Video: The disappearing Hillary plant; Update: Does it matter who the questions come from?

posted at 10:12 am on November 29, 2007 by Allahpundit

Tough call for CNN on re-broadcast. Do they stick with the footage of Keith Kerr after having been de-pantsed by Bill Bennett an hour or so before? Edit out the footage? Leave it in with a graphic at the bottom of the screen disclosing his campaign affiliation? Decisions, decisions.

Here’s your answer. This is what went down at around 9:45 ET…

…and this is how it played at 1:45 on re-broadcast:

And just for giggles, here’s the edit of the various very undecided voters who got to put a question to the field. Kerr’s the only one who’s problematic because of his formal affiliation with the Clinton campaign.

Update: The debate rages in the comments as to whether it matters that known Democrats are asking the questions. As I said, it matters when they’re affiliated with a campaign and the affiliation isn’t disclosed because then you’re left to wonder (a) if they were there secretly at the campaign’s behest to try to force an issue into the other party’s nominating process for political advantage, and (b) what CNN’s motive might be in not vetting and disclosing the affiliation. All they had to do with Kerr was mention he was with the Clinton campaign.

I’m “eh” about the other ones. For instance, it wouldn’t surprise me to find that the guy whom Biden went off on at the Democratic YouTube debate over guns was a known Republican. The only vaguely dishonest thing about it is that questions from the other side typically aren’t asked to help the questioner make up his mind about whom to vote for but to try and elicit a “gotcha” by tripping the candidates up. But then that’s how the press operates too, so no wonder CNN doesn’t have a problem with it.


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LOL….if this was the reverse, Rep questioner at the Dem debate this would be a major story. Now it is just another dust bunny under the Clinton rug. Move on folks, nothing to see here. (‘whew we got away with another one’)

Limerick on November 29, 2007 at 10:17 AM

Somebody in the Clinton camp has quite a green thumb.

aero on November 29, 2007 at 10:20 AM

What say you, AP? Does it matter where the questions come from?

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 10:21 AM

But the real problem wasn’t that he was a plant, it was that he was a gay general using that to try to embarass the candidates, asking them a question that no Republican even cares about. So, CNN lets him on because they are fools and then they take him off for the wrong reason. This is all inanity cubed.

progressoverpeace on November 29, 2007 at 10:22 AM

Why does the Clinton campaign do this? They have to know that someone will find out. This one didn’t even take any research. So they are either incompetent or indifferent.
CNN seems to be just incompetent.

sweeper on November 29, 2007 at 10:24 AM

Color me paranoid, but I’m not too comfortable leaving it up to the geniuses at CNN to decide when and how to “edit out the footage.”

If Al-Reuters wants to Photoshop in some smoke plumes over the candidates’ heads, that’d be cool.

saint kansas on November 29, 2007 at 10:26 AM

inanity cubed

NAILED IT !

stenwin77 on November 29, 2007 at 10:26 AM

What say you, AP? Does it matter where the questions come from?

I think it matters when they’re affiliated with a campaign because then you have to wonder (a) if they’re there at the campaign’s behest, trying to carry out their agenda and (b) what CNN’s motives are in not vetting the person. They had no other Don’t Ask Don’t Tell questions except from the guy hooked up with Hillary? Unlikely.

I’m kind of “eh” about the other ones. For instance, it wouldn’t surprise me to find that the guy whom Biden went off on at the Democratic YouTube debate over guns was a known Republican. The only potentially dishonest thing about it is that they may be asking questions not to help decide their vote but to try and draw a “gotcha” by tripping the candidates up. Of course, that’s how the press operates these days too so no wonder CNN doesn’t have a problem with it.

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 10:27 AM

was that he was a gay general using that to try to embarass the candidates

I agree, but this issue is just silly. Anyone who has a strong opinion about this already knows which party they are voting for. So who is this supposed to hurt?

sweeper on November 29, 2007 at 10:27 AM

asking them a question that no Republican even cares about

It wasn’t only Republicans who were watching. Plenty of undecideds were too and they might have cared about the issue.

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 10:28 AM

I don’t care about the question. It is a legit one….but the follow up statement time reeks of BS on CNNs part. I wonder how many of Hill’s campaign dollars went into that time slot?

Limerick on November 29, 2007 at 10:28 AM

What say you, AP? Does it matter where the questions come from?

