“Non-partisan” journalist who was to moderate 2nd debate just suspended by C-SPAN for lying about hacked Twitter


The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

WASHINGTON, DC- We aren’t really sure who is advising the Trump campaign on debate strategy because clearly the people being chosen as debate moderators are anything but neutral.

Chris Wallace? Clearly doesn’t like Trump.

Susan Page? She wrote a glowing biography about Trump’s arch nemesis, Nancy Pelosi.

And what of Steve Scully, who was originally scheduled to moderate a since-canceled “town hall” debate between the president and Joe Biden tonight?

Well, aside from the fact that he was an intern in Joe Biden’s Senate office and once worked for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Senate staff, he’s clearly non-partisan, right? Not so much.

Last week, Scully posted a rather strange tweet on his Twitter feed in an exchange with former Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci. The tweet in fact was so strange that Scully claimed that he was hacked.

Today, C-SPAN suspended Scully, its political editor indefinitely when he admitted that the hack was a hoax and that he had in fact lied about the exchange with Scaramucci.

The debate that was originally scheduled for tonight was scrapped when the Presidential Debate Commission decided to give a declining Joe Biden some cover, using the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis two weeks ago as an excuse to change the debate to a virtual format.

The president declined to participate in such a format which was clearly designed to help Biden, who would have been able to game the process.

In place of the debate, Trump and Biden are conducting town hall events on opposing television networks, ABC and NBC on Thursday night.

The wheels started coming of for Scully last week, when he tweeted on his public Twitter feed “@Scaramucci should I respond to Trump.”

This was in response to the president calling him a “never Trumper.” Scaramucci is now a frequent critic of President Trump, and he advised Scully to ignore him.

“Ignore. He is having a hard-enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down,” Scaramucci said.

The tweet created a controversy due to the contentious relationship between Scaramucci and Trump, and when Scully realized he made a boo boo, he tried to cover it up. He deleted the tweet.

Isn’t that how the saying goes? It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup? Scully made a fatal mistake. He said he’d been hacked. As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, “big mistake…big…. huge.”

Scully finally ended up admitting that he had not in fact been hacked. “I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked.”

Of course by that time, his claim of being hacked had launched an FBI investigation and Twitter also conducted an investigation. Many of his media cohorts bought into the lie as well and came to his defense. C-SPAN and the Presidential Debate Commission said they would investigate as well.

Today, the hammer came down on Scully after the political network suspended him after he admitted to lying about the Twitter feed hack.

Twitchy reached out to the Debate Commission to see how their investigation was going, however they didn’t answer their phone apparently.

Twitchy wondered what a journalist must do to get fired if lying about getting hacked only results in a suspension?

Scully’s defense? He was frustrated by the president’s comments as well as several weeks of being criticized on social media and on conservative news outlets about being named moderator. He also said his family had been the target of some attacks.

“These were both errors in judgment for which I am totally responsible for,” Scully said. “I apologize.

Scully noted that he was sorry that he had let down fellow colleagues at C-SPAN, as well as other news professionals and the debate commission. “I ask for their forgiveness as I try to move forward in a moment of reflection and disappointment in myself,” he said.

The network said Scully admitted the coverup on Wednesday, and was repentant.

“He understands that he made a serious mistake. We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions.”

Breitbart News reached out to the debate commission for comment, but they didn’t return a message.

Scully had been the lead journalist covering the channels presidential election coverage since 1992, however due to the suspension he will not be covering C-SPAN’s election night coverage.

He has also been the moderator of a program called “Washington Journal,” which is a weekly call-in program and he also hosted other C-SPAN programming.

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Denying that Scully was any kind of partisan hack, the network said he had always demonstrated fairness and professionalism.

“After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN,” the network said.

This however was not the first time Scully has blamed hackers for social media posts.

Fox News reported that in 2012, Scully had acted apologetic about tweets that were made about weight loss.

“I apologize for Saturday’s tweets regarding weight loss, etc. I still have my day job at C-SPAN…darn those hackers. Have a great Sunday,” Scully wrote.

In March, 2013, Scully again apologized for posts sent from his Twitter account, though Fox noted it wasn’t clear to what he was referring or what the content was which he claims was written by hackers.

“I apologize for some earlier TWEETS…account was hacked…those tweets did not come from me. Thanks all for alerting me. SS,” wrote Scully.

Those two tweets have since been deleted after mention was made of them after Scully’s latest hacking claim.

The initial claim of hacking was made by co-chairman of the Presidential Debate Commission, Frank Fahrenkopf on the Brian Kilmeade Show.

“Steve is a man of great integrity, okay?” Fahrenkopf said.

“I don’t know this question about whether he tweeted something out or not, I do not know, and you’ll probably pick up on it in a minute, that he was hacked…Apparently, there’s’ something now that’s been on television and the radio saying that he talked to Scaramucci…He was hacked. It didn’t happen.”

Well, that didn’t age well. 

Here are more tweets from Scully apologists that didn’t age well either:

And, from Humpty Dumpty on CNN:

For his part, Scaramucci told Kilmeade that he thought Scully’s tweet was legitimate, which prompted him to respond to the tweet.

Scaramucci also added later that he believed Scully when he said he was hacked, adding:

“Let’s not cancel anymore [sic] people from our culture for absolutely something like this. It’s insignificant. He is an objective journalist.”

Yes, objective. The fact that he interned for Biden and for Kennedy we are sure would have NO bearing in his moderation of a debate between Trump and Biden.

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