Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Statement Analysis: Candy Crowley
We measure words, lines per hours, numbers of lines, number of words, and so forth, in getting to the truth.
Question for Analyst:
Was the moderator in favor of one candidate over the other?
We, as Americans, expect fairness and a level playing field. We expect this at the highest level:
A United States Presidential Debate.
Was the moderator, before the nation's watching eyes, fair to both candidates?
Let's look at two indicators before we get to the Statement Analysis of the moderator's words.
1. Time allotted is, in all debates, used to limit each contestant in order to create a level playing field. It would be unjust, for example, to ask each candidate a question, but allow one to have more time to answer it than the other.
Candy Crowley, the moderator allowed the following:
According to CNN's timekeeping, Obama got 44:04 minutes of speaking time, while Romney got 40:50.
This indicates that she gave just under 10% more time to President Obama.
This second category in debates speaks to showing public respect for both contestants. Interruptions are, perhaps, the single most unjust allowance in debates. It permits showboating, grandstanding, and self interest, rather than allow candidates to complete sentences and thoughts. They must be interrupted only when the time has expired. If contestants will not adhere to the time rule, they should have their microphones shut off at a certain point.
In the first Presidential Debate, Jim Lehrer, interrupted Mitt Romney 15 times and Barack Obama 5 times. Americans deserve better.
Candy Crowley, in the Second Presidential Debate, interrupted:
Gov. Romney 28 times
President Obama 9 times
Titles are important indicators of respect. Note in her statements when she used presidential and gubernatorial titles and when she did not.
This indicator is used after the measuring of the first two to see if there is a pattern of partiality within the moderator of a debate. When did she use "Mr. Romney" and when did she use "Governor Romney" becomes something to note.
"If I could have you sit down, Governor Romney. Thank you.” She never asked Obama to sit down. This was an insult intended for the audience to observe. (see below)
Note that in the insult, she used, "I"; she is the one to have him sit down. This indicates perceived authority on her part. The pronouns are vital.
Context: After the question asking whether gas prices as they stand now are the new normal, President Obama got 2 chances to respond. When Romney asked for his second chance, Crowley shut him off by saying, “ … in the follow up, it doesn't quite work like that. But I'm going to give you a chance here. I promise you, I'm going to."
In statement analysis, we highlight the emphasis, "I promise you" as sensitive, and something that indicates possible deception. In the case of the gas prices, she did not keep her promise and did not allow Gov. Romney to respond. The need for emphasis is a sensitivity indicator. With "I promise you", her deception is indicated.
Crowley refused to allow Gov. Romney to respond to President Obama about what people believe to be a lie about the auto industry. First she called him Mr. Romney instead of governor, then protested, “there'll be plenty of chances here to go on, but I want to... We have all these folks. I will let you absolutely... OK. Will - will - you certainly will have lots of time here coming up.” Gov. Romeny did not get the chance to respond.
Note particularly the change from "I" to "we" back to "I" by the subject.
Note that "there'll be" is passive. Not that she would make time, as moderator. The passivity is used to remove or conceal responsibility.
The entrance of the pronoun "we" in her language should cause the analyst to wonder who she believes "we" to be. In addressing Gov. Romney, she uses the pronoun "I" in authority, and "you" towards him.