Patterico's Pontifications

12/1/2007

Tim Rutten Blasts CNN: The Corrupt News Network

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 12:20 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

LA Times’ columnist Tim Rutten fired both barrels at CNN (or as he calls it, the Corrupt News Network) over its handling of the Republican YouTube debate:

“The United States is at war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the economy is writhing like a snake with a broken back, oil prices are relentlessly climbing toward $100 a barrel and an increasing number of Americans just can’t afford to be sick with anything that won’t be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

So, when CNN brought the Republican presidential candidates together this week for what is loosely termed a “debate,” what did the country get but a discussion of immigration, Biblical inerrancy and the propriety of flying the Confederate flag?

In fact, this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it.

Selecting a president is, more than ever, a life and death business, and a news organization that consciously injects itself into the process, as CNN did by hosting Wednesday’s debate, incurs a special responsibility to conduct itself in a dispassionate and, most of all, disinterested fashion. When one considers CNN’s performance, however, the adjectives that leap to mind are corrupt and incompetent.

Rutten begins with a discussion of why the debate questions were not representative of ordinary Americans:

“Corruption is a strong word. But consider these facts: The gimmick behind Wednesday’s debate was that the questions would be selected from those that ordinary Americans submitted to the video sharing Internet website YouTube, which is owned by Google. According to CNN, its staff culled through 5,000 submissions to select the handful that were put to the candidates. That process essentially puts the lie to the vox populi aura the association with YouTube was meant to create. When producers exercise that level of selectivity, the questions — whoever initially formulated and recorded them — actually are theirs.

Next, Rutten points out that CNN’s hand-picked questions did not ask about subjects that the vast majority of Americans think are important issues:

“That’s where things begin to get troubling, because CNN chose to devote the first 35 minutes of this critical debate to a single issue — immigration. Now, if that leaves you scratching your head, it’s probably because you’re included in the 96% of Americans who do not think immigration is the most important issue confronting this country. We’ve got a pretty good fix concerning what’s on the American mind right now, because the nonpartisan and highly reliable Pew Center has been regularly polling people since January on the issues that matter most to them. In fact, the center’s most recent survey was conducted in the days leading up to Wednesday’s debate.

HERE’S what Pew found: By an overwhelming margin, Americans think the war in Iraq is the most important issue facing the United States, followed by the economy, healthcare and energy prices.

However, Rutten’s harshest criticism was reserved for what he labels as CNN’s self-serving agenda. By devoting a large part of the debate to immigration, Rutten argues that CNN boosted its ratings by focusing on an issue championed by Lou Dobbs, its most popular news host:

“So, why did CNN make immigration the keystone of this debate? What standard dictated the decision to give that much time to an issue so remote from the majority of voters’ concerns? The answer is that CNN’s most popular news-oriented personality, Lou Dobbs, has made opposition to illegal immigration and free trade the centerpiece of his neonativist/neopopulist platform. In fact, Dobbs led into Wednesday’s debate with a good solid dose of immigrant bashing. His network is in a desperate ratings battle with Fox News and, in a critical prime-time slot, with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. So, what’s good for Dobbs is good for CNN.

In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans’ debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you’ve made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

That’s corruption, and it’s why the Republican candidates had to spend more than half an hour “debating” an issue on which their differences are essentially marginal — and, more important, why GOP voters had to sit and wait, mostly in vain, for the issues that really concern them to be discussed. That’s particularly true because that same Pew poll reported findings of particular relevance to Republican voters, the vast majority of whom continue to support the war in Iraq.”

Rutten reserved a big helping of disdain for CNN’s use of a religious/Biblical question to hurt Mitt Romney and help Mike Huckabee, “who, as a Baptist minister, had a ready answer, and who happens to be television’s campaign flavor of the month.”

Rutten concludes by urging Democrats and Republicans to remove CNN from electoral affairs. Somehow I don’t think the Democratic Party will take him up on that idea but the GOP probably would should.

