Salem, CNN team up for three GOP primary debates

posted at 7:43 am on February 24, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Looks like one of us will be headed to Simi Valley, California in the fall. Salem Communications, the parent company of this website, and CNN will partner to present three of the Republican presidential primary debates. The first will take place at the Reagan Presidential Library, and my friend Hugh Hewitt will be on the panel questioning the candidates:

Salem Media Group (NASDAQ: SALM), announced today that it will team up with CNN as the exclusive radio outlet to broadcast three GOP presidential primary debates, sanctioned by the Republican National Committee. Salem will air the debates live with special pre- and post-debate coverage on the Salem Radio Network, the company’s NewsTalk stations, and conservative news and opinion websites.

“We are pleased to be working with CNN,” said David Santrella, President of Broadcast Media at Salem. “I am confident that both the access to our audiences and the incorporation of Salem talent will make the debates more accessible for the American electorate.”

The first of the three debates will take place September 16th at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Salem’s nationally syndicated radio talk show hostHugh Hewitt will join in the Q&A of this debate. Hewitt is a 25-year veteran of radio and broadcast journalism.

Hewitt will also broadcast special editions of his program pre- and post-debate. At the conclusion of the debate, candidates will be invited to join Hewitt to talk candidly about the event and the pressing issues facing the nation.

“I am delighted to be included with journalists posing questions as part of one of America’s finest political traditions -the presidential debate,” said Hewitt. “These debates come at a critical time, and good questions will allow Republican primary voters the opportunity to see and hear their would-be nominees provide answers to issues that genuinely concern them. Any reporter who is also a political junkie welcomes the chance to be on such a panel, which of course I do.”

Additional Salem national radio hosts will be announced later as leading participants in future debate coverage. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus stated, “I’m thrilled that Salem will partner with three of our Republican primary debates that will be aired on CNN. When we set out to improve the debates, I promised conservative media would be part of the process. Salem will help the Republican Party have meaningful debates about new ideas for the future, while Democrats simply coronate Hillary Clinton.”

The debates will also be extensively covered by Salem Media Group’s news and opinion properties including SRN News,Townhall.com, HotAir.com, Twitchy.com, RedState.com and HumanEvents.com.

GOP chair Reince Priebus promised that changes would come to the GOP primary debates after the bloody internecine mess of 2011-12. Part of that promise involved getting conservative media a place at the table. This is certainly a major step in that direction, if not an outright fulfillment of that pledge.

Hugh is a great choice for this role. Anyone who has listened to his radio show knows that he’s a tough but fair interviewer, committed to conservatism and truth, and will focus on what truly matters to Republican primary voters. His presence on stage will guarantee that focus, and his pre- and post-debate work will keep that focus squarely on the issues — and not on silliness like Obama’s faith or whether contraception is a crisis in America. I’m a lot more hopeful that we’ll have a productive primary in the 2016 cycle than before.

You know, I’ve never been to the Reagan Presidential Library.  Hey, boss …


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Comments

it’s nice that Salem is doing a radio broadcast and that Hugh is a questioner, but if Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper are the debate moderators, nothing has really changed

commodore on February 24, 2015 at 7:49 AM

Part of that promise involved getting conservative media a place at the table. This is certainly a major step in that direction, if not an outright fulfillment of that pledge.

Absolutely no self awareness. You guys are not “conservative media”, call yourself the Republican media if you must but don’t pretend you’re conservative.

lowandslow on February 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

CNN?? Why bother? Airport crowd that important?

WryTrvllr on February 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

CNN?

It’s a trap.

apostic on February 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

I love ya Ed, but AP in a gimp suit is far better tv. Maybe one of those pixelated face in the shadows with the voice distorted deals would work, too.

Whichever of you gets to go, just be sure to load the questions like you’re hunting dinosaurs. “Given Hillary Clinton’s obvious lies about the deaths of Americans in Benghazi, what’s your favorite color?”

trubble on February 24, 2015 at 7:52 AM

The question I have is what phony journalist liberal activist in disguise will be running the show from CNN?

