Saturday, December 01, 2007

CNN failed when it ran the recent Republican debate

The Los Angeles Times makes the case that the way CNN ran last Wednesday's debate proves that CNN stands for Corrupt News Network. CNN chose the questions that were asked and controlled the time spent on the "debate." What did they do?
THE United States is at war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the economy is writhing like a snake with a broken back, oil prices are relentlessly climbing toward $100 a barrel and an increasing number of Americans just can't afford to be sick with anything that won't be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

So, when CNN brought the Republican presidential candidates together this week for what is loosely termed a "debate," what did the country get but a discussion of immigration, Biblical inerrancy and the propriety of flying the Confederate flag?

In fact, this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it. [Snip]

why did CNN make immigration the keystone of this debate? What standard dictated the decision to give that much time to an issue so remote from the majority of voters' concerns? The answer is that CNN's most popular news-oriented personality, Lou Dobbs, has made opposition to illegal immigration and free trade the centerpiece of his neonativist/neopopulist platform. In fact, Dobbs led into Wednesday's debate with a good solid dose of immigrant bashing. His network is in a desperate ratings battle with Fox News and, in a critical prime-time slot, with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. So, what's good for Dobbs is good for CNN.

In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans' debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you've made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

That's corruption
, and it's why the Republican candidates had to spend more than half an hour "debating" an issue on which their differences are essentially marginal -- and, more important, why GOP voters had to sit and wait, mostly in vain, for the issues that really concern them to be discussed.
The Democrats have abandoned FOX since it is bought and paid for by the Republican Party conservatives and couldn't report an honest unbiased story if their life depended on it. CNN doesn't even have the excuse that they were bought by a political party. They're just so desperate to increase viewership in their increasingly irrelevant so-called news organization that they, too have abandoned all journalistic integrity.

One other point I found especially obnoxious and biased, and so did this reviewer. It was the disgusting and Unamerican question about Biblical Inerrancy:
...the wickedness of using some crackpot's query about the candidates' stand on Biblical inerrancy to do something that's anathema in our system -- to probe people's individual religious consciences. American journalists quite legitimately ask candidates about policy issues -- say, abortion -- that might be influenced by their religious or philosophical convictions. We do not and should not ask them about those convictions themselves. It's nobody's business whether a candidate believes in the virgin birth, whether God gave an oral Torah to Moses at Sinai, whether the Buddha escaped the round of birth and rebirth or whether an angel appeared to Joseph Smith.

The latter point is relevant because CNN's noxious laundering of this question through the goofy YouTube mechanism quite clearly was designed to embarrass Mitt Romney -- who happens to be a Mormon -- and, secondarily, to help Mike Huckabee -- who, as a Baptist minister, had a ready answer, and who happens to be television's campaign flavor of the month.

Beside considerations like these, CNN's incompetent failure to weed out Democratically connected questioners pales.
So CNN was venal, incompetent, biased and corrupt in the way they ran the Republican debate. The authors final conclusion is mine also:
CNN has failed in its responsibilities to the political process and it's time for the leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties to take the network out of our electoral affairs.

Read the article. It's worth it.

CNN, on the other hand, has proven itself worthless.

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