— DRJ

52 Responses to “Tim Rutten Blasts CNN: The Corrupt News Network”

  1. well, the dems SHOULD consider dumping them as well, at least those running for prez. was it MM? who got off the best line in referring to CNN as Clinton News Network? anderson cooper, who i think is an honest & decent guy, really took it on the chin and his own people made him look foolish with all those hillary plants.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  2. Another 200 to 300 articles like this and the LAT might be respectable again.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  3. James Conrad, I DO think Anderson Cooper is an honest and decent guy, but since this debate would have been one of the most important nights of his career, he should have made a better effort to vet the questions (if not the questioners) themselves. I suspect he did make some effort and, despite being a decent guy who takes his job seriously, really doesn’t understand the Republican primary voter’s pulse and saw nothing wrong with the questions CNN chose.

    I’m being generous to Cooper. The reality could have been worse and Tim Rutten may understandably disagree with my assessment.

    As far as Rutten’s article goes, I thought it was outstanding. He astutely reveals the worst problems with CNN’s self-serving question selection and, moreover, how out of touch CNN is not just with Republican primary voters, but with American voters.

    This lack of being in touch may explain their declining ratings.

    So they’ve got Glenn Beck, an entertaining demagogue, Lou Dobbs, who’s strong on his major issue, Anderson Cooper, a sincere guy who at least tries to do his job, Larry King (less said the better)… that network is in trouble partly because they don’t really have a lot to work with except for the above. Yet their management and editorial decision making staff seems to be their biggest weakness as this recent debate highlights. The best part of Rutten’s excellent article, both in stylistic language and understanding, was this:

    “Beside considerations like these, CNN’s incompetent failure to weed out Democratically connected questioners pales.”

    Even though that was the sexiest and most mind-boggling aspect of this CNN scandal, Rutten correctly points out CNN actually did far worse than just that.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  4. Oh, come on. The premise that immigration is not very important to Americans is a total crock. What Rutten really means is that immigration favors the Republicans so he doesn’t think a good Democratic organ like CNN ought to be pushing it. And his statement that there are no serious differences among the candidates on that issue is an outright lie. McCain and Guillani are at complete polar opposites from Thompson on the issue. What Rutten really means is that this issue hurts the two Republicans that he would be most comfortable with.

    DRJ, I can’t believe that you are congratulating someone for this dishonest review.

    Doc Rampage (ebfd7a)

  5. Doc, Rutten doesn’t know how to do anything but be intellectually dishonest. But even an ill blowhard occasionally blows in the right direction.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  6. ALl of the so called debates have been a total waste of air time! So far.

    I doubt they will improve!

    TC (1cf350)

  7. On Planet Rutten, Lou Dobbs became CNN’s most popular news show host by championing the immigration problem, an issue in which 96% of voters are not interested. These two ideas are inconsistent.

    dchamil (73f247)

  8. Immigration may be important, but 35 minutes?

    davod (5bdbd3)

  9. While I think Rutten’s overall point is excellent insofar as it focusses on how networks like CNN set the agenda for these debates, I think he needs to include all the news networks in his indictment. MSNBC and Fox are no better than CNN in how they select and frame the issues — and both parties (and the American people) suffer for it.

    But on the specific issue of immigration, I think that Rutten is off the mark. The GOP candidates have been pushing the “illegal immigration” issue themselves, to the point where (despite it not being a huge issue to the average American) it is a major issue among Republicans in both Iowa and New Hampshire — and is an issue of far greater importance to Republicans nationally than to the rest of the country.

    Did it deserve 35 minutes? Probably not — but every single one of the GOP candidates wanted to expound on their own positions on immigration, and given the importance that the issue now has in the early primary states among Republicans, it would have been unfair to not allow all the candidates to talk about their positions.

