Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Can you Spin a Debate?

The CNN/YouTube Republican Debate has damaged the reputation of CNN for its "failure" to properly vet the questioners before airing their questions. Even a simple Google search, it is claimed, would have revealed the partisan alignments of the questioners (as though their leading, self-serving questions didn't do that).

Yet the questions were selected from YouTube submissions. The process was done on line. And not a one of the questioners was a member of the "general public". All had some quirky political connection.

The questions appeared to have been chosen to subtly cast the Republican candidates in a poor light, if possible. And make no doubt about it, the General was known to the CNN staffers. No one brings a person like that to a debate, flies him out and puts him up at network expense, seats him conveniently, and then allows an off-topic non-issue question (designed to make the candidates appear intolerant) to be asked without knowing who he is.

This was a subtle attempt to spin an entire debate that backfired.

CNN vetted the carefully selected questioners - they just hoped no one else would.

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