned! Without telepromptors he is a complete idiot! Have you ever heard him without the benefit of his telepromptor???
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
What she did will have its way with her.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, Ms. Crowley did what she could to drag Obama across the finish line. And, as indicated here, she did it in response to a Presidential order -- "check the transcript".

But the real blame must, of course, go to Gov. Romney. He should have known that he was debating an habitual liar; given what he said at the time, he probably did know. But he was unprepared for a less-than-objective moderator, and he certainly should have been.

In the heat of the moment, Mitt Romney did not have what it took to look a sitting President of the United States in the eye, on national TV, and call him a liar to his face. President Obama was betting that Romney would not do that, and Obama was right.

Here endeth the election.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ahhh....the gravitas of the moment...

Good night, Mrs. Kalabash, wherever you are!

Oh, oops....wrong Duranty!

I 'd still rather watch Jimmy than Cathy the Crawler (cousin to Jabba the Hutt)....
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Though Mitt Romney was not my first choice as candidate, I have defended him numerous times, believing Romney far and away the superior candidate and a very talented businessman. There has never been a greater discrepancy in talent between two candidates in a Presidential election in my lifetime. Aggregate America is indeed stupid and it shows.

However, this is one time I blame both Mitt Romney and the imbeciles that keep agreeing to these debates in a loaded forum, and I blame Romney for not taking it to Crowley in Gingrich style. I would have wished Romney had unloaded on Crowley and not only taught her a lesson she would never forget, believe it would have brought the house down with applause.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
“It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out,” Apparently this was supposed to be a sop to Mr. Romney, because she then conceded that whatever she meant by this gibberish, “You are right about that.”

Some sop.
She stated the exact opposite of what Mr. Romney said - that it took two weeks for "terrorism" as the cause to come out: “I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called it an act of terror.”
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
It infuriating to see Crowley interrupt the debate with her unasked for opinion. Consequently, I have since refused to watch her on any TV show. However, Romney blew the chance to be presidential when challenged by Crowley and sneered at by Obama. I suspect he was being polite but it was the time to respond with vigor and assertiveness. I voted for him but not enthusiastically.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
In retrospect I see that Romney was just too nice a guy to be President, although I enthusiastically supported him and voted for him. Both he and Paul Ryan muffed some great opportunities to call BS on their opponents. I believe they did this consciously in order not to look "mean" or be disrespectful of the office. Unfortunately, sometimes you've got to take off the gloves and wade on in - neither proved willing. I say unfortunately because we were stuck with a lying incompetent for another 4 years as a result.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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