    (This stands in contrast to the amount of time devoted to the minor, and utterly irrelevant, issue of drivers licenses for undocumented foreigners in the Democratic debates because drivers licenses (unlike ‘guest worker’ programs) are entirely a state issue)

    I think that Rutten also drops the ball in his overall assumption that these debates should address the concerns of the majority of Americans, rather than target the concerns of the people who are most likely to vote in the primaries. And given the importance of the religious right/so-called ‘values voters’, questions about abortion, gay rights, and the bible are relevant in a republican debate.

    But, given the fact that terrorism, health care, and education are also a concern of Republicans, it would have been nice to see a question on what to do about Pakistan, and the Qubist/al Qaeda/Taliban sanctuaries there, questions about
    health care, and about education.

    Ultimately, the problem is that “network” news is exclusively concerned with profits, not policies — and everyone would be far better off if debates were controlled by groups concerned with various issues, with a focus on one or two issues in each debate during the primaries.

    p_lukasiak (e59d7d)

  10. Anderson Cooper spends so much time on the air that he cannot possibly be anything but a tool of his producers who do ALL the research. These producers are all in the employ of CNN which has a contract that in effect says do what we tell you to do (reach he conclusions we tell you to reach) or you are fired.

    Secondly, third rate researchers only research conclusions that the researchers already have or that their employers want them to have. CNN higher executives should bear full responsibility for the “plants” who they knowingly caused to be put on the “show.”

    The big loser? CNN. This is truly a disaster for any “news” organization. Big winner? There cannot be any when something like this is allowed to take place.

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  11. I think it’s highly possible that Cooper left all the vetting up to his staff and was out of the loop on most of it. However, he really blew it when he gave the gay general a platform and more time to speak than some third tier candidates.

    How long would he have let someone ramble on taking Hillary to task on any of a number of topics?

    Out of curiosity, in the Dem you tube debate, were any of the video questioners flown in to ask follow ups? Or was that ambush reserved for the Republicans only?

    MagicalPat (eb9027)

  12. In the last post the problem was a few questions from democratic “plants” and now it’s that most of the time in the debate was spent pandering to the republican base?

    How times have changed

    blah (fb88b3)

  13. Excellent, so its not a “liberal” plot it’s a CNN to get more ratings plot. Now that’s what I call a reality based conspiracy, much more believable.

    The wierd thing about Rutten’s column is that he complains that if CNN’s staff picks and chooses the video questions, then the questions are those of the staff, not of the regular Americans. Then he goes on to lay out the questions that he thinks they should have chosen via the Pew poll. Well, which does he want? Use the questions that got the most submissions? Or choose the questions that he or CNN thinks are relevant?

    If the video submitters were not required to give their party affiliation then it would have been difficult to choose questions that only Republicans would want to hear. In that case (as lukasiak points out) they needed to use the Pew poll results from Republicans only, not the poll outlining concerns of all Americans, that’s a different set of debates.

    Even Tim Rutten appears confused about that.

    EdWood (559428)

  14. For all the lumps Tim Rutten has taken in here (deservedly in agreat many cases) he does come through this time. These “debates” (which aren’t debates in any way shape or form) are highly artifical, painstakingly stage-managed affairs.

    Yes immigration is an issue, but one that’s WAY down the list of voter’s Most Important Concerns by any standard.

    As for Anderson Cooper, a far less reserved poster than I on another site remarked “Kudos to Anderson Cooper for biting his tongue and refraining from beating all those candidates with his purse.”

    David Ehrenstein (4f5f08)

  15. The questions, except for immigration, represent the Democrats’ caricature of Republicans. They really think we are all about the Bible and the Confederate flag. They even think that questions about illegal immigration are harmful because they don’t understand their own voters opinions on that subject . It was a setup but the questions, as far as I can tell, were answered pretty well and the whole thing was a failure for CNN, not the candidates. They think a big issue is Rudy Giuliani taking his security guards with him when he visited his girlfriend. They don’t seem to understand that Bill Clinton immunized any Republican on that subject. They just don’t understand Republians and Republican voters. They may not even understand independents.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  16. Blasting CNN is hilarious. A republican upset on CNN converge…. What about Faux news channel or the all republican spin masters who never tell the truth or cover real news?
    It makes one wonder how they are able to stay on the air with the writers strike still their news is not reality.
    I am sure the best Faux news coverage was the Bret Hume coverage of Chaney after he shot his friend and left without calling the police or following common sense. I am sure it had nothing to do with the law in the state that it occurred that states if alcohol is involved it’s a mandatory prison time. I am sure that also had nothing to do with him running to a dinner place and eating and drinking because everyone that shoots their friend in the face is always hungry.

