Grumpy Editor quickly knew the Republican debate from Boulder, Colo., would experience a rough session when the first question from a CNBC trio directed to the 10 candidates was:
“What is your biggest weakness?”
Keep in mind that Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood on their day jobs at CNBC, part of the NBC family, usually focus on key concerns of viewers --- the economy, China’s effect on the U.S. stock market, trade, corporate developments and Federal Reserve policy, among other solid business/finance matters.
The CNBC performance did not play well with the Boulder audience. Criticism also came from some linked to media.
A Washington Post story labeled CNBC’s handling of the two-hour event “clumsy.” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell castigated the “smarmy, condescending, arrogant” moderators for their liberal questions designed to promote fights with the candidates. Howard Kurtz, Media Buzz host on Fox News, called it “a train wreck for CNBC.”
Despite frequent howls directed at CNBC’s moderators (all non-journalism graduates from college), the three questioners were unfazed by the reactions.
On Friday morning Harwood saw it another way when he appeared on CNBC and declared the candidates “went after the media, which is a popular thing to do in a Republican primary.” Meanwhile, Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director and Meet the Press moderator, summed up the previous night’s anti-main stream media action: “Look, in many ways this was a premeditated attack.”
A CNBC spokesman issued a post-debate statement declaring: “People who want to be president of the United States should be able to answer tough questions.”
Later, the Republican National Committee, citing a biased performance by CNBC in the third GOP presidential debate, announced the party is suspending an agreement with NBC to stage a February debate.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THESE…
With a zero cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients announced for 2016, one senior --- reflecting the view of millions of Americans --- summed it up in a letter to the editor: “Those of us who have worked for decades, paid into Social Security, fought in wars, paid taxes and been the backbone of America are now being treated with less regard and support than undocumented immigrants.”
Repeating a warning heard during the year: The Federal Reserve is keeping its key short-term interest rate at a record low, citing a weak global economy, slower hiring and practically no inflation. But it signaled the possibility of a rate hike next month…While Fed policy makers last week said the U.S. economy continued to expand at a “moderate” pace, consumer confidence in October slipped to 97.6 from September’s nine-month high of 102.6.
The Energy Department, obviously not in the spirit of Halloween and Thanksgiving, added pumpkins to the list of things causing greenhouse gases. The federal agency claimed most of the 1.3 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) pounds of U.S.-produced pumpkins end up in municipal dumps and decompose into methane, “a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide.” Meanwhile, getting into the fray, Roman Catholic leaders from around the world appealed to an upcoming U.N. conference on climate change to produce “a truly transformational” agreement to curb global warming.
And baloney is included. Operators of steak houses and other eateries shook heads after a World Health Organization report linked red and processed meats to causing cancer in humans…Of the top 10 TV prime time programs in the Oct. 19 to 25 period, five involved football. Yes, “Dancing With the Stars” was hanging in there at No. 10.
Observed in a David Brooks New York Times column:
“Imagine if we had a sensible Trump in the (presidential) race. Suppose there was some former general or business leader with impeccable outsider status but also a steady temperament, deep knowledge and good sense.”
Did Brooks have a photo of Hillary Clinton on his desk when he wrote that?