NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann accused CBS News of bias after its new political director said in an email before Saturday’s Republican presidential debate that she would not get as many questions as other candidates -- and inadvertently included a Bachmann staffer on the email chain.
A CBS producer said in an email to new political director John Dickerson that Bachmann was available for a post-debate webcast, and CC’d a member of Bachmann’s staff. But Dickerson failed to remove the Bachmann staffer from the email before dismissing the candidate in his response.
“Okay let’s keep it loose 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,” Dickerson wrote.
The CC’d Bachmann staffer, Alice Stewart, forwarded the email to reporters, saying it indicated CBS News planned to limit Bachmann’s questions at the South Carolina debate, which was hosted by CBS News and National Journal.
CNN said Bachmann’s campaign manager later stormed past reporters, saying, “John Dickerson should be fired. He is a piece of s---. He is a fraud and he should be fired.”
In a statement to CNN, CBS News said Dickerson’s email was “a candid exchange about the reality of the circumstances -- Bachmann remains at 4 percent in the polls.”
Bachmann, who indeed was not asked as many questions as the frontrunners, called the situation “an example of media bias.”
“I think it’s only respectful to allow the candidates to be able to speak and not intentionally ahead of time make a decision to limit candidates’ opportunity to speak to the American people,” she said after the debate.