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 10:21 AM

Yes because of the suspicion it arouses among CNN and the Dem candidates. It has all the look and feel of impropriety. It is not exactly “fair and balanced” when four of the questions came not from “average joes” but known supporters of dem candidates. I believe CNN knew these peoples’ backgrounds but chose not do disclose them, hoping they wouldn’t get caught. It would have been better to come clean from the beginning, now they’re doing damage control.

RMCS_USN on November 29, 2007 at 10:30 AM

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 10:27 AM

Thanks for the answer. I appreciate it.

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 10:31 AM

I agree, but this issue is just silly. Anyone who has a strong opinion about this already knows which party they are voting for. So who is this supposed to hurt?

sweeper on November 29, 2007 at 10:27 AM

I don’t want to see a Republican debate to see which candidate does worst. There are issues I want to see addressed – and the illegal issue was addressed very well in the first half, by my view – and there are issues that I don’t care to have my time wasted with.

Other than that, it is just unfair and unprofessional to make a policy question personal. At least according to my debate rules.

progressoverpeace on November 29, 2007 at 10:31 AM

It’s ok, acting like little children is par for the course for the Liberalocrats.

Trapped in adolescence, trying to act cool and adult.

benrand on November 29, 2007 at 10:32 AM

sweeper, they are niether. They bet on the fact that the memory of the general public is short and that their assistants in the media will aid in their amnesia.

Sensei Ern on November 29, 2007 at 10:32 AM

Michelle M. as usual, nails it:

“The best thing about Republicans agreeing to do the CNN/YouTube debate is that it created yet another invaluable opportunity to expose CNN’s abject incompetence.”

Keep that glass half full.

RobCon on November 29, 2007 at 10:33 AM

Good mash-up, AP. I do hope you have a second place to store the video after YouTube joins CNN in Operation Scrub.

steveegg on November 29, 2007 at 10:33 AM

Tough call for CNN on re-broadcast.

ZOMG! They actually edited the whole thing out?

Nice. I guess they got a call from Don Clinton “requesting” that they let Hillary keep her big memory hole wide open.

“Is it true that Hillary’s campaign planted questions?” “No, of course not… just look at the video! There was no plant! I don’t see a plant, do you?”

saint kansas on November 29, 2007 at 10:34 AM

Plenty of undecideds were too and they might have cared about the issue.

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 10:28 AM

Maybe. I don’t get that vibe, but I could be wrong. People liked “don’t ask, don’t tell” when it was assumed (as such rules must be), and then they liked ignoring it when it was stupidly formalized by Clinton. It’s just a loser to talk about, I think.

progressoverpeace on November 29, 2007 at 10:34 AM

…It has all the look and feel of impropriety…

RMCS_USN on November 29, 2007 at 10:30 AM

Yeah, that much is clear because Cooper got up there and apologized for it. So they also felt it was improper.

now they’re doing damage control.

Yeah. The conversation from this debate is not going to be issues at all, just whether CNN deliberately setup the candidates.

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 10:34 AM

de-pantsed by Bill Bennett

Thanks for that. I’m going in for a brainwash.

ronsfi on November 29, 2007 at 10:35 AM

Michelle M. as usual, nails it:

“The best thing about Republicans agreeing to do the CNN/YouTube debate is that it created yet another invaluable opportunity to expose CNN’s abject incompetence.”

Keep that glass half full.

RobCon on November 29, 2007 at 10:33 AM

I like Michelle, but that completely subjective. That’s the best thing for her. And Fox maybe. But that’s not true across the board. And it’s not true for the voters who are genuinely interested in the issues.

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Sensei Ern on November 29, 2007 at 10:32 AM

My point is that the “gays in the military” issue is a net winner for the Republicans. Anyone who is militant on the issue is decided on a party. And the rest tilt far more to the no gays in the military. It’s not a wedge issue. So why would Team Clinton put this plant there?

sweeper on November 29, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Hot Air – I hope you guys do not let up on this.
There is so much cheap garbage being thrown and the
MSM are assisting. Can you image if FOX news pulled
something like this? CNN does it and it will go down
the memory hole unless we keep it alive.
Michelle is doing great work on this.

RobCon on November 29, 2007 at 10:38 AM

I’m mostly with AP on this. Kerr’s a problem, but the others are just “well that explains that” moments. Now if CNN was portraying them ALL as undecideds, CNN should have done more research, especially since most of them seem to have used their own names (and as InstaGlenn noted, it’s not hard to run a Google search.)

