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Sunday, November 1, 2020
CNS' Debate Bias, Part 2: Still Nitpicking Biden, Giving Trump A Pass
Topic: covered the final presidential debate the way it covered the first one: fact-checking, rebuttals and snark for Joe Biden, while President Trump got stenography and no fact-checking, even though it made a headline out of a false Trump claim.

Patrick Goodenough enthusiastically attacked Biden in his usual way that he won't do to Trump, obsessing over how Biden said the U.S. should move to net-aero emissions by 2025, point out how that’s a quarter of a century earlier than the target date set in the Paris climate accords," then adding how "around four minutes later, Biden offered different dates – 2035 for “net-zero” emissions in the energy sector, and 2050 as the goal to achieve net-zero emissions overall." Melanie Arter followed by making a big deal out of Biden denying that he opposes fracking and to "show the tape" of him saying otherwise, then touting how "Trump obliged" by "tweet[ing] a video montage of Biden saying he would eliminate fracking."

Susan Jones meanwhile, highlighted how "Democrat [sic] presidential nominee" Biden wouldn't rule out future shutdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus, then let Trumprebut him by touting how he said that "'99 percent of people recover' from COVID, including him." Jones also rebutted Biden's claim that he has never taken money from foreign sources by rehashing the Hunter Biden "scandal" that CNS and right-wing have been pushing for weeks, though she offered no evidence that proves Joe Biden profited in any way.

Trump, of course, got no such scrutiny from CNS. Jones gave space to Trump to reframe Biden's statement that he would transition away fromoil as a claim he would "destroy the oil industry," then topped it off with a post-debate comment from a Republican congressman that "Russia and China and India are happy because Joe Biden is going to destroy our economy in the name of saving the environment."

Jones uncritically repeated Trump's claim to Biden that he ran for president in 2016 "because of you. I ran because of Barack Obama, because you did a poor job"-- failing to note that Trump is on the record as saying he did it for himself and his business. Arter, meanwhile, did a piece with the headline claim "Trump: Only ‘Those with the Lowest I.Q.’ Might Come Back to Immigration Court":

President Donald Trump defended his decision to end the practice of catch and release in the last presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday against claims by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that illegal immigrants who are released and given a court date show up for immigration court.

“The catch and release. Do you know what he's talking about there? If in fact you had a family that came across. They were arrested. They in fact were given a date to show up for their hearing. They were released, and guess what, they showed up for a hearing,” Biden said.


The president said he terminated catch and release, because it was “a disaster.”

“It just shows that he has no understanding of immigration of the laws. Catch and release is a disaster. A murderer would come in. A rapist would come in. A very bad person would come in. We would take their name. We have to release them into our country, and then you say they come back. Less than 1% of the people come back,” Trump said.

“Not true,” Biden interjected.

“We have to send ICE out and Border Patrol out to find them. We would say come back in two years, three years. We're going to give you a court case. You need Perry Mason. We're going to give you a court case. When you say they come back, they don't come back, Joe. They never come back. Only the really, I hate to say this, but those with the lowest I.Q., they might come back,” Trump said.

Arter didn't tell her readers that Biden was right -- Trump's claim isn't true at all. According to the Department of Justice, more than half of immigrants return for court hearings, far more than the 1% Trump claimed, and there's no evidence intelligence is a factor.

That's how CNS' bias works.

UPDATE: We forgot to note that CNS also did a highly biased pro-Trump run-up to the debate. It devoted an entire Oct. 20 article by Jones to regurgitating the Trump campaign's whining about the changes the debate commission made for the final debate -- which included the ability to mute a candidate -- even reproducing the entirety of the "lengthy letter" campaign chairman Bill Stepien sent the commission. Stepien claimed that "the final debate was supposed to focus on foreign policy," but the debate commission never said it would be the sole focus -- an important fact Jones failed to tell her readers.

The same day, Arter uncritically repeated how Trump "criticized the moderator of the upcoming last presidential debate NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker, telling Fox News on Tuesday that she’s worse than C-SPAN’s Joe [sic: Steve] Scully, because she has ties to the Democrat [sic] Party." And Goodenough chimed in by claiming that Trump "had a small foretaste" of getting muted at the debate when his microphone went out during a rally, going on to rehash previous Trump campaign criticism of the decision.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 2020 10:44 PM EST

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