Fair and Balanced at CNN — Where Every Top Tier Democrat Candidate for President Gets To Plant A Question in the GOP Debate — (Edwards Got Two)
Posted by WLS:
I know I’m last in the pool on this here, but I had this caption floating around in my head and it seemed too good to let it get away without using it.
To differentiate myself a little from Patterico and DRJ below, I’m going to expound a little on points raised yesterday by Hugh Hewitt and this morning by Glenn Beck about the fiasco that was CNN’s decision-making process on which videos to select.
The biggest indictment of CNN and the YouTube “format” is the apparent fact that the 33 chosen videos — including
4 6 8 obvious plants (and maybe some not yet so obvious):
1) in any way represented the best of the 5000 video questions they claimed were submitted, and
2) that the selections, in the view of the Clinton News Network, represented questions about issues that presented anything remotely resembling an intellectually honest effort to bring about a debate by GOP candidates for the benefit of GOP voters.
Imagine the reaction of Hillary Clinton and her “Gotcha” sensibilities if in the Dem YouTube debate, an “undecided voter” had posed a question like this:
Mrs. Clinton, as an advocate of womens’ rights, including a women’s right to choose, please explain the clear legal threat to those rights by an extremist Supreme Court majority that finds it proper for Congress to outlaw a procedure where the mother is placed under general anesthesia or conscious sedation, and the doctor inserts grasping forceps through the mother’s cervix and into the uterus to grab the baby, gripping a body part with the forceps, and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even if resistance causes the baby to tear apart — for example, a leg might be ripped off the baby as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the mother — with the process of removing the baby piece by piece continuing until it has been completely removed, with the doctor making as many as 10 to 15 passes with the forceps to remove the baby in its entirety (or at least in pieces) though sometimes removal is completed with fewer passes.
If elected, how would you guarantee a woman’s right to have a baby within her uterus carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey?”
So yesterday’s debate was supposed to address issues of concern to GOP voters?? And not to spotlight issues that divide GOP voters and appeal to advocates of certain points of view in the Dem. party?
More specifically, the questions that were picked with respect to immigration were meant to highlight WEAKNESSES of each candidate to whom they were directed:
Question One — To Giuliani about “sanctuary cities”
Question Two — To Thompson about amnesty in immigration reform
Question Three — To Tancredo about need for guest workers
Question Four — To Huckabee about tuition breaks for children of illegals.
This “debate” went on in this same vein for nearly its entirety. No fewer than 16 of the 33 questions, in my opinion, were posed for the purpose of forcing a candidate to deal with an issue on which that candidate is well known to have a blemish with some segment of the GOP, or would otherwise be put on the spot without genuinely enlightening the electorate in any meaningful way.
I list all 33 questions below.
It’s like an entire debate filled with questions equivalent to the “Drivers’ licenses for Illegals” which tripped up Hillary. Many of the topics were simply of no interest the the overwhelming majority of GOP voters based on surveys — and those that were, posed questions in such a way as to make sport with the answer rather than encouraging a debate.
According to this June 2007 survey of GOP leaning voters listed the following issues as “Very Important To Their Vote”:
Terrorism — 77%
Economy — 68%
Taxes — 65%
Iraq — 64%
Immigration — 63%
Health Care — 56%
Energy — 52%
Abortion — 43%
Environment — 37%
So, last night CNN serves up the following number of questions on the following topics:
Spending/Taxes/Nat.Debt — 7
Immigration — 4
Gun Control — 3
Iraq — 3
Abortion — 2
Gays — 2
Religion — 2
VPres. Power — 1
There were also 6 questions I just classify as “Other”, including one of the “planted” questions from Dem activists: Lead Paint on Toys from China; Black on Black crime; Mars exploration; African-Americans not voting for GOP; Confederate Flag; Infrastructure spending.
There were also a questions that were clearly set-ups to embarrass a couple of candidates — two to Ron Paul: first, the one about North American Union conspiracies, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tri-Lateral Commission, and the second on whether he would run as a 3rd party candidate.
A couple questions to Giuliani had preambles to the question that were likely objectionable to many GOP voters, so they set up straw men — like the one that began with how much damage the Iraq war has done to US prestige abroad, how would he restore US prestige. Tancredo got the same treatment when the only question that suggested support for a guest worker program was given to Tancredo, who is probably the most strident on illegal immigration.
Other clear “gotcha” questions that were directed right to the candidate most likely to have difficulty answering:
Question 10 — “Farm subsidies” question goes first to Romney, who is beginning to show weakness in Iowa. Why not ask that of McCain?
Question 16 — “What crime should be charged for abortion” goes first to Ron Paul, the most vocal opponent of abortion, and a practicing OB/GYN.
Question 17: “Signing Federal Abortion Ban” goes first to Giuliani, the one GOP candidate who is on record as being pro-choice but also stating that it should be a political question solved in state legislatures. Why not ask Ron Paul that question?
Question 18: “What Would Jesus Do About Death Penalty” goes to Huckabee, the ordained minister. Why not ask Duncan Hunter?
Question 19: “Belief in literal truth of Bible” goes first to Giuliani, among the most secular of the GOP candidates. Why not ask Huckabee that question?
Question 25: “Gays-in-Military” planted question goes to Duncan Hunter, long on record as opposing gays in the military.
Question 26: “Accept Log Cabin Republican support” planted question goes to Huckabee, the leading social conservative candidate. Why not ask that question of Giuliani?
All this, yet Hillary Clinton vilifies Tim Russert for asking her to defend her own words to a newspaper editorial board over an issue that the governor of her own state put her in the hotseat over, and the entire Democrat field refuses to even go on Fox News for a debate while the GOP subjects themselves to this farce AND the evolving farce that is MSNBC.
Ok, now I feel better. Too bad it’s too late for anyone to even care about this.
Update: Holy crap — Patterico has 165 comments already on this subject. I’m so embarrassed. I’ve got one. Thanks, Christoph.