Vizzini on November 29, 2007 at 10:40 AM

CNN hoped that by editing it out, the controversy would go away. Instead, I think it will serve to fuel the fire. Not only is CNN sleazy and underhanded, they think they can just edit it out and no one will notice – right down the memory hole. Question? What question? It never happened, as far as CNN is concerned. Just goes to show that CNN can never be trusted for accurate, objective reporting of anything, really.

As for the question, sure ask it, but lets make sure the audience knows this is a Clinton operative.

jdawg on November 29, 2007 at 10:43 AM

I’d like to meet whomever is running Hillary’s ‘Sagretti’ squad. Planting questions at news conferences, inserting questions into the Rupublican live national debate, convincing Wolf NOT to ask the Alien ID follow up question, floating Obaama drug stories.
These guys are good…like em or not. There good.
Exit Q: What’s next?

DrW on November 29, 2007 at 10:46 AM

The Clinton Campaign had its tenticles all over this debate attempting to influence it. The plant is just one example. Take a listen to every Democrat strategist with ties to the Clinton campaign. They have all of a sudden become Huckabee cheerleaders overnight. Think about every every political strategist you have ever heard interviewed. Have you ever heard them complement (in any way) a political candidate from the other side of the isle? Never. Its never happened before. A democrat political strategist could be told a story about how one of the Republican candidates rescued a litter of puppies from an oncoming train and they would turn it into a diatribe about how the candidate they work for has done more for puppies then any other candidate in the race and the Republican who saved the puppies was probably just hungry. The Clinton campaign is actively attempting to eliminate Romney. They see an opportunity here with the latest polling results from Iowa and now they are trying to take advantage of it. Just listen to anybody tied to the Clinton campaign. All they are doing is talking about how Huckabee was the winner. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when it comes to the Clintons their is no such thing as a coincidence.

Zetterson on November 29, 2007 at 10:47 AM

From Wizbang:

if who asked the questions is irrelevant, then why didn’t the gay general ask about lead in toys, while the mom with her kids ask about gays in the military? The honest answer is, of course, that this is a case of “identity politics” — in many cases, who is saying something is just as important — if not more important — than the actual statement.

The same reason the Dems trotted out kids for the SCHIP program, it matters who’s face is behind the message.

sunny on November 29, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Exit Q: What’s next?

DrW on November 29, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Barney runs away to a PETA sanctuary.

Limerick on November 29, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Now MSNBC, home of Obermann, is getting on CNN. This is great entertainment.

I’m “eh” about the other ones.

AP,

If someone poses as a Republican, even if they are not officially associated with any campaign, isn’t that just a wee bit problematic and deserving of more than an “eh”.

Or do I misunderstand you?

Buy Danish on November 29, 2007 at 10:50 AM

The problem is the effort by CNN to make it seem like these are “non-agenda” people asking questions. It is obvious the most political minded people would do a you tube question, so what is wrong with CNN or you tube stating these are not objective, but more than likely subjective and hostile questions?
Disclose it, and then they are safe. All of the candidates should be able to answers “gotcha” questions. Just nice to know what angle the questions are coming from.
If the gal was honest and said “I am pro-choice” and then began the question, the answer may be different and more concise to her.
Openness and honesty is something the media should work on.

right2bright on November 29, 2007 at 10:51 AM

If someone poses as a Republican, even if they are not officially associated with any campaign, isn’t that just a wee bit problematic and deserving of more than an “eh”.

Sure, it’d be deceptive. How did they pose as Republicans? Did YouTube post some requirement that video questions should only be submitted by Republicans?

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 10:54 AM

The problem is the effort by CNN to make it seem like these are “non-agenda” people asking questions. It is obvious the most political minded people would do a you tube question, so what is wrong with CNN or you tube stating these are not objective, but more than likely subjective and hostile questions?
Disclose it, and then they are safe. All of the candidates should be able to answers “gotcha” questions. Just nice to know what angle the questions are coming from.
If the gal was honest and said “I am pro-choice” and then began the question, the answer may be different and more concise to her.
Openness and honesty is something the media should work on.

right2bright on November 29, 2007 at 10:51 AM

They’ll never do it because can you imagine what would happen if they allowed a Hotair commenter to ask a question to Hillary Clinton in the Dem debate about Sandy Burger or something? They would never do it because they never want to allow anything but softballs for the Dems.