If CNN is going to air these debates, they are going to provide the moderator/host and set up the format which they will be in control of on the air.

Sure, Hewitt will ask good questions and be fair but what about the other panelists?

Who will that be?

Wolf Blitzer?

Anderson Cooper?

Carol Costello?

You can be sure the old problems will persist.

Stupid gotcha questions are the whole purpose for this exercise, and CNN will never, ever forgo the ability to do that.

This is why Salem should have partnered with Fox News instead.

Freeze out these deceitful liberal propaganda artists completely.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 7:55 AM

Part of that promise involved getting conservative media a place at the table.

Nothing says “conservative” like CNN. :rollseyes:

Democrats have all of their debates with the democrat media. Republicans plea for a “place as the table.” What a joke.

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 7:55 AM

Absolutely no self awareness. You guys are not “conservative media”, call yourself the Republican media if you must but don’t pretend you’re conservative.

lowandslow on February 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

Bingo. Proof? The upcoming “This is the best the GOP Senate can do; so quit crying about amnesty” post followed by the “gay marriage is inevitable and unchangeable once in effect” weekly edition.

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Democrats have all of their debates with the democrat media. Republicans plea for a “place as the table.” What a joke.

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 7:55 AM

Absolutely. The Democrats got away with freezing out Fox in 2008, but for the GOP returning the favor by freezing out MSDNC is not enough.

There really is no distinction between MSDNC and NBC News or CNN.

Hey, maybe Ed Morrissey can ask some questions on a panel under the thumb of George Stephanopolos on ABC News?

What is the practical difference really?

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Ed, listening to enough TEMS, I can say that your style of interview would be great in a GOP debate. You ask good questions, and most importantly, you let people talk! You ask good follow up questions and elicit good answers.

You would be great on TV too. ;-)

Abby Adams on February 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM

This is why Salem should have partnered with Fox News instead.

Freeze out these deceitful liberal propaganda artists completely.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 7:55 AM

Because this will give at least some of the left an oppertunity to listen to a conservative quiz candidates on issues, instead of a built in audience of conservatives only watching Fox News, which they won’t watch.

Duh.

Walter L. Newton on February 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

it will be like a Sunday Show roundtable; a liberal moderator with all liberal questioners and one token conservative

conservative media should be owning the table, not having a seat at it

commodore on February 24, 2015 at 8:02 AM

Congrats Ed.

I think this is good news for Salem, the GOP candidates and conservatives. I’m quite sure the Salem participants will be smart enough to navigate CNN’s debate rules, whatever they may be.

Walter L. Newton on February 24, 2015 at 8:04 AM

Hugh Hewitt ( R- Salem) CNN (D- faux news),where are the conservatives?

celtic warrior on February 24, 2015 at 8:06 AM

Because this will give at least some of the left an oppertunity to listen to a conservative quiz candidates on issues, instead of a built in audience of conservatives only watching Fox News, which they won’t watch.

Duh.

Walter L. Newton on February 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

You are wrong. Fox News’ audience is not just conservatives.

They cannot be so dominant in the ratings for so long if it were the case. There are many, many independents and quite a few Democrats who regularly watch Fox News over the others because it is simply better.

Election Night coverage in 2014, Fox News on cable beat out two of the big alphabet channels.

If the debates were only on Fox, that is where the interested viewers will go to see it.

The reverse is also true. I never, ever watch CNN.
Not one second, ever.

If I want to watch these debates, that is where I have to go.

I would much prefer to add Hewitt to a panel headed by Bret Baier than anyone else at any of these other propaganda channels.
They all will have an agenda, doesn’t matter which one it is.

Take it away from them, period.

Build it, and they will come.

Duh!

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:07 AM

Because this will give at least some of the left an oppertunity to listen to a conservative quiz candidates on issues, instead of a built in audience of conservatives only watching Fox News, which they won’t watch.

Duh.

Walter L. Newton on February 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

Um, have you seen the ratings for CNN? They’re essentially pandering to 20 people.

