An L.A. Times story, which discusses the YouTube debate questioners’ undisclosed ties to Democrats, says of a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” question by Retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr:
Although the retired military man and Clinton’s camp said the Democratic candidate had nothing to do with the question, CNN apologized. David Bohrman, executive producer of the debate, said the network wanted to avoid “gotcha” questions from clear Democratic partisans and would not have allowed the query if it had known of Kerr’s ties to the Clinton campaign.
But several Internet commentators said the cable-TV network should have screened out Democratic partisans, who they said “hijacked” the Republican forum. In postings that popped up throughout the day Thursday, they said that: A Texas woman identified only as “Journey,” who asked if women should be punished for having abortions, had appeared in another YouTube video wearing a “John Edwards ’08” T-shirt; a man asking a question during the debate about gay rights had also appeared on a social networking site as a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and a Manhattan Beach man — while tasting an ear of corn and asking a tough question about farm subsidies — had once worked as a summer intern for Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice).
A “social networking site”?
The URL for the screenshot is http://nh.barackobama.com/page/community/post/racismaliveinsouth/CN4s. The URL “nh.barackobama.com” is simply the New Hampshire subdomain for BarackObama.com. BarackObama.com has a donate button which you can use to make contributions to his campaign.
How does the L.A. Times justify referring to an official campaign website as a “social networking site”? Even accepting the fact that Obama’s campaign website is set up with social networking features, it is nevertheless his official campaign website. It is inexcusable for this paper to omit any mention of the fact that this “social networking site” is officially connected with Obama’s campaign.
And, by the way — the woman who had the John Edwards ’08 shirt on? She also has this button on her LiveJournal profile (on a blog that, according to Michelle Malkin, is linked from her YouTube profile):
The article is designed to make it seem like the Republican debate was just as balanced as the Democrat debate was. The article strains to find Republican ties to questioners at the Democrat debate (while ignoring the plethora of documented ties between Democrats and the questioners in the Democrat debate). Thus, we are told, the genuine Republican perspective was represented at the Democrat debate, because it was a Republican who hugged his gun and called it his baby, prompting Joe Biden to joke: “I don’t know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun.”
But wait a second. If CNN apologized for Kerr’s question, and said that CNN “would not have allowed the query if it had known of Kerr’s ties to the Clinton campaign” — then why didn’t CNN apologize for a question by a guy who is a declared Obama supporter blogging on Barack Obama’s official campaign website? And why didn’t CNN apologize for a question by a woman who is a declared Edwards supporter?
And why didn’t the L.A. Times press CNN harder about this?
UPDATE/CORRECTION: The John Edwards button is not directly on the questioner’s YouTube profile as I had originally said, but rather on her LiveJournal profile, which is reachable from her YouTube profile. I have clarified this in the post above. Thanks to Christoph.