The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Political POV: Was moderator Candy Crowley right to interject in the presidential debate about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi?

Political POV: Was moderator Candy Crowley right to interject in the presidential debate about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi?
Illustration by Jasmine Mochizuki

YES — Crowley did her job right

By Nathan McMahon, staff writer

After Tuesday night’s presidential debate, a point of contention has arisen as Republicans are crying foul about CNN moderator Candy Crowley’s on-the-spot fact check of Mitt Romney’s statement about the attacks in Benghazi. She rightfully corrected Romney for his statement that Obama did not call the attack an “act of terror” until fourteen days later. He did. It’s on tape and can’t be disputed by any sane person.

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” said Obama. This quote is from the day after the brutal demonstrations in Libya in his Rose Garden speech. He specifically used the phrase that Romney said he didn’t.

Of course when it comes to semantics, anything is up for debate, which is exactly where republicans are deciding to lay this particular fight as their candidate was so roundly beaten over the head it’s better for them to whine then address the truth.

The intent of Obama’s use of that phrase is being analyzed everywhere, but really, it’s a worthless endeavor and yet again falls into that trap of pathetic bickering amongst the people-babies we’ve devolved into when it comes to politics.

The administration has done a poor job addressing the Benghazi attack. They were lax in their duty to maintain a modicum of safety for our citizens. They missed the chance to stop a deliberate act of terror. That itself is worth analyzing and should have been addressed. Instead, the ever-bumbling Romney screwed up and decided to bend the truth. He got hit and Republicans need to stop being so petulant about it.

It’s somewhat expected though. When your platform is so full of ridiculous gaping holes and your only saving grace is your ability to change your stance on a dime or lie your way through the election, you are not left with many other choices but to repeatedly hit on your special brand of bullshit.

Crowley did her job and corrected Romney. She later admitted that her intent was to get the debate out of the realm of wordplay and back to some semblance of substance. She also agreed that Romney was right to bring up Obama’s handling of the intel and attack, but she didn’t backtrack from what she said at the debate.

Of course, substance was lacking through the entire affair. The best thing to come out of the debate was the binder meme and that’s only because it was such a ridiculous statement that it had to be made fun of. The Internet did its job in that regard at least.

There was a serious lack of discussion on important issues like drugs, poverty, education, guns, our decaying infrastructure, and the wars we find ourselves continually fighting. Instead, we get treated to so much stump speech material and robot-like sound-bites because that helps to get through the noise of our hectic lives.

This is what our political climate has devolved into, a game of words with little substance or meaning and yet our country and culture is slowly burning to the ground in the process. A gentle slide into the miasma of irrelevance.

Maybe it’s just time to stop having debates and pretending that they even matter. Each side has mostly chosen who they are going to vote for and any stragglers left in the middle are either inept or lazy or a combination of both. Let the candidates give their boring, fact-disabled stump speeches and be done with the whole absurd affair.

Besides, Survivor’s on and our childish election is cutting into my Jeff Probst time.

— Nathan is a liberal ingestor of facts and bullshit. He likes to spew them out just as much as everyone else, but he’s always right, so there. 

NO — Crowley got too involved

By Arman Gosparini, contributor

There is no issue on which the Obama administration is currently more vulnerable than the security disaster and subsequent massacre at the U.S Consulate in Benghazi. Armed Jihadist thugs stormed our consulate on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, killing two former Navy Seals and brutally murdering U.S. Ambassador John Stevens. It was a dark day in American history, but you can always leave it to the current administration to make it just a little darker.

Within 24 hours, security officials announced to Congress that the attack on the consulate was a coordinated act of terrorism. Yet for nine whole days the Obama administration insisted that the cause of the attack was an anti-muslim video on Youtube. The president even went so far as to go to the U.N. and tell the world that the future did not belong to those who insulted the Prophet Muhammad, in the most embarrassing act of submissive bootlicking since the apology tour he took at the beginning of his term.

So when the issue of Libya finally came up during the presidential debate, what did moderator Candy Crowley do? She jumped into the ring with the president, interjecting that Romney was incorrect when he claimed that Obama had refused to call the Benghazi attack an act of terror, shielding the president from what would have been perhaps the most devastating blow in the debate.

Of course that wasn’t correct. The president had made mention of “acts of terror” in his first speech, but never explicitly called the assault on the consulate a terrorist attack, and in fact his spokesperson adamantly claimed it wasn’t for nine days.

This issue is very important because it highlights two very alarming things about the president’s character. First, it demonstrates his inability to accept responsibility for his failures. Second, it demonstrates his willingness to blatantly lie to the American people for as long as possible in order to save face. This isn’t the first time this has happened. When congress tried to investigate the Justice Department for Operation Fast and Furious — a woefully handled gun smuggling sting that ended with a body count of 300 dead Mexican civilians — President Obama immediately shielded his attorney general by using executive privilege.

Crowley ended up retracting her statements after the debate. It is too bad she couldn’t do that while people were actually watching. If the ratings for this debate are close to the ratings for the last, that means that around 70 million people were told a falsehood that favored the president from a moderator who was supposed to be objective and not insert herself into the debate. How many viewers stuck around for the post-debate coverage on CNN? A million? Two?

This shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Crowley stated herself that she was not going to be a “fly on the wall” in an article on Politico. A fly on the wall is exactly what she was supposed to be. She was supposed to be moderating, not interviewing. Crowley interrupted Obama a total of nine times, but Romney a whopping 28 times. It was obvious that Candy Crowley was not an impartial moderator.

Republicans need to stop tolerating this. Republicans need to stop allowing their ideological opponents to retain the responsibility of refereeing the debates. If liberal moderators can’t help themselves and stay impartial, then perhaps conservatives should start insisting that Rush Limbaugh moderate the next debate. At least then we can abandon this stupid pretense of objectivity that fools nobody and insults the intelligence of everybody.

— Arman is a junior, writer and pre-CTVA student with ambitions of Galactic Conquest.

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