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 8:08 AM

it will be like a Sunday Show roundtable; a liberal moderator with all liberal questioners and one token conservative

conservative media should be owning the table, not having a seat at it

commodore on February 24, 2015 at 8:02 AM

This is my point. Take it away, period.

Political junkies will turn to Fox if that is where the action is, even most liberals. The real hardliner fanatics who would still refuse to watch Fox you have no chance of influencing anyway.

Screw them, they will just watch Maddow talk about what happened.

All 734 of them.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:10 AM

Because this will give at least some of the left an oppertunity to listen to a conservative quiz candidates on issues, instead of a built in audience of conservatives only watching Fox News, which they won’t watch.

Duh.

Walter L. Newton on February 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

I didn’t hear of any conservatives involved… And so what? Do we really want people who think Fox News is too extreme and icky picking the R nominee? We are talking primaries here. There are hundreds of acceptable moderators who will ask questions that can help us decide who we want to nominate. Instead we’ll get “do you think states should ban birth control” gotcha questions.
Great.

Timin203 on February 24, 2015 at 8:12 AM

Because this will give at least some of the left an oppertunity to listen to a conservative quiz candidates on issues, instead of a built in audience of conservatives only watching Fox News, which they won’t watch.

Duh.

Walter L. Newton on February 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM

That’s retarded sir.

Those on the left who would hear this have no vote in primaries.
They are free to tune into actual conservative media (Brietbart) if they want to be informed.

Instead the GOPe is letting the enemy set the board in the name of “reasonable”.

nobar on February 24, 2015 at 8:17 AM

it will be like a Sunday Show roundtable; a liberal moderator with all liberal questioners and one token conservativeconservative media should be owning the table, not having a seat at it
commodore on February 24, 2015 at 8:02 AM

This. Or as AP would put it, what could go wrong? Sure, let the networks have a piece of the action in broadcasting the debates but only let them have one token liberal in the panel and all others, including the moderator come from the right. Newt should moderate one of them.

AH_C on February 24, 2015 at 8:18 AM

oh boy…Salem and CNN will push open borders and gay marriage as far as any alphabet network will, what a departure/

DanMan on February 24, 2015 at 8:19 AM

Remember everyone, this is the same Salem Media that shoveled money into Mitch McConnell’s PAC to fight any conservative challengers to incumbent Republicans just last year.
Conservatives my eye.

lowandslow on February 24, 2015 at 8:20 AM

Last time, Wolf Blitzer did a good job during the Republican primaries of serving as a moderator during one of the debates. I didn’t expect that at all, but he was fair. Frankly, I was more disappointed in the debates where Maria Bartiromo was one of the questioners, as well as the one where Byron York was a questioner. They were awful.

I think this is a great thing, and definitely a step in the right direction. Hugh Hewitt is not a pushover, and hopefully he can help to make these debates substantive as opposed to gotcha questions.

Now, let’s see Brett Baier, Brit Hume, Laura Ingraham, etc. be included in the mix, too.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on February 24, 2015 at 8:21 AM

why would a supposedly “conservative” candidate need the liberal media to spread their message?

truth is out. scratch the surface and underneath lies the heart of a big government elitist.

no thanks.

Ed’s question on cnn will get watered down to…. obama has done an excellent job on foreign policy….why do you want us to get involved in another war?

renalin on February 24, 2015 at 8:24 AM

Here is another thought.

Once the general election arrives, do you think the Democrat Party is going to allow their nominee to face the GOP nominee on live TV under the control of Fox News?

Of course they will not.

The contest will appear on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN partnered up with entities like NYT, WaPo, Politico, Yahoo! News, Bloomberg, Associated Press, ect. ect. ect.

Maybe the Wall Street Journal could get in on it so they could ask questions designed to damage any tough stance against amnesty and open borders.

While the GOP is deciding it’s nominee, why give the most prominent mouthpieces for the American Left great influence over the process?

Take. It. Away.

They will bitch, moan and whine about it but maybe they will learn a lesson for the next time around.

