The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Asymmetrical Questions

As we approach the 2nd presidential debate (and tonight's VP debate), it's worth taking a look back at the debacle that was the first 2020 debate. The debate moderator, Chris Wallace, was as biased as Candy Crowley in her now infamous performance during the second Obama-Romney debate in 2012. He used asymmetrical questions and asymmetrical control, always assertive and harsh with Trump, asking the equivalent of "Do you still beat your wife?" questions. He was predictably soft and supportive of Biden, never once mentioning critical issues that Biden has assiduously avoided. 

Victor David Hansen provides numerous examples, including this:

When Wallace turned on Trump on the matter of honoring the verdict of the election, he honed in again on Trump’s past worries and statements about voter fraud and irregularities endangering the sanctity of the voter. 

Fine. But the obvious parallel question to Biden was to ask what he was doing in the Oval Office when, in January 2017, the Obama Administration plotted to take out the national security advisor designate? If Wallace was worried about honoring the protocols of elections and transfer of power, then surely he might have asked Biden why, on his vice-presidential watch, were the FBI, Justice Department, and CIA weaponized and used to spread the fraudulent Steele dossier (paid for by Hillary Clinton and now known to have been mostly fantasies, cooked up by the huckster Steele drawing on a Russian operative working at the liberal Brookings Institution), to destroy a campaign, a transition, and a president? 

Instead, silence. 

It is common practice to have debate moderators with a left-leaning bias. Wallace is a registered Democrat and was no different from many who have preceded him. 

But it's not only bias, it's also an proactive attempt to provide cover for one party in the debate, that party ALWAYS being the Democrat: Robert Stacy McCain comments:
Even if we must resign ourselves to partisan prejudice from the media, must we tolerate journalists trafficking in outright lies?

That’s what Wallace did in Tuesday’s debate. Consider this question he aimed at President Trump: “You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups, but are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?”

Where is the evidence that “white supremacists and militia groups” were to blame for violence in Kenosha or Portland, Oregon? Wallace’s question was not only tendentious, but counterfactual. 
Just once, it would really be interesting to have a moderator with a right-leaning bias, say someone like Molly Hemingway or Kimberly Strassel—true journalists with command of the facts and the ethics not to lie about them.

But that will NEVER happen. Not a chance.