    Wake up and quit crying Republicans….

    Jeff Farifield (dca13a)

  17. Rutten got it part right, part wrong.

    Immigration IS important to the GOP base, and this is a GOP primary.

    What he didn’t point out that both CNN debates were driven by the need to help Clinton, in the first debate by pitching her softballs, and in the GOP debate by marginalizing the candidates that appeal to the GOP base, and by weakening the front-runners.

    The only person who could appear on a CNN debate, or any debate of the same format, and not be a fool is Clinton, and that is because the media is firmly behind her. Everyone else on both sides suffer.

    Debates need to be socratic exchanges, not glorified press conferences where the questioners and the questions are part of someone else’s “master plan”

    Smarty (3982db)

  18. Hey Jeff. Brit Hume doesn’t pretend to be straight news, CNN does. And NO ONE can say that FOX didn’t do 10x better than CNN at their debates, and at this point, no one can be so stupid as to not realize that the Dems didn’t debate for FOX because Hillary wanted to cheat from the start, and knew Fox wouldn’t play along. Obama and Edwards were just stupid enough to go along. Both of them would have done MUCH better and would have higher ratings now IF they had had a chance to have a fair debate, which FOX would have given them.

    Smarty (3982db)

  19. Brit Hume doesn’t pretend to be straight news, CNN does.

    Sure he does – except for staged incredulity at stories he chooses about liberal ‘outrages.’

    Shep Smith and Wolf Blitzer have the least noticeable bias.

    Lou Dobbs does not pretend to be straight news, nor does Neil Cavuto. Certainly not Glenn Beck.

    This is show business. “Moderate” is never in vogue.

    steve (e57e28)

  20. Once again, theres aren’t debates. They’re carefully stage-managwed public appearances.

    I would love to see a genuine debat ebetween say Clinton and Giuliani or Obam and Romney in which questions that no one saw in advance were presented by say The League of Women Voters. Srict debate rules would be followed. Afterwards the usual suspects could spin to their hearts content, but at least we would have seen a genuine debate.

    David Ehrenstein (4f5f08)

  21. If we returned the League of Women Voters moderating reliably dull and regimented debate forums, we’d endure instant blog fury over some League director once contributing to a Democrat.

    steve (e57e28)

  22. They’re carefully stage-managwed public appearances.

    Right on, but I hope you don’t think they were managed by the Republicans. They were both managed by Democrats and CNN.

    sherlock (b4bbcc)

  23. Yeah, League of Women Voters. Not that an organization that is feminist by it’s very name is biased.

    I say let the Federalists Society and the Heritage Foundation get to moderate one debate for each (everyone answers every question) and let moveon.org and the LOWV do some.

    Either that (which will never happen)or a socratic debate, one on one. THAT will never happen because the democrat knows they will lose any debate that has depth. And certain shiny, shallow republicans wouldn’t either.

    Smarty (3982db)

  24. Yeah, League of Women Voters. Not that an organization that is feminist by it’s very name is biased.

    yeah, just like the Federalist Society is based on misogyny, because the original Federalists were all men who didn’t grant women the right to vote.

    sheesh….

    p_lukasiak (e59d7d)

  25. A debate in which the moderator can’t challenge platitudes and non-answers is worth nothing. And even that is construed as evidence of his employer’s agenda. In a politically demarcated media, no one is universally regarded as ‘tough, but fair.’

