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CNN Blows the YouTube Debate (update)
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, November 29, 2007

In case you've missed it, the big news out of the "debate" (and yes, I use the scare quotes for a reason) last night is a supposed operative of the Hillary Clinton campaign ask a question.

I thought this was the YouTube debate and "regular Americans" - the great undecided - were supposed to get that chance. And, in fact, it appears BG Keith Kerr wasn't the only "unregular", uncommitted and undecided American to find his or her way into the questioning. Michelle Malkin has found 3 more. One a declared Edwards supporter, one a declared Obama supporter and one a union activist. And, apparently it wasn't at all difficult to determine they were committed activists. A simple on-line check turned that up in living color.

So what? Well, the "so what" is the declared intention of the so-called debate. As Gov. Charlie Crist said, echoing Anderson Cooper's words:
It's an important evening. We're going to hear from some great candidates, great Republicans. And we should have fun with it. The questions come from the people, as Anderson said. This is truly the people's debate.
You know, let people who don't have a political agenda and don't usually have a chance to ask questions of these people do so. Even CNN finds some problems with it's overlooking the affiliation of BG Kerr. This morning with John Roberts on CNN:
ROBERTS: On the idea of not revealing things, we didn't know again that you were a member of the steering committee. There was also a news release dated November 11, 2007 that lists you as a national co-chair on veterans and military retirees for Hillary Clinton. Are you in fact a member of that organization?

BR. GEN. KERR: It's the same one, simply my name on the list.

ROBERTS: So it's the same organization?

BR. GEN. KERR: And both friends, I think it's two separate lists. To support Hillary Clinton.

ROBERTS: And perhaps our bad for not further investigating your background other than going on to make sure that you hadn't made any campaign contributions, but did you ever think to disclose your affiliation to us?

BR. GEN. KERR: It never concerned me because I had not really participated in that.

[...]

ROBERTS: Thank you for joining us this morning explaining a little bit more about your situation. Can't say that we would have used the question had we known, a lesson for us as well. Thank you for coming in, and thank you for your service to the country.

BR. GEN. KERR: Thank you for being so transparent, I appreciate that.
So obviously, given Robert's statement, there was a screening procedure and had CNN known Kerr's affiliation they likely wouldn't have used his question.

When you Google BG Keith Kerr, what's the first thing that pops up there? His affiliation with SLDN (Serviceman's Legal Defense Network) as an advisory board member. And what does "about SLDN" reveal?
SLDN is a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and related forms of intolerance.
Now maybe it just wasn't possible to do that with the live questioners, but there had to be a selection process with the YouTube questioners. And apparently that process failed rather badly as Malkin points out.

I don't blame political activists for trying to get on there. I don't think the questions they asked were out of bounds. But I do think this is an embarrassment for CNN because the purported purpose of the "YouTube" debate was so easily manipulated to the advantage of those activists. What's clear is CNN, at least as it pertains to those YouTubers it selected, didn't do its homework.

Nice going CNN.

UPDATE: Red State wants to see some CNN heads roll
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
When you Google BG Keith Kerr
Q: How many layers of editors and fact checkers does it take to google someone?

A: Silly, they don’t use google!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Kerr wasn’t the only one. Over at Patterico, they’ve found 4 Dem supporters among the questioners.

When CNN ran the Democrats’ debate a couple of weeks ago, their panel of undecided voters were all Democrat supporters. That was fair enough: it was, after all, a debate for the Dems. But for CNN to turn around and include a bunch of Democrats as questioners in a Republican debate is indefensibly wrong.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Apparently, the Democrats have Glenn Greenwald consulting for them, if we can take this situation as any indication. They’ve discovered the utility of sock puppets....

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Well, as Auric Goldfinger said, "Three times is enemy action."

But four Democrat stooges? CNN is lying through its sleazy, biased teeth. They knew exactly what they were doing, using "ordinary" folks whose questions concerned those perennial GOP concerns: jailing women who have abortions, making sure three-year olds get assault rifles, banning the teaching of evolution and keeping the darkies in line.

It’s as if CNN had a YouTuber ask the Crone of Chappaqua "When are we going to be able to spit on those babykilling Bushbot Halliburton stooge soldiers raping innocent Iraqis in Chimpy’s illegal war?"

No media bias, my ass.
 
Written By: Christopher
URL: http://
panel of undecided voters were all Democrat supporters
They weren’t just Democrats, they were liberal activist or current Democratic Party employees. People who had a career interest in not making any Democrat frontrunner look bad.