Zetterson on November 29, 2007 at 10:57 AM

As I said, it matters when they’re affiliated with a campaign and the affiliation isn’t disclosed because then you’re left to wonder (a) if they were there secretly at the campaign’s behest to try to force an issue into the other party’s nominating process for political advantage

This isn;t really a case of anyone rying to force an issue into the Republican niminating process. The question of gays in the military has been there for a while, and while Republicans politicians may be largely in agreement on the issue, how they handle handle it and the reasons they give for their positions are very important, especially since this looks to be a rising issue in the general election.

Big S on November 29, 2007 at 11:00 AM

How did they pose as Republicans?

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Log Cabin Republican?

Buy Danish on November 29, 2007 at 11:00 AM

if who asked the questions is irrelevant, then why didn’t the gay general ask about lead in toys, while the mom with her kids ask about gays in the military?

That’s an extremely weak argument. It is natural that people would ask questions they personally are interested and invested in.

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 11:00 AM

I cant disagree with you more on your viewpoint. The primaries are the time when republicans get to ask questions from their candidates to see how they confirm their conservative views and we get to weed out which we will give our support. In the general elections yeah its lock and load and a free fire zone. But now is supposed to be are time to have a look and decide.

All those plants and gotchas are like spam or trolls. They take up the time and space and give no air to the questions we really want to be hearing to decide among those in front of us.

The are thousands of unanswered questions which were shoved aside in favor of those with an opposition agenda and thus a chance was lost for us to look at the candidate differences from “our ” viewpoint.

CommentGuy on November 29, 2007 at 11:00 AM

I think the GOP should jump on this by stating that our candidates can answer questions no matter what plant, grass or tree is asking the question, however the dems are getting softballed by these plants as well and are scared of Fox news…

JVelez on November 29, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Does it matter where the questions come from?

No, absolutely not. It wouldn’t bother me if every single question in these GOP debates came from Dem operatives. It wouldn’t even bother me if the questions were phrased like “How do you live with yourself supporting a war that wastes American lives while padding Halliburton’s bottom line?”

These guys are running for President. If you’re running for President, you should be able to answer idiotic questions from ignorant buffoons. The only difference between answering stupid questions from average Americans and answering stupid questions from Washington journalists is the degree of sanctimony.

Gen. Kerr’s question was fairly tame and completely legitimate. The fact that he’s associated with Hillary doesn’t matter one bit.

Enrique on November 29, 2007 at 11:01 AM

The debate rages in the comments as to whether it matters that known Democrats are asking the questions. As I said, it matters when they’re affiliated with a campaign and the affiliation isn’t disclosed because then you’re left to wonder (a) if they were there secretly at the campaign’s behest to try to force an issue into the other party’s nominating process for political advantage, and (b) what CNN’s motive might be in not vetting and disclosing the affiliation. All they had to do with Kerr was mention he was with the Clinton campaign.

I’m “eh” about the other ones

I generally agree with this take, although on the other ones I just would want to know “why no full disclosure?” (and would apply that evenly to democrat or republican debates). The air of deception cheapens the whole process.

thirteen28 on November 29, 2007 at 11:04 AM

Such an obvious set-up. None of the republicans I know are going to be voting on the ‘gays in the military’ issue. I honestly could care less whether someone is gay or hetero, I just don’t particularly care to hear about their sex life or have their sexuality shoved into my face, no matter what their persuasion is.

Keli on November 29, 2007 at 11:07 AM

what CNN’s motive might be in not vetting and disclosing the affiliation. All they had to do with Kerr was mention he was with the Clinton campaign.

Maybe they thought that would’ve overshadowed the question. Although that ended up happening anyway after the debate, each of the candidates had to answer the General’s question without being able to use Clinton as a foil. As for why they picked the General’s version of the question in the first place, you gotta admit that he brings more gravitas to the question than some kid in a college dorm.

Big S on November 29, 2007 at 11:09 AM

Does it matter when the questions come from Democrats masquerading as “undecided Republicans?”

Damn straight it does.

The Democrats are attempting to sabotage the Republican nominating process.

It is unethical, if not illegal under the campaign financing laws.

HAD THEY BEEN TRUTHFUL and disclosed their affiliation, and had CNN reported their affiliation, then they are being honest. But they are still interjecting themselves into THE OTHER PARTY’S PRIMARY PROCESS! And this should not be allowed.

georgej on November 29, 2007 at 11:09 AM

The are thousands of unanswered questions which were shoved aside in favor of those with an opposition agenda and thus a chance was lost for us to look at the candidate differences from “our” viewpoint.