    This all will be over soon enough. We’ll shortly harp on the attack ads and slips of the tongue that dominate general election campaigns.

    steve (e57e28)

  26. I can well understand why the dhimmierats and progressives would want to shift the focus away from immigration given their losing hand. Healthcare and the economy? Those rank up there with the Confederate flag and whether the Masons are a threat to the republic.

    People I speak with are concerned with the government’s growth, taxes, the deficit and an imperial judiciary. I guess its time for the LA Times to select some You Tube questions regarding a timely withdrawal from Iraq.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  27. People I speak with are concerned with the government’s growth, taxes, the deficit and an imperial judiciary.

    then you need to expand your aquaintances beyond those who get their news from Fox, and their opinions from Free Republic…. because the American people are concerned with Iraq and health care and the economy.

    Granted, the GOP is now trying to make uppity Mexicans the issue (after uppity-blacks, uppity-women, uppity-agnostics and uppity-homos have run their course), and have had some considerable success among republicans in the early primary states.

    But most Americans aren’t concerned with government growth as they are with government corruption and ineffectiveness under Bush — less concerned with federal taxes than they are with the exploding deficits brought about by Bush’s fat cat tax cuts, and far less concerned with an “imperial judiciary” than with an “imperial” president and a bunch of armchair warriors who want to spend the blood of other americans in Iraq.

    Just check ALL the polls…

    p_lukasiak (e59d7d)

  28. Someone obviously not trained in logic and feels free to comment on things that he know NOTHING about said”…yeah, just like the Federalist Society is based on misogyny, because the original Federalists were all men who didn’t grant women the right to vote…”

    a) Just because the first federalists didn’t think women should vote doesn’t mean that they based their entire political philosophy on it

    b) The Federalist Society was founded in the ’80’s(I believe) as a conservative law studen organization.

    But yes, the F.S. is biased conservative, but that is why I put them on the opposite side of the table as the LOWV, who do not admit their bias.

    Smarty (3982db)

  29. Characterizing wanting to keep our culture and keep crime and taxes down as supressing the “uppity-Mexicans” is dishonest.

    Smarty (3982db)

  30. Rutten is not ashamed to confess that his journalistic hero was Isidor Feinstein, otherwise known as I.F. Stone, a leftist propagandist who made it is business to attack the United States and excuse the Soviet Union in an era when Stalin was strong abroad and had inside the United States hundreds of Americans ready, willing and able to do his bidding. That included stealing US atom bomb secrets. It was no accident that the first Soviet atom bomb was an exact replica of the one the US produced. Possession of the bomb allowed Stalin to OK North Korea’s invasion of South Korean in 1950, a war that cost 36,000 US combat deaths. Liberals today act the same with respect to Muslim jihadists- just a bumper sticker. CNN’s treatment of the Cold War in its series on those years put the USSR and the US on the same moral level. What they did in the “debate” was no surpise.

    mhr (05d4ca)

  31. Good job, CNN–condemned as corrupt and incompetent by both the right and the left.

    Why do we need these freaking moderators anyways? Why don’t these candidates challenge each other to a real debate and get on with it?

    Patricia (f56a97)

  32. Granted, the GOP is now trying to make uppity Mexicans the issue (after uppity-blacks, uppity-women, uppity-agnostics and uppity-homos have run their course), and have had some considerable success among republicans in the early primary states.

    lusiak, although I generally disagree with him, can make some good points. However, I don’t know why he, and other liberals, continue to try to couch the illegal immigration problem in racist terms.
    I have lived in Texas my entire life. And, of course, that means I have lived and worked with Hispanics. They are a part of the fabric of my culture.
    But there is nothing wrong with a nation regulating it’s borders. We need to control our borders, and try to find a way to allow immigrants to work and live here in a way that is beneficial to them and our collective way of life.
    That’s not racist. That’s common sense.

    Ag80 (6cd259)

  33. But there is nothing wrong with a nation regulating it’s borders. We need to control our borders, and try to find a way to allow immigrants to work and live here in a way that is beneficial to them and our collective way of life.
    That’s not racist. That’s common sense.

