CBS is sticking by its decision to give certain candidates in the foreign policy debate last Friday fewer questions than others, claiming as the reason that candidates like Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul are polling in the single digits. The assumption being that those candidates don't have a chance at the nomination, so why waste time revealing their stance on national security issues. Of course, that reasoning is absurd.
In a campaign that has seen candidates rise and fall, it is ridiculous to claim that any candidate doesn't have a chance. I'm a Ron Paul supporter, and my candidate got 89 seconds of time in a 90 minute debate. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is currently second in most polls, was at one time polling well bellow where Ron Paul is polling now. Had every other network used the same philosophy as CBS, Mr. Gingrich would have never had a chance to exhibit his command of the issues, but he was given ample time to speak, and even to those of us who back another candidate, he has been so impressive that we see him as a very attractive alternative. If CBS doesn't want to hear from candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, they should simply drop the pretense of being objective and not invite them to the debates so the candidates don't waste their time.
With tactics such as these, it's little wonder that Republican crowds cheer enthusiastically when Speaker Gingrich gets snippy with the moderators. It's time for the media to think hard about the role it wants to play in this country because its credibility is at an all time low.
Fred Pasek, Frederick