But since when do conservatives tune to CNN to hear about “our” viewpoint? Honestly, I can’t imagine one single GOP primary voter anywhere in the entire country having his/her vote swayed by a televised CNN debate. I assume most GOP voters turn to talk radio and the internet to find out which candidate they want to vote for.

Enrique on November 29, 2007 at 11:09 AM

AP,

And what about this? I recall he posed as a Republican too – from Jason Coleman -

Ok, this is getting ridiculous, yet another Democrat posing as a Republican for the CNN/YouTube debate.
This one is David McMillan, an aspiring TV writer in California, AND, a Bush and Rove hatin’, John Edwards fan, who asked why the Republican party doesn’t attract more African-Americans to it’s side.

Buy Danish on November 29, 2007 at 11:10 AM

How did they pose as Republicans?

Well, first they bathed and got haircuts, and then they put on clean suits with little flag and cross lapel pins and greeted everyone with “Dittos” and the secret Pat Boone fan club handshake.

saint kansas on November 29, 2007 at 11:10 AM

saint kansas on November 29, 2007 at 11:10 AM

They ethanol guy eating the sandwich and talking with his mouth full was clearly an Atheist, and that creepy guy holding up the Bible was Richard Dawkins first cousin who really wanted to ask the candidates if they would renounce the Holy Spirit.

Buy Danish on November 29, 2007 at 11:13 AM

But since when do conservatives tune to CNN to hear about “our” viewpoint?

I did, at least for two hours. A Republican primary debate is supposed to be a Republican primary debate, no matter where.

Honestly, I can’t imagine one single GOP primary voter anywhere in the entire country having his/her vote swayed by a televised CNN debate.

Huh?

I assume most GOP voters turn to talk radio and the internet to find out which candidate they want to vote for.

Enrique on November 29, 2007 at 11:09 AM

You lost me. Why do we have Republican PRIMARY debates?

progressoverpeace on November 29, 2007 at 11:14 AM

Log Cabin Republican?

Watch the question. The guy didn’t claim to be a member of the Log Cabin Republicans. He wanted to know if the field would accept the endorsement of a gay Republican group. As for McMillan, I recall his question being to the effect of “Blacks agree with you on many things. How come we don’t vote for you?”

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 11:15 AM

Sorry, quoting disaster. Should have previewed …

progressoverpeace on November 29, 2007 at 11:15 AM

You lost me. Why do we have Republican PRIMARY debates?

The YouTube debate is supposed to be “the people” asking questions of the candidates, though. It’s the one debate which, in theory, is emphatically open to questioners from both sides. As I say, though, having a campaign operative like Kerr participating is less an example of the people asking questions of the candidates than the candidates asking questions of each other — secretly.

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 11:17 AM

Why does the Clinton campaign do this? They have to know that someone will find out. This one didn’t even take any research. So they are either incompetent or indifferent.
CNN seems to be just incompetent.

.
Look what it has done to the entire debate and all of the follow up…No talk about real campaign issues, only democrat rhetoric, lefty b.s., Clinton talk, etc, it has ruined this republican debate.
Clinton people are evil geniuses, EVIL. but smart.

shooter on November 29, 2007 at 11:18 AM

Are there ANY Republicans in the Log Cabin Republicans? Or are they just an astroturf organization full of phony Republicans? That’s right, I said phony.

In last year’s South Carolina election for Governor, Republicans for Tommy Moore ran radio ads attacking the incumbent Republican Mark Sandford. I know for a fact that this organization was was run by Democrats, trying to stir discontent with Sandford.

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 29, 2007 at 11:19 AM

The YouTube debate is supposed to be “the people” asking questions of the candidates, though. It’s the one debate which, in theory, is emphatically open to questioners from both sides.

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 11:17 AM

I agree, which is why I wasn’t against the Republicans bowing out of the last YouTube deal.

The candidates all looked very good, anyway. The only problems I had with any of them were policy problems, but this was just one more Republican debate that made the Democrats look like the junior varsity. I think CNN might have been banking on getting some really great (for them) sound bites to envelope the coverage and stamp out all this plant stuff, but the candidates were too good for them.

I just would have rather heard about a few other issues, myself, though I really liked the first half of the debate, plants or not.

progressoverpeace on November 29, 2007 at 11:21 AM

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 29, 2007 at 11:19 AM

Because we know that the only REAL Republicans are STRAIGHT Republicans!

