CNN is countering claims that Tuesday debate moderator Candy Crowley favored President Barack Obama, TMZ reports. 

Some have accused Candy Crowley of partiality at the second debate between Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney during their time at Hofstra University Tuesday night.

The executives at CNN are upset that Crowley has become a part of the debate, instead of all the focus being on the candidates.

A source told TMZ, "They want to make all of the publicity over Candy just go away, because it calls into question CNN's impartiality."

But another source said, "It's typical. This type of publicity is great. More people know who Candy Crowley is than ever before, and CNN is blowing the chance of exploiting it." 

CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker sent an email to his staff praising Crowley's performance and challenging critics who believed she was unfair to Romney. In the email, obtained by TMZ, he suggested responses to Crowley’s critics.

Here's the full email:

"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 she had to deal with the tricky format, the nervous questioners, the aggressive debaters, all while shutting out the 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 point of fact: Obama did talk about an act (or acts) of terror, no matter what you think he meant by that 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."

According to TMZ, CNN wants the story to die even though they are getting free publicity.