Obama's backers find it hard to accept that their man, whom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called "a leader that God has blessed us with at this time," was eclipsed by old-man McCain. So, some have accused McCain of cheating and breaching the "cone of silence."
The cheating allegation gained traction after NBC chief correspondent Andrea Mitchell opined on "Meet the Press":
The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because what they're putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama. He seemed so well-prepared.McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, called out Mitchell. He fired off a letter to NBC News President Steve Capus requesting a meeting to discuss their concerns about media bias:
We are extremely disappointed to see that the level of objectivity at NBC News has fallen so low that reporters are now giving voice to unsubstantiated, partisan claims in order to undercut John McCain...McCain's account was corroborated by Pastor Warren who told Fox News' Sean Hannity:
This is irresponsible journalism and sadly, indicative of the level of objectivity we have witnessed at NBC News this election cycle. Instead of examining the Obama campaign's spin for truth before reporting it to more than 3 million NBC News viewers, Andrea Mitchell simply passed along Obama campaign conspiracy theories. The fact is that during Senator Obama's segment at Saddleback last night, Senator McCain was in a motorcade to the event and then held in a green room with no broadcast feed. In the forum, John McCain clearly demonstrated to the American people that he is prepared to be our next President.
It's a totally bogus issue. It's challenging the integrity of the Secret Service, my security and John McCain...There's no way John McCain could have heard the questions.Score one for the "wrinkly white-haired guy."
NPR News & Notes Talks to Warren
Pastor dismisses rumors that McCain may have heard the questions first ...