This is long overdue.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:24 AM

CNN? Are they going to trot out Candy Crowley again?

“Scott Walker, when did you stop beating your wife?”

CNN has zero credibility and it’s time to ignore them.

rbj on February 24, 2015 at 8:24 AM

I’m a lot more hopeful that we’ll have a productive primary in the 2016 cycle than before.

I’m not. The establishment (and I lump Salem into this group) clearly is gunning for Jeb Bush or somebody else who doesn’t give a damn about social conservative issues (and I’m not talking about distractors like Obama’s faith or contraceptives). Those values are sneered at while giving full throttled approval to loaded questions about amnesty for a bunch of filthy illegal aliens, legalization of pot, or supporting gay marriage as a legitimate lifestyle choice.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2015 at 8:25 AM

Now, let’s see Brett Baier, Brit Hume, Laura Ingraham, etc. be included in the mix, too.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on February 24, 2015 at 8:21 AM

Not on CNN’s air they won’t.

That is why they should all be on Fox News, every damn one of them.

The secondary partner can be different each time, but just take it completely away from the libs and leave ’em twisting in the wind.

They can have Hillary!’s debates.
She won’t be on Fox in the primaries.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:27 AM

Here is another thought.

Once the general election arrives, do you think the Democrat Party is going to allow their nominee to face the GOP nominee on live TV under the control of Fox News?

Of course they will not.

The contest will appear on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN partnered up with entities like NYT, WaPo, Politico, Yahoo! News, Bloomberg, Associated Press, ect. ect. ect.

Maybe the Wall Street Journal could get in on it so they could ask questions designed to damage any tough stance against amnesty and open borders.

While the GOP is deciding it’s nominee, why give the most prominent mouthpieces for the American Left great influence over the process?

Take. It. Away.

They will complain, moan and whine about it but maybe they will learn a lesson for the next time around.

This is long overdue.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:31 AM

I can’t believe you’ve never been to the Reagan Library, Ed.

Awesome place, you’re going to love the tour of the former Air Force One.

Cavalry on February 24, 2015 at 8:33 AM

CNN’s reporting is completely biased at best and fraudulent at worst.
Walter’s explanation aside, I wouldn’t let them anywhere near the Republican debates, but what do I know.

justltl on February 24, 2015 at 8:34 AM

CNN? Are they going to trot out Candy Crowley again?

rbj on February 24, 2015 at 8:24 AM

You don’t “trot” Candy out so much as hoist her in using block and tackle.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2015 at 8:36 AM

When we set out to improve the debates, I promised conservative media would be part of the process. Salem will help the Republican Party have meaningful debates about new ideas for the future, while Democrats simply coronate Hillary Clinton.”

This is gold.
R’s have “meaningful” debates.
D’s just laugh and go about the business of coronations.
So what’s new? How is this a recipe for success?

leftamark on February 24, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Congrats

gwelf on February 24, 2015 at 8:41 AM

You don’t “trot” Candy out so much as hoist her in using block and tackle.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2015 at 8:36 AM

I was thinking more like a John Deere front end loader

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:41 AM

Nothing says “conservative” like CNN. :rollseyes:

Democrats have all of their debates with the democrat media. Republicans plea for a “place as the table.” What a joke.

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 7:55 AM

My sentiments exactly.

As long as our side in the Media empire behaves like dogs
who’ve been beaten, our candidates will get beaten…total joke.

ToddPA on February 24, 2015 at 8:42 AM

Frankly, I don’t want any journalists or commentators as part of the Q&A. What about ordinary Americans (small business owners dealing with Obamacare, citizens who have been unemployed for the last three years, etc.)

The focus should be on what Americans are concerned about not softening the ground for Jeb effing Bush or some other illegal alien and common core loving RINO.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2015 at 8:42 AM

Frankly, I don’t want any journalists or commentators as part of the Q&A. What about ordinary Americans (small business owners dealing with Obamacare, citizens who have been unemployed for the last three years, etc.)

The focus should be on what Americans are concerned about not softening the ground for Jeb effing Bush or some other illegal alien and common core loving RINO.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2015 at 8:42 AM

Are you nuts?!?

