CNN has come under fire for moderator Candy Crowley's performance at this week's presidential debate, but the network brass is standing by its political correspondent.
Some observers feel she was disproportionately harsh on Mitt Romney. The network doesn't believe it, but worries about anything that "calls into question CNN's impartiality."
CNN's Managing Editor Mark Whitaker sent an email around the office praising Crowley and trying to blunt criticism that she was biased toward President Barack Obama.
"Let's start with a big round of applause for Candy Crowley for a superb job under the most difficult circumstances imaginable."
"She and her team had to select and sequence questions in a matter of hours, and then had to deal with a tricky format, nervous questioners, and aggressive debaters, all while shutting out pre-debate attempts to spin and intimidate her. She pulled it off masterfully."
"The reviews on Candy's performance have been overwhelmingly positive but Romney supporters are going after her on two points, no doubt because their man did not have as good a night as he had in Denver."
"On the legitimacy of Candy fact-checking Romney on Obama's Rose Garden statement, it should be stressed that she was just stating a fact. Obama did talk about an act (or acts) of terror, no matter what you think he meant at the time."
"On why Obama got more time to speak, it should be noted that Candy and her commission producers tried to keep it even but that Obama went on longer largely because he speaks more slowly."
"We're going to do a word count to see whether, as in Denver, Romney actually got more words in even if he talked for a shorter period of time."
You be the judge: Was Candy biased?
Who won the debate Tuesday?
Who should win November 6?