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NYT: A Clinton Friends Role Sets Off Intense Criticism of CNN and a Re-examination

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ariesgem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:09 AM
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Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared for a battle with her Democratic rivals at the CNN-sponsored debate on Thursday night. She did not have much to fear from the postdebate round table.

Among the experts trotted out by CNN to comment was James Carville, a Democratic strategist and CNN commentator who is also a close friend of Mrs. Clinton and a contributor to her campaign.

Mr. Carvilles presence aroused the fury of rivals and bloggers. They called it a conflict of interest and criticized CNN.

Would it kill CNN to disclose that James Carville is a partisan Clinton supporter when talking about the presidential race? Markos Moulitsas wrote on his liberal blog, Daily Kos. Mr. Moulitsas drew hundreds of comments.

Tom Reynolds, a spokesman for Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, said: What you saw last night lacked full disclosure. The average viewer out in middle America may not know the inside-the-Beltway connection.

A CNN executive conceded that the cable channel should have more fully disclosed Mr. Carvilles past and that it was discussing how to handle such situations.

The criticisms were among a series against CNN for how it managed the debate, a two-hour event in Las Vegas that ran nearly 15 minutes late. Viewers criticized segments like the opening, when candidates bounded onto the stage in a style reminiscent of a sports event.

Voters and commentators wrote online about how the audience cheered and booed, the way the CNN hosts reframed audience questions and whether it was correct to demand yes-or-no answers to complex questions.

Maria Luisa Parra-Sandoval, a student who asked Mrs. Clinton whether she preferred diamonds or pearls (Mrs. Clinton answered both), said she had prepared a list of more serious questions but had been directed by CNN to ask her trivial question.

CNN said the debate was the most watched in this campaign, drawing more than four million viewers.

Viewers directed most of their criticism at the commentary. The channel has been ridiculed by conservative groups as the Clinton News Network, partly because its commentators include Mr. Carville and Paul Begala, an adviser to President Bill Clinton.

snip >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CNN executives said they routinely reminded viewers of Mr. Carvilles affiliation in his segments. On Thursday, Anderson Cooper, the CNN host who moderated the round table, said, I should point out David Gergen was an adviser in the Bill Clinton White House, as, of course, was James Carville.

That was not enough for Jonathan Klein, the CNN president who said in an interview that the disclosure fell short.

Hes not on the Hillary payroll, but hes on the Hillary bandwagon, and that should be disclosed as much as we can, Mr. Klein said. I wasnt comfortable with it myself as I watched it.

He has disclosed all of this previously and repeatedly on our air, he continued. He happened not to last night, and its an unfortunate omission.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:16 AM
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1. I missed the debate because I had to work, but I sure got a lot of feedback
from friends that did watch it. They particularly objected to the booing (probably by campaign staffers), the first time this year that a debate audience was permitted to participate in that manner.

As to OP, having CNN plant a question (the diamonds or pearl) is far more odious than having a campaign do it, as Hillary was pillored for doing in Iowa.

Perhaps Time-Warner should disclose its ties to the Clintons.
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