ABC analyst Matthew Dowd on Sunday cheered the "laudable" Candy Crowley for propping up Barack Obama with wrong information about Libya during last week's debate. Referring to a contentious exchange between the President and Mitt Romney over when the White House called the attack a terrorist indicent, Dowd enthused, "...What Candy Crowley did, I actually thought, was laudable, because what happens in this whole thing is the truth becomes a casualty." [MP3 audio here.]
Dowd, appearing on This Week, lamented a media culture where "we're just supposed to make accusations back and forth to each other and nobody's supposed to correct and say, 'by the way, that's not true.'"
Of course, Obama did not initially call the violence in Benghazi a terrorist attack." As the Washington Times explained, he "used the word 'terror' exactly once, late in his [September 12th Rose Garden] address."
The Times' Henry D'Andrea informed:
"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for." From the context, it was clear that his reference to "terror" was general. Not once did he apply that characterization to Benghazi.
Yet Dowd hyped Crowley: "I hope we get to do more of that in this discourse."
When a debate moderator exceeds his or her role and inserts bad
information into an exchange, it's hardly "laudable." The panelist, who often appears on Good Morning America, has recently sounded to the left of Democratic aide turned
journalist George Stephanopoulos.
In his political career, Dowd worked for both Democrats and Republicans. On Sunday, he threw his previous boss, George W. Bush, under the bus:
DOWD: We had a president in an administration for years made an argument about weapons of mass destruction for years. Now we've lost thousands of lives over in Iraq based on a false assumption. It wasn't two weeks. This was months and months and months of a conversation where we never got the right answer to this.
The above clip was featured on Monday's Starting Point by the liberal Soledad O'Brien, a sure sign Dowd has pleased the media establishment.
On Wednesday, Dowd declared that the conservative complaint about Crowley is a "sure sign that President Obama won this" debate.
A transcript of the October 21 exchange follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But there could be another flash point on the issue of Benghazi. It did create a moment between Governor Romney and the President the other night. Let's take a look.
MITT ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror? It was not a spontanious demonstration? Is that what you're saying?
BARACK OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
CANDY CROWLEY: He did, in fact, sir.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Greta Van Susteren, Candy Crowley stepping in there help the President.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Well, actually I think she helped Governor Romney. Candy Crowley, by the way, is an old friend of mine, I used to work at CNN. But I actually think she helped Governor Romney, because is there about 15 or 16 topics they discussed that night, and the most important issue for Governor Romney's campaign is to put the spotlight on Libya and how the President's administration has been very clumsy at best, not giving us the information, meaning the American people, what happened.
So what happened is because Candy Crowley was clumsy in how she handled it, the entire discussion and even right now is about Libya where we would have probably reserved it for the debate tomorrow night. But Candy, in an unusual, bizarre way put the total spotlight -- that's all the media talked about.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you agree with that?
MATTHEW DOWD: No. Absolutely not. I mean, I think that Benghazi discussion, Libya discussion was the President's best moment of the debate and I think Mitt Romney's worst moment in that debate. And I have to say so many times in this discourse that we have - and Candy - what Candy Crowley did, I actually thought, was laudable, because what happens in this whole thing is the truth becomes a casualty. And nobody is supposed to say what actually - what actually happened, we're just supposed to make accusations back and forth to each other and nobody's supposed to correct and say, by the way, that's not true. I actually thought what Candy Crowley did, and I hope we get to do more of that in this discourse.