    I’m all for securing our borders — but that includes not just the border with mexico, but with Canada as well — and most importantly, securing our ports (including inspection of all cargo ships before they enter our ports.

    And, in fact, I’d like to see far fewer jobs going to immigrants (legal or undocumented). There are more than enough poor unemployed and under-employed americans to fill the jobs being taken by undocumented workers.

    But look a couple of comments above yours, and you’ll see what I’m talking about —

    Characterizing wanting to keep our culture and keep crime and taxes down as supressing the “uppity-Mexicans” is dishonest.

    “keep our culture”? You wanna tell me that’s not racist? As for “crime” and “taxes” — in general, undocumented workers crime rates aren’t especially high, and the only reason the represent a “tax burden” is because employers don’t report their wages.

    What the GOP has been promoting is an effort to scapegoat undocumented aliens — there is no effort to treat them as human beings who have come to this country to make better lives for themselves — or as victims of unscrupulous employers, landlords, etc. (Nor is there any attempt to understand why the flood of undocumented workers happened — in large part, its the impact of NAFTA, which has done a great deal of damage to the indigenous agriculture communities in central and southern Mexico.)

    Nor do any of the “no amnesty” Republicans ever consider the costs involved in not providing undocumented aliens with a path to citizenship.

    I was not a fan of the recent effort toward comprehensive immigration reform, because it made no sense — we’re talking about people who are dirt poor, and we’re insisting that they not only pay “back taxes”, but come up with the money to pay a $5,000 fine before they can apply for citizenship — but they have two leave the US for one out of every three years? (even if they were able to save money while here as “guest workers”, that money would be used up in the year that they had to go back to Mexico.)

    p_lukasiak (e59d7d)

  34. I agree that CNN should be blocked from future debates, but I don’t think Dobbs would have selected those questions. Note also that the previous debate included a slam against Dobbs.

    TLB (08032f)

  35. Wanting to keep out culture is not racist. Not realizing that we have one just shows that your parents failed you by not teaching you civics. Being willing to give up your culture is cultural suicide. We have immigration laws for a reason. Maybe you should try to figure out why a nation would not want open borders. Take a look at Scandinavia, they are run by idiot multiculturalist who don’t value their own culture. Look at what their countries are turning into.

    And while you use the term “undocumented worker” (how do you know that they ALL are working?), illegal aliens are disproportionately responsible for crime in the US, and they consume a huge chunk of tax $$’s. When you consider how many of them pay no taxes (in construction, they are often hired as contractors, no taxes are withheld, and they are given I-1099’s at the end of the year. In factories, they claim 6 dependents to minimize withholdings), and how many are in jail, using hospitals, kids attending school etc, it is a burden.

    Smarty (3982db)

  36. “Wanting to keep out culture is not racist.”

    Good. Then if you’re not a Native American, start packing!

    David Ehrenstein (4f5f08)

  37. “keep our culture”? You wanna tell me that’s not racist? As for “crime” and “taxes” — in general, undocumented workers crime rates aren’t especially high, and the only reason the represent a “tax burden” is because employers don’t report their wages.
    What the GOP has been promoting is an effort to scapegoat undocumented aliens — there is no effort to treat them as human beings who have come to this country to make better lives for themselves — or as victims of unscrupulous employers, landlords, etc. (Nor is there any attempt to understand why the flood of undocumented workers happened — in large part, its the impact of NAFTA, which has done a great deal of damage to the indigenous agriculture communities in central and southern Mexico.)

    I have no idea if the earlier poster is racist or not. I do know that the Hispanic culture has had a tremendous effect on the quality of life and culture in Texas.

    I don’t believe, however, that conservatives – in general – are trying to scapegoat undocumented aliens. Of course they, immigrants, are human beings. Of course, undocumented immigrants should be treated with respect. And I will not defend those who employ or take advantage of them. But, I will say that the laws of this land should be enforced, just as in Mexico – or any country – enforces its immigration laws.

