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Kelly And Baier Spin Blumenthal-McMahon Debate For Guess Who?

Reported by Ellen - October 6, 2010 -

On yesterday’s America Live (10/5/10), Megyn Kelly hosted Bret Baier to discuss the debate he had moderated the night before between Richard Blumenthal and Linda McMahon, the two Senate candidates from Connecticut. But the “analysis” was more of a rehash of the best moments for Republican McMahon “balanced” by the worst ones for Democrat Blumenthal.

The discussion began with a “Heads, McMahon wins, tails Blumenthal loses” pair of clips. A jab by McMahon at Blumenthal was “balanced” by Blumenthal playing defense from another jab. The first clip showed McMahon accusing Blumenthal of lying when he alleged she would consider reducing the minimum wage. That was followed by a clip of Blumenthal apologizing for having falsely said he had served in Vietnam.

That was biased enough. But as Kelly and Baier almost certainly knew or certainly should have known, McMahon did indicate she thought the minimum wage might need to be lowered. TheDay.com reported (H/T Firedoglake),

“The minimum wage now in our country, I think we’ve set that and a lot of people have benefited from it in our country, but I think we ought to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage, McMahon said.” …When reporters asked McMahon to clarify whether she would support reducing the wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour, the candidate replied, “We should always review the policy that is put in place.”

But neither Kelly nor Baier corrected the record.

When asked for the highlights of the debate, Baier brought up “the attack ads.” But wouldn’t you know it? The only attack ad Baier focused on was McMahon's against Blumenthal. Baier continued, “Dick Blumenthal responding to the ad that mentions him talking about being in Vietnam several times, using that video of him actually saying it and he apologized again.”

“She was accusing him in the ad of lying,” Kelly said, emphasizing the point - twice. “Of flat out lying about his service.”

Baier just happened to highlight another McMahon talking point. “Yeah, if he lies about this, then what’s he going to lie about when and if you vote for him to be senator? So that was an interesting moment.”

So what about Blumenthal’s attack ad against McMahon? Not mentioned. Very interesting, indeed.

“There really wasn’t a knock out moment,” Baier opined. “They both made points throughout on various different issues.”

But just as I thought he’d remain on neutral ground, Baier brought up another “interesting moment” when the candidates were allowed to ask each other a question. “Linda McMahon chose to ask Dick Blumenthal, ‘How do you create a job?’”

Baier played a clip of Blumenthal’s answer and added, “She (McMahon) then pounced on that and said, ‘Government, government, government. It’s not government that creates jobs. It’s very simply how you create jobs. An entrepreneur takes a risk and he or she believes they create a good (or) service that sold for more than it costs to make it.”

That just so happens to be the conservative highlight of the debate.

Perhaps Baier was going to get to an "interesting moment" for Blumenthal - though there was nothing to indicate he would - but Kelly interrupted to echo McMahon’s talking points again. “It’s another theme of the whole campaign,” Kelly said, meaning, of course, that it’s another theme of McMahon’s campaign. “Cause (McMahon’s) saying (Blumenthal) spent his life in government service. This is an anti-government year. She says she’s an outsider.”

Near the end, Kelly brought up the polls. “He’s still got a 10-point lead,” she noted, before adding, “The trend is in her favor but does she have enough time to close it?” As though it were a given that that’s what would or should happen. Kelly might have asked, “Is Blumenthal in danger of losing?” or even, “Is McMahon likely to overtake him by Election Day?”

“That’s the big question,” Baier answered. “There is clearly momentum. She has a good ground game in Connecticut. But she is running out of time.” Then he finally offered some real balance. “She did make some points. But there were a couple of slip ups as well. She couldn’t answer specific programs she wanted to cut in the federal government. So it’ll be an interesting race.”

But Kelly worked in one final effort on McMahon’s behalf by squeezing in “one funny moment” (for McMahon, of course) in the debate. “He mentioned the fact that she spent $50 million of her own money on her campaign. And she said, ‘If you don’t mention money, I won’t talk about the fact that your family owns the Empire State Building.’” Perhaps worried she had been too blatantly partisan, Kelly added, “Which is a good thing to own.”

I don’t know who she thinks she fooled.

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