Big S on November 29, 2007 at 11:22 AM

an example of…the candidates asking questions of each other — secretly.

Good point.

Spirit of 1776 on November 29, 2007 at 11:22 AM

AP,

Okay, I don’t have the energy to go back and watch the video of the debate so I’ll take your reliable word for it, but what about all the “undecided voters” from CNN’s Dem debate?

I don’t particularly care who asks whom a question, but disclosure is key and isn’t it funny how none of these plants are of the Republican species? They couldn’t even weed out their focus group!

Buy Danish on November 29, 2007 at 11:22 AM

Are there ANY Republicans in the Log Cabin Republicans? Or are they just an astroturf organization full of phony Republicans? That’s right, I said phony.

In last year’s South Carolina election for Governor, Republicans for Tommy Moore ran radio ads attacking the incumbent Republican Mark Sandford. I know for a fact that this organization was was run by Democrats, trying to stir discontent with Sandford.

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 29, 2007 at 11:19 AM

Great point. And the LCR’s are having a tantrum now and dissing Rudy and Romney, and in Romney’s case they are running tv spots.

I’m sure there are a few Republicans in their organization, but what is the point of going after the candidates who are arguably the most socially liberal of all the Republican candidates, if not to elect a…Democrat?

Buy Danish on November 29, 2007 at 11:27 AM

Primary debates should be like primary elections. No independants allowed. No cross party allowed. That’s for the general election. The other side or someone who can’t make up their minds shouldn’t be deciding who a party sets up.

- The Cat

MirCat on November 29, 2007 at 11:27 AM

I’m kind of “eh” about the other ones.

…they may be asking questions not to help decide their vote but to try and draw a “gotcha” by tripping the candidates up. Of course, that’s how the press operates these days too so no wonder CNN doesn’t have a problem with it.

Allahpundit on November 29, 2007 at 10:27 AM

(I am aware that those are two separate thoughts)

I’m not so “eh” about the other ones. MM has documented how CNN used lib Dem activist plants to manipulate the debate for the DemoRats, and then — just to keep it real in the GOP debate — used lib Dem activist plants!

As you clearly point out, this is how propaganda works. You claim that the people are one thing, when they are something else altogether. Why lie about them, if not to deceive? Why use Dem plants for both debates, if not because it benefits the CNN worldview both ways? How do we narrow down 3,000 questions into the steaming pile of liberal sh!t that aired last night, and just happen to have at least six lib plants?

This isn’t “eh”. This is propaganda, and the manipulation of the Presidential debates. Now it is perfectly clear why the DemoRats refused to go on Fox; they assume that Fox is as crooked as CNN and PMSNBC.

Jaibones on November 29, 2007 at 11:29 AM

What I don’t get is, why would the Clintons of all people want to bring up the issue of gays in the military, which, if I remember correctly, was the first of Bubba’s big campaign promises he blew off?

I don’t recall anyone, especially gays, being thrilled at the time with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which certainly wasn’t the platform on which he campaigned.

Like I said in another thread, wasn’t Bubba supposed to have taken care of this monumental issue in his first 100 days?

saint kansas on November 29, 2007 at 11:31 AM

I will add (and Allah, I wish you would take this idea up with the boss and your other contacts in the blogosphere/conservative media), but we need a debate conducted BY conservatives, FOR conservatives.

Why the hell do the Republicans always rely on LIBERAL media to carry their debates where you know these kind of shennanigans are going to occur … they always do. If it’s not some liberal commentator with ‘gotcha’ questions designed to appease the liberal base, it’s YouTube plants doing the same, and all it does is turn the whole process into one big cluster [fornication].

I’m sure Republicans could get Fox to host a debate, and I would hope we could get some conservative moderators that were willing to go in and actually ask the questions in a way that the base wants to hear.

Instead, Republicans continue to rely on the liberal media for what ulimately ends up as crap. Why?

thirteen28 on November 29, 2007 at 11:33 AM

thirteen28 on November 29, 2007 at 11:33 AM

This and the fact that the Republicans did the CNN/Youtube thing. . . what’s stopping the Dems from doing a Fox one? CBS is having a strike after all.

- The Cat

MirCat on November 29, 2007 at 11:35 AM

saint kansas on November 29, 2007 at 11:31 AM

I believe the concept would be one of peeling off IND votes. One at a time, ten at a time. Anything to make us out to be the bigots of all their popular fiction.