    As a conservative, I recognize that we have reached an untenable position regarding immigration that must be solved, including our northern border as well as ports. We have to find a solution that will allow immigration that benefits the country as well as those who want to participate in our society.

    We are a land of immigrants. In the past, we have a lamentable history of integrating immigrants into our society. We don’t have to live in the past. I hope that we can do better now and in the future. But it won’t be easy.

    It’s not simply a “conservative” or “liberal” issue. This is why I wish that progressives would be more circumspect in attaching the racist label to anyone who questions the necessity to take action against an issue we all recognize.

    Ag80 (3eac8b)

  38. But most Americans aren’t concerned with government growth as they are with government corruption and ineffectiveness under Bush — less concerned with federal taxes than they are with the exploding deficits brought about by Bush’s fat cat tax cuts, and far less concerned with an “imperial judiciary” than with an “imperial” president and a bunch of armchair warriors who want to spend the blood of other americans in Iraq.

    We don’t have exploding deficits under Bush – something anyone familiar with actual deficit numbers would know. The rest of that’s BS too. You just should stick to characterizing Republicans as racist, sexist, greedy etc. rather than trying to talk about something of an objective factual nature, like your ridiculous statement about the history of CETA on another thread.

    Gerald A (6b39c1)

  39. And I should have said “on an issue” rather than “against an issue…”

    Mea culpa

    Ag80 (3eac8b)

  40. If wanting to “keep our culture” is racist, then all the foreigners who have settled in the US and then refused assimilation to “keep their culture” are racist, too.

    Or do we need to go to Mexico or Korea and live in our own enclave in order to retain our American culture to avoid being branded racist?

    Patricia (f56a97)

  41. Rutten claims that Pew reports that immigration isn’t a big issue but Pew itself, writing about the debate, says:

    ” The first four questions of the night all focused on illegal immigration. In this regard, Pew polling shows that the debate was reflective of the importance of immigration as an issue in the Republican presidential primary.”

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/645/youtube-debate-republican

    Jeff (6c5b54)

  42. Good point, Jeff. So why weren’t there Iraq and abortion questions at the Democratic debate?

    DRJ (a6fcd2)

  43. Patricia, you can’t avoid being branded racist. It is how the Democrats “win” their policy debates.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. We complained about the plants in the CNN debate. CNN responded that it really was only focusing on the content of the questions.

    Ah Ha! The fact that so many of the questions came from plants show that CNN had a bias against conservative values.

    In other words, CNN picked so many stupid questions and it reveals its ridiculous bias.

    Conservatives voting in the primaries have much different issues.

    Alta Bob (be261c)

  45. RE #36. I can only imagine you with your hands on your hips as you send that brilliant one liner. Before you are so quick to hand the US back to the Indians, maybe you should take your swishy ass back to whatever country had the pogrom that caused you to end up being (born?) here.

    People like you should show more respect for the culture that treated jewish immigrants better than any other culture on earth. Try being a smartass gay socialist Jew where your family came from. Better yet, try being one in mexico, or in Sudan, because those are the cultures that can take us over if we reach a critical mass of multi-culturalists here.

    Smarty (3982db)

  46. the nonpartisan and highly reliable Pew Center

    <gag>

    Milhouse (027917)

  47. How does someone write an attack that length on the debate without once mentioning the plants?

    Milhouse (027917)

