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Michele Bachmann accuses CBS News of bias

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

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(Richard Shiro/AP)

Michele Bachmann's campaign accused CBS News of bias after her spokeswoman was included on an email chain between network officials that suggested she would get limited questions during Saturday's debate.

In the email chain—which the Bachmann campaign posted to its Facebook page—a CBS employee notified CBS News political director John Dickerson that Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart had volunteered the candidate for an interview on Dickerson's post-debate webcast. The employee copied Stewart on the email and told Dickerson that she had been included on the message.

"Okay let's keep it loose though 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 replied, apparently unaware that Stewart was copied on the email.

CBS spokeswoman Sonya McNair defended the email, saying in a statement the email was a "candid exchange about the reality of the circumstances"—pointing to Bachmann's 4 percent standing in national polls.

But the Bachmann campaign seized on the issue as a case of blatant bias. Per CNN's Peter Hamby, Keith Nahigian, Bachmann's campaign manager, stormed into the spin room after Saturday's debate calling for Dickerson to be fired.

"He's a piece of sh*t. He is a fraud, and he should be fired," Nahigian said, per CNN.

Speaking to reporters, Bachmann slammed Dickerson and CBS.

"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," Bachmann said. "Clearly this was an example of media bias."

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