Washington Confidential

Dem Bigwig Blasts CNBC Debate Moderators

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
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Things may have hit rock bottom for CNBC now that a prominent New York Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter is trashing them for mishandling the GOP debate last week.

New York Post columnist Fred Dicker quoted Monday “one of the state’s best known Democrats” saying, “If that was a Democratic debate and the Democratic candidates were treated by CNBC like the Republicans were, we’d be as upset if not more upset than the Republicans are now.”


The self-styled media critic requested anonymity to avoid taking flak from his comrades for emboldening Republicans.

No wonder.

His statements sounded like they were plucked from a Republican National Committee press release.

“CNBC created a terrible environment in which to have a debate and it looked very, very partisan.

“The CNBC hosts were very adversarial and the questions were really self-serving, designed to give the questioners a chance to outshine the candidates themselves.”

The mysterious Hillary backer even denounced CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood as “really terrible as the lead questioner” and “a one-man rant against all of the candidates.” He particularly resented Harwood, also a New York Times political writer, for telling Trump that his tax proposal was doomed to fail.

Harwood, mistaking a partisan jibe for wit, told the real estate magnate that his plan to slash taxes without ballooning the deficit had the same chance of success “as you would of flying away from that podium by flapping your arms.”

“I understand that journalists are going to ask tough questions and sometimes bring up stuff that candidates are going to have to figure out how to get out from under,” Hillary’s man in New York said. “But does every question have to be that way?”

Harwood could not be reached for comment.

But so far he is unrepentant.

Mediaite scribe Alex Griswold reports that the veteran journalist today tweeted, “The CNBC debate was an ugly, raucous mess. We need more just like it.”