  48. I keep hearing comments on the debate on questions asked and how they are answered to help select who will be nominated. This would be an excellent process to elect officials on their values if it wasn’t for the mega dollars spent on polls to answer their questions. The answers are most of the time not the real in depth answers from the candidate but regurgitated answers to match the recent polls.
    I think we all know that the current person in office almost proves that a country can barely survive with someone who can’t manage, develop strategies and tell the US we have no oil problem for the firs five years in office, ignore global warming for the first five year too while turning deaf ears to the public and start wars for their own agenda while bankrupting the economy and the US with an estimated 27 trillion dollars for a war that had nothing to do with 911.
    The interesting theme on boarder control is to build a wall even though if one is a history buff knows from the past that walls do not work. Even the great past republican Reagan knew that wall don’t work and he helped tear them down.
    If one wants to enforce control of illegal aliens then put the force on those who hire them and make them still penalties not slaps on the wrist and a couple of wink winks saying that’s all right. Imagine if we tried to be as tuff on illegal hiring as we do for drug controls. If businesses were seized and possible jail terms for illegal hiring where people knowingly overlooked the hiring process in place.
    I mean come on readers have you been hired where they asked for SS and I9 and finger printed if it was for a bonded position?
    I really wish that the common person without a couple of million required could run for office because then maybe then America could be made as proud as it was for our forefathers. I am currently so disappointed in the current administration that if the next presidential elections don’t oust these disappointing leadership styles that this will be my last presidential election that I vote non locally
    A real president would listen to the people and not be afraid to raise taxes for the better good and not take bribes from oil companies to finance elections where they will never look for alternative solutions. A real president would put restrictions on companies to slow global warming and interact with nations to build the respect that has been lost from being a cowboy on his own and ticking everyone off. It’s very sad that generations of my family fought wars and laid down lives to have the respect from all countries lost because of an administration that would have fired and giving a golden parachutes from any corporation in America for being total failures. Apponiting failures such as Brownee, Gonzales are just a few along with trying to get Harriet Myers elected because of nepotisms.

    Jeff Fairfield (dca13a)

  49. PL #27

    I am not sure what polls you are focusing on but the Kos Kiddies really don’t count. Healthcare, yeah thats a hot topic at the DU, but most people don’t want the government that runs the Motor Vehicles to run healthcare anymore than they need the care and compassion of the IRS running our local hospitals, unless you are an undecided plant or Ehrenstein.

    Now its obvious to the casual observer that you probably feel strongly about the bath house issue, llama rights, and the workers rights to a 30 hour week but what does decide issues are taxes, government growth, and an over reaching judiciary.

    Doubt it, then run a candidate who advocates all three-say like the Hildabeast or Rudy and see what happens. So who doesn’t care about these issues, usually people who don’t pay taxes or want a politboro.

    So which are you PL?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  50. I think Mr Fairchild demonstrates the meaning of “clueless.”

    “Walls do not work-ah tell that to the people who lived behind the Iron Curtain or those who didn’t make it across the Berlin Wall. But to the clueless walls don’t work.

    No oil strategies-again lets put on our filters and ignore that a certain group of Luddites refuse to allow drilling for oil, while the PRC is doing so 90 miles off our coast; refuses to drill in ANWAR because the ghots of the tundra might be disturbed; have stopped refineries from being built for 35 years and nuclear power for about the same period and we are to understand that this administration doesn’t have a strategy?

    I do love the procedure for ending illegal immigration just take away the worldly goods of the employer. Sounds like the kind of thinking that made the gulags but why not start with the government officials that knowingly refused to enforce the laws; that allowed illegals to get welfare and crowd the emergency wards; how about the school administrators who allowed illegals to occupy the schools meant for Americans? Shall they lose all their worldly goods? I suggest this is where we start, after all who is more corrupt those who have denounced their sworn oaths to uphold the laws and break it or the employers? By the way the largest employer of illegals are the government at all levels.

    So on so many levels we get the oblivion of reason that Mr. Fairchild represents as do the other plants who are “undecided.” By undecided they apparently mean the acknowledgement that there is a difference between truth and fiction, reality and fantasy, and most importantly between honesty and dishonesty.

    And this is what the American people are faced with a choice between reality and the infantilism that so many in this nation nuture whatever their age.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  51. CNN the Communist News Network and BIG BAD WOLF BLITZER i mean its increadible when these liberal news agentcies start eating one another

    krazy kagu (b3aac5)

  52. Hack Rutten! How funny was that?

    Stolpman (b3f6e4)


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