This is a revered, refined process of erudition and class!

We can’t let these debates turn into some Tea Party Townhall meeting from 2010 with a bunch of mean old white racists embarrassing us all!

For shame, sir!/

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:45 AM

For moderator I nominate T. Coddington Van Vorhees VII

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:48 AM

CNN moderator:

– “In the not too distant past, Rudy Giuliani angered both the left and the right by falsely claiming that President Obama did not love this country. Do you believe that Hillary Clinton loves this country?”

– “Will you support tax policies that favor the wealthiest in the country at the expense of the poor and the middle class?”

– “Mrs. Clinton, as Secretary of State, has had considerable experience in matters of foreign policy. Would each of you please name three African heads of state and explain how you would either support or change their governing policies?”

justltl on February 24, 2015 at 8:51 AM

justltl on February 24, 2015 at 8:51 AM

Could you tell the American People exactly when, sir, you ceased beating your wife?

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM

CNN moderator:

– “In the not too distant past, Rudy Giuliani angered both the left and the right by falsely claiming that President Obama did not love this country. Do you believe that Hillary Clinton loves this country?”

– “Will you support tax policies that favor the wealthiest in the country at the expense of the poor and the middle class?”

– “Mrs. Clinton, as Secretary of State, has had considerable experience in matters of foreign policy. Would each of you please name three African heads of state and explain how you would either support or change their governing policies?”

justltl on February 24, 2015 at 8:51 AM

-“Scott Walker, who is with us tonight, refused to acknowledge that President Obama is a Christian. Do you think the President of the United States should be judging other people’s faith?”

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM

Are you nuts?!?

This is a revered, refined process of erudition and class!

We can’t let these debates turn into some Tea Party Townhall meeting from 2010 with a bunch of mean old white racists embarrassing us all!

For shame, sir!/

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:45 AM

You’re right. What was I thinking. If the GOPe were to let the riff raff into the process, well then, they would expect to have some sort of a say in who becomes the nominee. We can’t have Jeb Bush’s chances diminished by some flyover governor who didn’t go to an Ivy League university and is uncomfortably rigid when it comes to allowing undocumented migrants a path to citizenship.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2015 at 8:57 AM

You know, I’ve never been to the Reagan Presidential Library.

We were there over the holidays. It’s great and it’s located in an absolutely beautiful spot. The Air Force One exhibit is especially interesting.

Mr. D on February 24, 2015 at 8:59 AM

Remember everyone, this is the same Salem Media that shoveled money into Mitch McConnell’s PAC to fight any conservative challengers to incumbent Republicans just last year.
Conservatives my eye.

lowandslow on February 24, 2015 at 8:20 AM

THIS

All they need is “Boss Hawg” Haley Barbour on the panel to make it complete.

Fed up with the corrupt gopE as much as the Democrats.

Jayrae on February 24, 2015 at 9:04 AM

With Hugh doing the debates…does that mean Romney will rethink not running?

kcewa on February 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2015 at 8:57 AM

If they did allow questions from the public, there would be several DNC-OWS radical idiots planted to ask even more ridiculous left wing radical questions loaded with accusations about racism, sexism, warmongering, and class warfare.

If the libs are choosing the questioners, they will go that way instead of Tea Party, unless they find a good moron who calls himself Tea Party so he can be used to smear the entire conservative movement with one idiot.

This kind of thing is why I want the libs removed from the process entirely.

The game never stops, until you take the board away from them.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM

With Hugh doing the debates…does that mean Romney will rethink not running?

kcewa on February 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM

Possibly. Flashback to 2008:

In My Objective Opinion

Iowahawk Guest Political Analysis
By Hugh Hewitt

In the annals of American history there are but a handful of defining, epochal speeches.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Roosevelt’s stirring Inaugural reassurance that “all we have to fear is fear Itself.”

Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream.”

Cleveland Indians Manager Eric Wedge’s “Nice Game guys” locker room remarks following the Tribe’s unforgettable 3-1 triumph over the Yankees in the 2007 American League Division Series.

