CNN’s Brian Stelter writes about CNBC the day after the debate from hell…
There was simultaneous crowing and cringing on Thursday. Employees who spoke on condition of anonymity for this story wished for a “do-over” and pointed fingers of blame for the chaotic production. Some pointed all the way up to CNBC president Mark Hoffman, who was also aboard Wednesday night’s charter.
“Everyone feels pretty embarrassed,” one veteran staffer said.
But some of the same employees also said they were proud that the moderators had pointedly challenged the GOP candidates and potentially changed the course of the presidential race.
They wondered aloud: Will people remember the gripes about Quintanilla, Quick and John Harwood? Will they remember the audience’s boos and the analysts’ comments that CNBC “lost control” of the debate?
They second-guessed the opening question of the debate, when Quintanilla asked each candidate, “What is your biggest weakness and what are you doing to address it?” Did it start the debate off on the wrong track?
As the day went on, there was less and less talk about the debate on CNBC. According to one of the employees, producers were given internal guidance to move on.
At CNBC’s sister news outlets MSNBC and NBC News, producers were advised not to “pile on” the moderator controversy, according to people there.