A New Yorker magazine staff writer was thrilled this week when CNN's Brooke Baldwin called "B.S." on Ted Cruz, and wished that more presidential debate moderators behaved similarly.
Amy Davidson's remark came in reference to Baldwin saying on-air this week that it was "B.S." for Cruz to suggest that CNN was to blame for how his caucus team behaved in Iowa on Monday.
"Okay," Baldwin said. "Just so we're all crystal clear here, when Senator Cruz, with all due respect, tries to throw my network and CNN under the bus, let me stand up for my colleagues and journalists here."
Her Republican guest, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, told her afterwards he understood why she was fired up, and said, "it's one thing to report, it's another to verify it."
"Congressman, forgive me, but I'm going to call out B.S. when I hear B.S. And that was B.S.," Baldwin said.
Davidson approved of Baldwin's handling of the issue, and suggested media take a page from her book.
"If only someone would do that during the debates," Davidson said wistfully.
However, a moderator calling "B.S." on a 2016 presidential candidate would like be tricky, as journalists are instructed to avoid involving themselves in stories. More importantly, they're instructed to avoid becoming the story.
CNN's Candy Crowley, for example, became a headline herself in 2012 after she "fact checked" former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as he debated national security with President Obama.
It wasn't until the debate was over and most viewers had already changed the channel that Crowley appeared later on CNN to concede that Romney was "right in the main" and that her mid-debate "fact check" was actually false.
Davidson's debate daydream aside, the rest of her article goes on to examine claims Ted Cruz relied on "dirty tricks" to win the Iowa caucus Monday.
CNN's Chris Moody tweeted just before the caucus that Dr. Ben Carson planned to fly directly from Iowa to Florida for some "R&R." Moody added immediately that Carson was scheduled to appear in Washington, D.C., Thursday morning to participate in the National Prayer Breakfast, and wrote that the doctor had no plans whatsoever to drop from the race.
Cruz staffers and surrogates moved quickly, and rushed to tell Hawkeye State voters that Carson planned to fly to Florida later that evening. What they neglected to mention, however, was that the Carson campaign made it clear the doctor would not drop out of the race, and that he was only stopping in Florida to get a "fresh change of clothes."
Carson is still upset with the Cruz campaign, and called on the senator to deal accordingly with the team members who spread the Florida story. Cruz has apologized for his staff, which neglected to mention to Iowa voters Carson only went to Florida to get some clothes, but he maintained this week his caucus team did nothing wrong.
Davidson found it all rather distasteful.
"Many politicians are shameless; what seems to set Cruz apart is his unhidden pride in the craft of the political slur, the artistry of nastiness," she wrote. "Even his opponents were impressed by his get-out-the-vote operation, but Cruz couldn't stop himself from offering an additional factor: his persistent attacks on 'New York values' had resonated, he told ABC News. 'Everyone knows what New York values are.'"
"We do, in this town," she added. "Does anyone know what Ted Cruz's values are?"