Limerick on November 29, 2007 at 11:36 AM

Hook line and sinker. This debate format, even from the early days of consideration, was going to show itself for what it was. Now all the attention is being paid to CNN gotchas and not the substance of the debate itself. I’m embarrassed for our candidates and what they had to go through.

captivated_dem on November 29, 2007 at 11:45 AM

So, one of the people trying to steer the debate before the Republican Primary is on Hillary’s “Steering Committee”?

Naah, I’m sure letting Democrats control the scope and focus of all debate anywhere in the country at any time is a good idea.

I can’t see why it would matter who the questions come from. Just let the Democrats control all forms of debate and discussion. What could be the harm in that?

gekkobear on November 29, 2007 at 12:03 PM

It matters and it doesn’t who the questions come from. I didn’t watch the Democrats’ YouTube debate, but did any of the questioners pose extremely loaded questions in the hope of getting answers that would provide Republicans with anti-Democrat commercial footage? I mean, if they get to play “gotcha,” *we* definitely should, too.

WRT Keith Kerr, I thought Keith Kerr’s question was pertinent; I actually agree with Kerr’s position, so I was interested to see the candidates’ answers. But a couple of things about it do smell pretty strongly:

1. Kerr’s never-ending statement, which went on until the polite audience grew restless and Cooper gently cut him off. It was a clear try at “speaking truth to power,” which in a free society means “lecturing to a captive audience too polite to tell you to shut up.” I think Kerr was hoping that either a candidate would say something really stupid or the audience would boo him down, thus giving the Democrats (Hillary) an opportunity to call the Republican debate audience a bunch of bigots. It didn’t happen; the audience was too polite and smart for that.

2. CNN’s disappearance of the event is extraordinarily telling. Rather than admit they got snookered, they’re pretending it didn’t happen at all. Given the choice between news and their image, they chose their image — and chose it by the time of the rebroadcast. That tells you everything you need to know about CNN, right there.

Well-Armed Lamb on November 29, 2007 at 12:07 PM

The YouTube debate is supposed to be “the people” asking questions of the candidates, though. It’s the one debate which, in theory, is emphatically open to questioners from both sides.

But in practice, the questioners selected by CNN for both debates just happen to contain a large percentage of staunch Democrats, even though people who aren’t in the reporting biz can figure this out with little effort almost immediately. The events — and CNN — thus smack of fraud.

Imagine what the reax would be if FOX had done this to the Dems. Oh, that’s right, the Dems won’t go on a FOX debate because FOX isn’t a real news org, like CNN.

Karl on November 29, 2007 at 12:16 PM

but we need a debate conducted BY conservatives, FOR conservatives.
thirteen28 on November 29, 2007 at 11:33 AM

That is a good point. The dems did it with the gay issue debate hosted by Etheridge. Why won’t Republicans debate on single conservative issues? I would love to see a full debate on immigration, another one on economy /taxes, and even one on social issues. Each one should be hosted by a difeerent Conservative expert.

They only problem is that would require more than sound bite answers and petty back stabbing.

sweeper on November 29, 2007 at 12:21 PM

Of course, it turns out that Byron York beat me to the FOX analogy by an hour or so.

Karl on November 29, 2007 at 12:28 PM

The problem is less the questions and more the treatment and framing of the debate, Democrats would have never been treated and would have never tolerated the level of disrespect that the Republican candidates were shown last night, they would have walked out. Beyond that, you had a campaign member and a person tied to a union posing questions without due disclosure. Utter crap.

Bad Candy on November 29, 2007 at 12:36 PM

As to the question of why the Democrats were/are so against going on a FOX News Channel debate, it seems pretty clear to me now, after seeing all this planting going on to aid Democrats and play *gotcha* with Republicans, that the answer is the Democrats either

(1) Knew they would be playing on an even playing field instead of having plants (you know, how the debates are *supposed* to be) or
(2) Assumed that FOX News Channel would provide plants to play *gotcha* with the Democrats in the same way CNN is doing with Republicans.

My first thought was (1). But it seems many people here believe FOX News Channel is as corrupt and in the tank for Republicans as CNN and the rest of the mass media outlets are corrupt and in the tank for Democrats.