And now: Mitt Romney’s magnificent, soaring, Olympian speech yesterday at the Bush Library.

Without question, The Speech is destined to enter the pantheon of the defining moments of our time; for in it, we lucky mortals were witness to what was inarguably the finest distillation of passion and and brains and square-jawed herculean glory of this or any other age; an achievement of such blinding white TelePromted perfection that, in 15 heart-pounding minutes, eclipsed every previous achievement of the human race, combined, and those who cannot admit this simple axiomatic truth are clearly soulless and/or deranged.

Forgive them Mitt, for they know not what they do.

The stakes were very high, and many in Romney’s inner circle advised against the address. It was two out in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, with the Americans of Faith trailing the Liberal Media Elites 3-0. All looked lost, but from the dugout strode a titanic figure, swinging a 40-ounce Louisville Slugger.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 9:10 AM

As he sidled up slowly to the podium and dug in the speaker’s box, a grim look of determination overtook the beaming white smile on his rugged face. His fearless eyes burrowed into the Elite pitcher’s video lens, as if inviting him to throw high and inside. The crowd went silent, in tense anticipation.

Suddenly Mitt stepped out of the box, smiled, and pointed his bat ominously at the 468 foot wall in deep Right-Center.

Then came the TelePrompter windup, and the Elite Lefty pitcher kicked up his leg and let go with a murderous 98 mph religious bias fastball that would have sent his lesser teammates — like Yogi Giuliani, or Babe Thompson, or Daffy McCain, or Shoeless Mike Huckabee — diving for the dirt.

But not Romney.

He coiled, like some sort of beautiful electric cobra panther, and swung around with a magnificent sweep of oratorical perfection that met the bias with a mighty CRACK, sending it backbackbackback…

Hahahahahaaaahhh that electric cobra panther line has stuck with me all these years, awesome!

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 9:13 AM

Great news! Well, other than RedState.com’s Erick Erickson is a Democratic Party Activist in Conservative Clothing. Erick and LGF’s Charles Johnson are ‘Two Peas from the same Pod‘…

Karmi on February 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Could you tell the American People exactly when, sir, you ceased beating your wife?

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM

-”Scott Walker, who is with us tonight, refused to acknowledge that President Obama is a Christian. Do you think the President of the United States should be judging other people’s faith?”

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM

“Many feel that Hillary Clinton would obviously be in a stronger position to advance issues important to women in this country. How would each of you gentlemen counter that perception?”

justltl on February 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Obama can’t call the enemy “Islamic terrorists.”

The Republican party can’t call the mainstream media the enemy. “Hit me” says the masochist.

A pox on both their houses.

horatio on February 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Salem will air the debates live with special pre- and post-debate coverage on the Salem Radio Network, the company’s NewsTalk stations, and conservative news and opinion websites

…how come…I don’t think this will turn out well?

JugEarsButtHurt on February 24, 2015 at 9:24 AM

Congrats to Salem but CNN………

We’ll never learn.

Such promise but alas…

Coming soon to CNN –

Anderson Cooper to any R candidiate; Why do you hate gays?

D-fusit on February 24, 2015 at 9:33 AM

And a resounding “meh” went up from the conservatives.

GOP, phoning in the bare minimum as an effort to be able to say “I did what I said I’d do”, but only in the stretchiest possible technical meaning of the words used.

Isn’t CNN a decidedly biased and non-conservative network, dedicated overtly to undermining GOP candidates? Why yes – yes, it is.

Isn’t Hewitt an overtly pro-amnesty ‘conservative’? I’m uncertain here at this hour (caffeine hasn’t kicked in), but that’s the way I remember it.

Not really a lot to be overjoyed about here, imo.

Midas on February 24, 2015 at 9:36 AM

Absolutely no self awareness. You guys are not “conservative media”, call yourself the Republican media if you must but don’t pretend you’re conservative.

lowandslow on February 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

+1

bofh on February 24, 2015 at 9:38 AM

Republicans, you can’t fix stupid! We need a 3rd party now!

hardrock230 on February 24, 2015 at 9:41 AM

So basically CNN is hosting the debates.

