Michele Bachmann Campaign Claims CBS Bias After Email Points To Low Poll Numbers
Michele Bachmann's campaign team thinks it has proof that CBS deliberately snubbed the Minnesota Congresswoman during Saturday night's Republican debate.
The supposed smoking gun? An email from a CBS producer who predicted that Bachmann would not receive many questions from moderators Scott Pelley and Major Garrett.
In the message, which was apparently sent by mistake to a Bachmann staff member, CBS News producer John Dickerson responds to a correspondent about the possibility of Bachmann appearing as a guest on a network "webshow." His response:
"Okay let's keep it loose though since she's not going to get many questions and she's nearly off the charts in the hopes that we can get someone else"
The email was posted to Bachmann's Facebook page.
Beneath it, her campaign manager voiced his frustration in a statement:
Team--This is Keith Nahigian, Michele's campaign manager. While Michele has been onstage at tonight's debate demonstrating strong leadership on foreign policy and national security, we received concrete evidence confirming what every conservative already knows - the liberal mainstream media elites are manipulating the Republican debates by purposely suppressing our conservative message and limiting Michele's questions.
View the attached email by CBS News' political director from earlier today--we need to show the liberal media elite that we won't stand for this outrageous manipulation. Help us fight this affront by sharing this with your friends.
The outrage didn't stop online, though. CNN's Peter Hamby reports that Nahigian used some colorful language discussing the incident on Saturday night:
Furious with Dickerson's response, Bachmann's campaign manager Keith Nahigian stormed through the spin room, where he said, 'John Dickerson should be fired. He is a piece of shit. He is a fraud and he should be fired.'
The Bachmann team also claimed, via tweet, that CBS had held an "emergency meeting" before the debate to discuss "fallout" from Dickerson's email.
Dickerson and CBS responded to the allegations in straightforward fashion.
Ben Smith of Politico tweeted a comment from Dickerson:
"@jdickerson emails: 'Bachmann is at 4% in the polls & has been for a while. Other candidates aren't.I sent an email based on that.'"
As for CBS, Peter Hamby tweeted:
"CBS on Bachmann's bias accusation: 'It was a candid exchange about the reality of the circumstances--Bachmann remains at 4% in the polls.'"
Bachmann's campaign responded on Sunday, sending out an email encouraging supporters to protest CBS' actions:
An excerpt via Politico:
Please show your support by tweeting your outrage to CBSNEWS and John Dickerson or posting on Facebook to give them a piece of your mind. Afterwards, I hope you will make a donation to Michele's campaign to ensure she has the funds necessary to fight back against the liberal media.