Personally, I believe FOX News Channel is NOT Conservative (simply to the right of the rest of the Networks, which isn’t difficult to do) and they are very tabloid in their news coverage. However, I don’t believe at all that they are in the tank for Republicans as the other networks are in the tank for Democrats. So that’s why my first thought was (1). But I guess (2) could be possible. But I just don’t see it, because I don’t believe FOX News Channel is made up of a bunch of Republican-supporters as all the other networks are made up of Democrat-supporters.

Michael in MI on November 29, 2007 at 12:40 PM

Well-Armed Lamb on November 29, 2007 at 12:07 PM

I don’t happen to believe that CNN was snookered. Nothing to back it up except multiple co-incidences. If CNN’s broadcast image politics to hide multiple vetting gaffes is all that is going on here, then I would hope that there will be some behind the scenes accountabilty being made. When John McCain can be put on the ropes by Ron Paul and the, oh so convenient camera shot of Congressman Pauls’ look of condecension, I don’t cry foul, but setup. IMO.

captivated_dem on November 29, 2007 at 12:44 PM

You lost me. Why do we have Republican PRIMARY debates?

I don’t know, to keep journalists employed I suppose. CNN has to put some special programming on every once in a while.

Maybe I’m just too disillusioned by the whole process to have a worthwhile opinion, but I reiterate that Presidential candidates should be able to answer any biased, awful question put to them.

Enrique on November 29, 2007 at 12:58 PM

But the Dems should not…?

Jaibones on November 29, 2007 at 1:00 PM

A mockery.

James on November 26, 2007 at 3:17 PM

I believe I already called this one, as did several others. This whole format was a dumb, dumb, idiotic idea.

James on November 29, 2007 at 1:01 PM

The debate rages in the comments as to whether it matters that known Democrats are asking the questions.

This is debatable? Are we or are we not still in the Primaries? Are not the primaries limited ONLY to those of X PARTY?

In a republican primary independents and democrats have no business having any influence in shaping a Parties candadite. If the party membership (voter base for a Primary) feels certain democrat or independent questions are important then they can/should ask them. Otherwise such questions should be held until the general election when democrats, independents, and republicans opinions all matter.

Justification for the idiocy like last nights style of questioning is what gets us leaders that don’t represent the base. The conservative base will never even be shown to the general election if even during the primaries they are not allowed to debate their ideas instead are just being berated by Liberal hacks and talking points.

C-Low on November 29, 2007 at 1:45 PM

I assume most GOP voters turn to talk radio and the internet to find out which candidate they want to vote for.

Given the number of GOP voters out there (versus the number of hardcore Internet political junkies and talk show listenerd), I think you’re wrong. Given the content of the media you mention, I hope you’re wrong.

calbear on November 29, 2007 at 2:12 PM

No victims here. When they get down in the trough with the pigs, what did they expect? They are trivializing and shaming the position and insulting me by being involved in something so stupid.

peacenprosperity on November 29, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Update: The debate rages in the comments as to whether it matters that known Democrats are asking the questions. As I said, it matters when they’re affiliated with a campaign and the affiliation isn’t disclosed because then you’re left to wonder (a) if they were there secretly at the campaign’s behest to try to force an issue into the other party’s nominating process for political advantage, and (b) what CNN’s motive might be in not vetting and disclosing the affiliation. All they had to do with Kerr was mention he was with the Clinton campaign.

I’m “eh” about the other ones. For instance, it wouldn’t surprise me to find that the guy whom Biden went off on at the Democratic YouTube debate over guns was a known Republican. The only vaguely dishonest thing about it is that questions from the other side typically aren’t asked to help the questioner make up his mind about whom to vote for but to try and elicit a “gotcha” by tripping the candidates up. But then that’s how the press operates too, so no wonder CNN doesn’t have a problem with it.

Okay, then let us imagine a Democrat debate on Fox News (if they had had the balls to go), in which the questioners were evangelical church pastors, NRA chapter presidents, college Republicans, etc. etc. each of whom were already devoted to specific GOP candidates. Just imagine how that would go down. This would be the “gotcha” to take down FNC that the rest of the MSM has been waiting for.

RightWinged on November 29, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Bill bennett let anderson cooper off the hook this morning. Accepted his bs andwer as if it was sincere and honest. Hmm, let’s see, closeted gay moderator and two planted, stupip questions about homosexuals. Coincidence?

So, Bill, when you cath a guy in your dining room with all the fine silver in a pillow case and he says “oops, I thought I was in my house.” Are you going to send him on his way home?

peacenprosperity on November 29, 2007 at 6:03 PM

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