Howard Kurtz: Bernie was helped as chaotic Dem debate became ‘unwatchable’


Howard Kurtz: Bernie was helped as chaotic Dem debate became ‘unwatchable’

Howard Kurtz: Bernie was helped as chaotic Dem debate became ‘unwatchable’

“Media Buzz” host Howard Kurtz said on Wednesday that the chaos on display during the South Carolina debate played in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ favor.

“It was unwatchable at times and, look, it’s hard to rein in candidates on a stage in such a make-or-break debate,” Kurtz told “America’s Newsroom.”

“Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, and their CBS colleagues repeatedly let this thing get out of control, it was like watching a bunch of NBA players under the basket fouling each other and no ref. They needed a buzzer, a whistle, a flashing red light, the people who interrupted kept getting rewarded with more airtime,” he said.

Overall, Kurtz said the chaos “had the net effect of diluting the scrutiny of Bernie Sanders, who is now the undisputed front-runner in this race.”

Sanders faced sustained attacks from all sides in Tuesday night’s rowdy Democratic debate, as the self-described democratic socialist parried multiple claims that his sweeping plans were little more than an expensive path to a “catastrophic” result for the party in November.

The forum, coming ahead of Saturday’s primary in South Carolina and next week’s pivotal Super Tuesday contests, was easily the most contentious of the primary season to date, as candidates frequently sparred with the moderators and ripped into each other on spending, foreign policy, and more.

Fears have spread among the remaining candidates and establishment Democrats that Sanders, fresh off wins in several states, could soon be unstoppable.

Kurtz said that there were “some good questions” from the moderators, highlighting that O’Donnell challenged Sanders on his plan for “60 trillion-plus dollars in new spending and programs.”

“He threw out some numbers about how Medicare-for-all would save money and then they moved on. There was no sort of sustained follow-up on these kinds of questions,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz compared the media’s “miscalculation” of Sanders’ success to President Trump’s campaign in 2016. Though when Trump’s campaign gained momentum, the then-candidate was scrutinized, Kurtz recalled.

You can read the rest of Joshua Nelson’s article at

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