Hope Salem at least turns a profit out of the deal.

WhatSlushfund on February 24, 2015 at 9:52 AM

Will the debate be in a game show format…?

d1carter on February 24, 2015 at 10:09 AM

Absolutely no self awareness. You guys are not “conservative media”, call yourself the Republican media if you must but don’t pretend you’re conservative.

lowandslow on February 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

Yeah, they are conservative media. Not conservative enough for you? Ok, but they are conservative.

And you guys with the “it doesn’t matter the world is over” attitude… you ever think about getting off the fainting couch now and then? The world isn’t ending, armed revolution is not coming, no one cares that you are not gay and/or is not trying to destroy marriage, there are no black helicopters, and you are too boring for the NSA to care about. Chill once in a while. Turn off your computer and go outside now and then. You’ll feel better.

Irritable Pundit on February 24, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Washington Examiner, I rest my case:

CNN: It’s those darn Republicans that are making the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donations an issue
By Ashe Schow | February 23, 2015 | 2:44 pm

There those dastardly Republicans go again with their insistence that the Clinton Foundation accepting millions of dollars from foreign governments is some kind of issue for Hillary in 2016.

That’s at least according to the spin of a CNN story headlined “GOP seeks to make Clinton Foundation a 2016 headache.”

Because apparently this is a non-issue that only Republicans care about.

This kind of bias has been a complaint of conservatives for years, when major news outlets report an unfavorable story about Democrats from the lens that Republicans care about it, not that the story itself has any merit.

Perhaps CNN reporter Alexandra Jaffe didn’t come up with the title, but the article’s lead suggests that “Clinton’s allies are insisting controversial donations to her eponymous foundation won’t be an issue for her probable presidential bid” and that it’s Republicans who are trying to make the donations an issue.

CNN goes on to quote Terry McAuliffe on this question.

Oh yes, objective source he is.

Take. It. Away.

Brian1972 on February 24, 2015 at 10:14 AM

”Scott Walker, who is with us tonight, refused to acknowledge that President Obama is a Christian. Do you think the President of the United States should be judging other people’s faith?”

chuckfinlay on February 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM

That’s not a “gotcha” question. There’s a perfect answer to that.

“Of course I don’t. That’s why I agree with Scott that we shouldn’t be expected to say whether we think Barack Obama is a Christian or not. There’s more to being a Christian than just sitting in a church. It’s a relationship between a person and Jesus, and only God knows what is truly in the president’s heart.”

J.S.K. on February 24, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Will this be the good Hewitt or the Me-me-me-me Hewitt or one of his other personnas?

If the good Hewitt is on, it should be a bang-up debate, I think. Or, he could be doing a “get to know the candidates” interview which would be his M.O. from his program.

If he is egged on by his friends to ask silly questions, like the favorite football team, he will be wasting time. During his show, it does help to break the ice, but really, don’t we want all candidates to be on edge?

Or, are we going to get the Hewitt that asks the candidates about what books they read lately or if they have read the Looming Tower?

Truthfully, I think I will be more on edge than the candidates and praying for good Hewitt.

bumsteaddithers on February 24, 2015 at 11:07 AM

Will this be the good Hewitt or the Me-me-me-me Hewitt or one of his other personnas?

Seriously. And even his “Have you read the Looming Tower?” schtick is not appropriate for a presidential debate. We’re basically replacing Stephanopoulos-gotchas with Hewitt-gotchas. Whatever…

Wouldn’t it be great if the candidates debated? With just a single moderator who simply, I don’t know, moderated?

BocaJuniors on February 24, 2015 at 11:16 AM

Ed,

The contraception thing was most definitely NOT a “silliness” as you state, so dismissively. It was probably a carefully coordinated wedge of an attack line that the Democrats plotted with George Stephanopoulos! They got months of mileage out of it in that campaign. The Romney campaign could not do much about it, since they were trying to prove a negative.

