- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 13, 2011

THE CBS FALLACY

Fireworks and accusations follow the 10th presidential debate hosted by CBS News and the National Journal, even though the Republican candidates went for the gravitas and steely polish Saturday night. There were no buoyant moments as the hopefuls labored under the ironclad tutelage of moderator Scott Pelley, a man determined to go by the clock, at risk of giving short shrift to some of the candidates.

“CBS’ treatment of Congressman Ron Paul is disgraceful,” says the Texas lawmaker’s spokesman Jesse Benton, who noted that Mr. Paul only garnered 90 seconds of face time during the televised hour of the national security and foreign policy debate, which moved online for its last 30 minutes.

“If we are to have an authentic national conversation on issues such as security and defense, we can and must do better to ensure that all voices are heard. CBS News, in their arrogance, may think they can choose the next president. Fortunately, the people of Iowa, New Hampshire, and across America get to vote, and not the media elites,” Mr. Benton insisted.

Meanwhile, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota offered damning evidence that the network had passed judgment on her as well, releasing a CBS internal memo accidentally sent to her campaign that stated, “She’s not going to get many questions and she’s nearly off the charts.” Mrs. Bachmann blasted the email to her supporters.

“The liberal mainstream media elites are manipulating the Republican debates by purposely suppressing our conservative message and limiting Michele’s questions,” said her campaign manager Keith Nahigian. “We need to show the liberal media elite that we wont stand for this outrageous manipulation.”

“The time for all of the candidates was limited. We had an hour and a half. We had eight candidates. Ill also tell you we spent an enormous amount of time, several weeks, counting all of the questions of all the candidates, making sure everyone had a fair shot,” countered Mr. Pelley to reporters in the aftermath.

OCCUPADO

“Take back our soul, take back our country. Take back control, take back our health care, take back our mind, take back our freedom … Your blood is our paint, like a pig you consumed and like a pig you will roast. Burning your homes, your body destroyed, strung up you’ll bleed like the pig you became.”

(Lyrics from “We Stand as One,” a new anthem for the Occupy Wall Street movement, recorded by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur, who has worked with such rock musicians as Peter Gabriel and REM’s Michael Stipe.)

“Despite the violence of the anti-war protests, the ‘60s demonstrations were about giving peace a chance.” observes Dan Gainor, vice president of the conservative Business & Media Institute. “Not exactly Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ In The Wind,’ now, is it?”

OCCUPADO 2

Alas, the man pines to be part of the people. That would be filmmaker Michael Moore, who has a penchant for the stark circumstances and studied drama of the Occupy Wall Streeters.

Henry Payne, editor of the conservative MichiganView.com daily news site, reveals in a photo essay that the outspoken Mr. Moore still likes his luxury though, by way of a 10,000-square foot summer mansion at Torch Lake in northern Michigan. The spot is also favored by the likes of Bruce Willis, Madonna and such corporate executives as Chrysler ex-chairman Bob Eaton, all of whom own houses there as well.

“Torch Lake is long way from the grimy turf of Oakland, California city hall and Zuccotti Park, where ‘one percenter’ Moore poses as a spokesman for the Occupy Wall Street movement,” Mr. Payne observes. “But calling Moore’s lake property a home would be an understatement. This is a manor. A Kennedy compound. An ostentatious, big-foot show of wealth.”

ALOHA

“As many of you know, this is my birthplace. I know that was contested for a while, but I can actually show you the hospital if you want to go down there.”

- President Obama, during a business forum conducted in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu, according to Agence France-Presse.

FA-LA-LA

Move over talk radio titans, all news networks, urban beat outlets, classic rock stations. Santa Claus has already come to town, and he wants the ears of America. Now. Close to 30 stations around the nation have already flipped their programming to 24-hour, all Christmas and holiday music for higher feel-good ratings and more ad revenue.

But wait. If the sight of Christmas decorations in stores before Halloween is disconcerting, consider that “Easy 93” WEZW in Wildwood Crest, N.J. switched to uninterrupted holiday music - on Oct. 17.

“To brighten everyone’s mood,” explains station owner Gary Fisher.

POLL DU JOUR

• 50 percent of Republican primary voters are “extremely or quite confident” that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has the personal characteristics to become president; 43 percent are “somewhat confident.”

• 40 percent are “extremely or quite confident” that businessman Herman Cain has the personal characteristics to become president; 33 percent are “somewhat confident.”

• 49 percent would vote for Mr. Romney for president in a Romney/Cain match-up, if the primary election were held today; 48 percent would vote for Mr. Cain.

• 32 percent would vote for Mr. Romney for president in the overall field, if the election were held today.

• 27 percent would vote for Mr. Cain, 22 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

• 9 percent would vote for Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, 4 percent for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 2 percent each for Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and 1 percent for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

• 24 percent think the recent sexual-harassment accusations against Mr. Cain “are true.”

Source: An NBC News / Wall Street Journal survey of 102 Republican primary voters conducted Nov. 10-12.

Ballyhoo, hue and cry, grumbling to jharper@washingtontimes.com