Thursday, November 29, 2007

CNN Debate: "Something Between a Fiasco and a Disgrace"

That's Byron York's assessment at National Review's The Corner. To which I respond, how about both?

There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said about CNN's appalling lack of candor regarding the questioners they used for the Republican Debate. If you haven't yet caught up to speed on the big story of the last 24 hours, the Republican debate questioners included activists for Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and Richardson; people who have worked with Democrats Dick Durbin and Jane Harmon; and a CAIR intern.

Particular kudos go to Michelle Malkin for her tireless work digging and exposing the plants.

From a comment left after Howard Kurtz's report in the Washington Post: "So let me get this straight... in the Democrat YouTube debates, the 'undecided questioners' are Democratic activists and in the Republican YouTube debates, the 'undecided questioners' are Democratic activists."

That's it in a nutshell.

And as Fred Barnes points out, many of the questions were designed to make Republicans look bad, and weren't on substantive issues voters are likely to care about. Aren't voters a little more interested in the Iraq surge, for example, than gays in the military?

Rush Limbaugh was on a tear this morning, asserting that the entire style of the debate, starting with the opening song, demeaned the office of the Presidency.

A roundup of further stories worth your time: Wizbang, Power Line here, here, and here; Patterico; John Podhoretz; and Instapundit.

CNN has tried to defend the debate today, saying that what mattered were the questions, not the questioners. Surely even CNN doesn't really believe that. They know that credibility rests on full disclosure. You simply can't have "undecided voters" who are actually activists.

CNN either knew what they were doing, or they were completely incompetent. Or both.


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