When you, too, think that such a devastating line of attack was a “silliness” and a distraction, it tells me why the Republicans are always left sputtering in outrage at the things Democrats get away with.

I really wish there were Republicans who would stick it to the Democrats with the same relish that the Democrats show. Until then, I expect the Democrats will clean their clock in the Presidential elections.

I stil remember the disgust I felt when John McCain told me, at the end of his losing campaign: “My friend, I will fight for you!” Still using the future tense on the last day of his campaign!

Indian_Raj_in_California on February 24, 2015 at 11:18 AM

Very good to hear this.

cat_owner on February 24, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Hewitt is a big amnesty pusher, and so is CNN

Just say no to RINO debates

Senator Philip Bluster on February 24, 2015 at 12:20 PM

You know, I’ve never been to the Reagan Presidential Library. Hey, boss …

I was never much of a Reagan fan growing up. But my wife and kids and I went to the library a few years ago during a visit to Simi Valley. We were all moved by the experience, and I have developed a better-late-than-never respect for what he both attempted and accomplished during his presidency. He wasn’t perfect, but he had a strength of vision that we are sorely missing at this point.

We could do much worse than having someone of his calibre running for the Republican ticket in 2016. I’m really hoping that type of candidate rises to the top in the next few months. We need him (or her!).

nukemhill on February 24, 2015 at 12:29 PM

GOP chair Reince Priebus promised that changes would come to the GOP primary debates after the bloody internecine mess of 2011-12. Part of that promise involved getting conservative media a place at the table. This is certainly a major step in that direction, if not an outright fulfillment of that pledge.

Or, the opposite.

Didn’t the Mitt Romney – Candy Crowley debacle happen on CNN?

CNN can’t even be called “mainstream” because no one watches them. You are letting the left leaning, lowest rated network set the GOP primary agenda. Exactly the same as in 2012.

sauldalinsky on February 24, 2015 at 12:39 PM

oh boy…Salem and CNN will push open borders and gay marriage as far as any alphabet network will, what a departure/

DanMan on February 24, 2015 at 8:19 AM

Seriously. Real stretch for the ‘Conservative’ Media to team up with CNN.

TheMadHessian on February 24, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Absolutely no self awareness. You guys are not “conservative media”, call yourself the Republican media if you must but don’t pretend you’re conservative.

lowandslow on February 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

Amen

TheMadHessian on February 24, 2015 at 12:53 PM

Great news! Well, other than RedState.com’s Erick Erickson is a Democratic Party Activist in Conservative Clothing. Erick and LGF’s Charles Johnson are ‘Two Peas from the same Pod‘…

Karmi on February 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM

How long have you smoked crack? Erickson is more Conservative than HotAir, of course that’s pretty easy. And the Green Football’s moron, best just to ignore that Nazi.

TheMadHessian on February 24, 2015 at 12:57 PM

Go to Fox. Stay with Fox, don’t go anywhere else until after the primaries. If the liberals want to dissect what was said and claim that it wasn’t what was actually meant, they have to buy access from Fox.

It’s Republican primary debates we’re talking about here, there’s no reason to even care about any theoretical “target market” that’s at all left of center, because if you win any of those voters at all you’ll be taking them away from Democrats, not from other Republicans. And with Fox’s domination of the market anyway, you can afford to make them come to you.

GrumpyOldFart on February 24, 2015 at 1:02 PM

Fox and every network, sans MSNBC, want to at least put up a facade of impartiality. It is foolish to think Fox would want to host every Republican primary debate. Reinforcing a caricature doesn’t help their bottom line.

almosthandsome on February 24, 2015 at 2:08 PM

You know who this helps? Mitt Romney.

How about scraping up a conservative like Noah?

Valiant on February 24, 2015 at 2:21 PM

Ed, you’d love the Reagan Library. I live here in Simi Valley, and have been there many times over the years for various events. Do what you can to promote yourself for the trip; you won’t regret it.

dpwiener on February 24, 2015 at 3:57 PM