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CNN pledges no Dem "gotchas" in Republican YouTube debate -- so why did CNN allow partisan "gotchas"

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EV_Ares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:32 AM
Original message
CNN pledges no Dem "gotchas" in Republican YouTube debate -- so why did CNN allow partisan "gotchas"
In a November 21 post to The New York Times' political blog, The Caucus, staff writer Ariel Alexovich purported to give a "sneak peek" at how questions for the November 28 CNN/YouTube Republican presidential candidates debate will be selected. Alexovich wrote that "CNN wants to ensure that ... Wednesday's Republican event is 'a debate of their party,' " and quoted debate executive producer and CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman saying, "There are quite a few things you might describe as Democratic 'gotchas,' and we are weeding those out." Alexovich further wrote that, according to Bohrman, questions that "involve asking the candidates to defend their opposition to gay marriage and abortion," which Bohrman called "lobbying grenades," "would be disqualified by the CNN selection team." Yet, CNN gave no indication that it similarly weeded out Republican "gotchas" for the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate; indeed, several questions asked during that debate could be described as Republican "gotchas," including one in which the questioner echoed the enduring Republican myth of Democrats as taxers and spenders: "I'd like to know, if the Democrats come into office, are my taxes going to rise like usually they do when a Democrat gets into office?" CNN also aired two separate questions on same-sex marriage.

In a July 14 article, the Associated Press reported that when asked about "guidelines on what kind of questions were most likely to make it on the air," Bohrman said that he would eliminate questions that were "obscene or inappropriate." In contrast to the statements Bohrman made to The Caucus regarding the Republican debate, there is no indication in the AP story that CNN intended to make the July 23 Democratic debate a "debate of their party," or that CNN was attempting to "weed ... out" the "Republican 'gotchas.' " From the AP article:

Anyone who wants to submit a question may do so by uploading a video clip through YouTube. All the videos that are submitted will be posted on the site. CNN will then choose as many as 50 videos to use during the debate.

Asked for guidelines on what kind of questions were most likely to make it on the air, Bohrman said they should be concise -- no more than 30 seconds -- provocative, and creative.

"We're not going to have anything obscene or inappropriate, but I think we'll get some very inventive questions," he said.

Moreover, during his introduction to the July 23 debate, CNN host and debate moderator Anderson Cooper said that "t was pretty easy ... to eliminate some of the questions" submitted, and then aired a video montage of "some of the videos and the questions you're not going to see tonight, and why." Cooper said some questions were eliminated if the questioner "ress up in costume," or if the questioner "seemed to use their kids to ask adult questions." Cooper also said that "ust because a video was popular online" did not indicate that it would be asked during the debate, and that while "one campaign made an excellent effort to try to get a particular question into tonight's debate," such an attempt to "stuff the ballot box, so to speak," would not result in the question being aired. However, Cooper gave no indication that CNN removed from consideration any questions that may have been submitted by Republicans.

Media Matters for America compiled the following list of possible Republican "gotchas" asked of candidates during the July 23 CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate:

The gotchas & rest of article @ link: http://mediamatters.org/items/200711270007?f=h_top
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MrsT Donating Member (427 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. Nice timing
on their part.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. The pukes have to get their questions scrubbed clean.
Aw, they're so pitiful.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. So . . . no animated snowmen?
And they're apparently on double alert to make sure that none of the questions embarrass one candidate at the expense of another. Sounds like two hours of "What's your favorite color?" and "Can the Patriots go undefeated?" Fascinating questions, to be sure, but hardly the stuff of governance.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. You know why they allowed GOP gotchas for the Dems

but are weeding out gotchas before the GOP debate. They are so transparent.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. CNN further elaborated on the questions they will be selecting.
In accordance with our no-gotcha question policy, we will not be airing questions related to the Iraq War, the economy, health care, global warming, wire-tapping, the outing of Plame, rendition flights, torture, or disaster relief. Questions about events that happened in the past will not be selected; this debate is not an excuse for finger-pointing. Hypothetical questions about events that may happen in the future will not be aired.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. LOL
You can't critique a Republican in any of these instances

Before they screw up
While they are screwing up
After they screw up

Other than that they are more than willing to take questions
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. CNN is part of the GOP Media Establishment -- the base needs to be reassured
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