CNN producer last week: We want GOP debate to be … “a debate of their party”; Update: CNN defends vetting procedures
posted at 5:52 pm on November 29, 2007 by Allahpundit
Via commenter Buy Danish:
With only a week to go before the Republican CNN/YouTube debate next Wednesday, voters are lighting up the video site with serious and not-so-serious questions for the eight candidates…
Most questions online have been pulled from public viewing for review, but many of the remaining posts involve asking the candidates to defend their opposition to gay marriage and abortion. Those kinds of “lobbying grenades” would be disqualified by the CNN selection team, Mr. Bohrman said.
“There are quite a few things you might describe as Democratic ‘gotchas,’ and we are weeding those out,” Mr. Bohrman said. CNN wants to ensure that next Wednesday’s Republican event is “a debate of their party.”…
Mr. Cooper and two of his researchers are involved in the selection process, Mr. Bohrman noted.
What exactly was the “weeding” process here, Dave? Cueing up the clips for John Roberts and asking him if they “felt good”?
The link, incidentally, comes from Media Matters, which complained preemptively a few days ago about a looming double standard. Bohrman was promising the GOP no gotchas from the other side but MeMa suspects a few Republicans may have snuck into the question pool for the Democratic debate in July. Follow the link and see the examples they cite; I mentioned the guy who posed the famous gun question to Joe Biden in an earlier post as someone who sounded conservative. But if that were true, Media Matters would have dug up the proof long ago, wouldn’t they?
Update: CNN’s political director admits they shouldn’t have used Kerr’s question given his campaign affiliation with Hillary, then turns around and undercuts the logic of that position:
The network looked into the backgrounds of people who submitted “very sensitive questions,” Feist said, but didn’t ask their party affiliation or whether they were associated with a campaign…
Feist asserted that conservative bloggers like Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, who has led the way in probing the backgrounds of questioners at the GOP debate, “are trying to distract from the issues.
“It’s interesting to see our critics really focusing on the questioners, but not really focusing on the questions. You haven’t heard them say that these were not useful questions.”