In general, its about skewing topics/questions to make the Democrats look good and put the Republicans on the spot.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The really funny thing is how all the Dem candidates balked at Fox hosting a debate for fear of bias.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Steverino,

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Dem candidates knew they were going to put plants into the audience on their "friendly" networks and assumed the evil RepubliKKKan candidates would do the same on Fox.
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
You could have quit typing the headline after the first two words. ;)
 
Written By: DIffus
URL: http://
I guess the only mea culpa that makes any sense is to have Bob "The Prince of Darkness"Novak and Fred Barnes ask the questions.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Personally, I welcome a few hostile questioners (within reasonable boundaries). I would hope that the leader of the free world would be able to handle them. Isn’t that what democracy is all about? Maybe if GW hadn’t been so insulated, the GOP wouldn’t be in such a disarray.
 
Written By: Jane
URL: http://
Personally, I welcome a few hostile questioners (within reasonable boundaries). I would hope that the leader of the free world would be able to handle them. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?
So, Jane, where were you when the CNN’s panel of undecided voters were all Democrats?

I don’t have any problems with the Dems fielding questions from a bunch of Democrats. That’s who will choose the Democrat nominee, anyway. But when the same network insulates (to use your word) the Democrat candidates and then exposes the Republican candidates to "hostile fire", it’s an unforgivably partisan thing for a news network to do.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
But when the same network insulates (to use your word) the Democrat candidates and then exposes the Republican candidates to "hostile fire", it’s an unforgivably partisan thing for a news network to do.
Waaaaaah. Boo freaking hoo. What a bunch of whiners.

What does it matter who asks the questions? They’re freaking questions, after all.

I, for one, think it would be a great idea if Republicans asked questions at the next Dem debate. Ask them all, in fact. Bring it on.

And BTW, where is it written that Dems can’t ask questions at GOP debates?

As for the GOP, it looks like it’s Huckabee’s to lose. How grand. A man who doesn’t believe in evolution is about to become the GOP nominee for President of the United States of America. So which flat-earther do you think he will pick for his running mate? BTW, the cavemen road dinosaurs to work. Betcha you didn’t know that.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
As usual, mkultra completely misses the point. No use explaining it to him, though.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
"Thank you for being so transparent" lolz
 
Written By: Effeminem
URL: http://ethermind.blogspot.com
High-jackassery. Creationist bashing. Gore-flavored demogougery. Caveman pandering. Is there any low you dont know?
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
where is it written that Dems can’t ask questions at GOP debates?
Where is it written Fox News can’t host Dem debates? A: Kos and HuffPo where the crying was loud and proud when it was considered...
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
As usual, mkultra completely misses the point. No use explaining it to him, though.
As usual, steverino says that those who disagree with him completely miss the point. And, as usual, steverino fails to offer a substantive response.

Look Steverino, I’m on your side on this one. I think all the questions at the next debate should be asked by Republican voters. Equal time.
High-jackassery. Creationist bashing. Gore-flavored demogougery. Caveman pandering. Is there any low you dont know?
Waaaah.

Yes, I believe that the President of the United States should not be someone who believes that man did not evolve from apes. Does that make me a creationist "basher"? No. Creationists are free to believe what they want to believe. But I don’t believe that someone who refuses to acknowledge scenitific and physical evidence on the origin of the human species has the judgment to be POTUS, just as someone who believes that the earth is flat doesn’t have the judgment to be POTUS.

Wingers had a field day when Dennis Kucinich said that he believed he had seen a UFO. See, that’s ok. But god forbid anyone question the judgment of someone on the right who believes in creationism.

As for caveman pandering, since I’m not a Republican, I don’t think I’m guilty on that count.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Yes, I believe that the President of the United States should not be someone who believes that man did not evolve from apes.
Then I guess nobody can become president, since humans did not evolve from apes.
 
Written By: John
URL: http://averagegayjoe.blogspot.com
Creationists are free to believe what they want to believe.
They just shouldn’t have equal status in our country. Sure.
But god forbid anyone question the judgment of someone on the right who believes in creationism.
No one does that. Only every bumper sticker on every Volvo of every dumpy granola person in this country. But that’s OK, since they’re enlightened enough to believe that their great-great-granddaddy lived in the trees. Yeah, you’re reasonably stable. Where do they store you?
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://

 
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