CNN Panders to Clinton

From Fox News:

Maria Parra-Sandoval, 22, a senior political science major at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said she wanted to ask the Democratic frontrunner where she stood on the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear repository in Nevada, an issue about which she said she wrote a paper as a finalist for a Truman Scholarship.

Following the student’s complaints, CNN released the following statement:

“As a service to our viewers and the candidates, the audience questioners were encouraged not to ask questions about topics that had already been addressed during the debate. The questions, including both Yucca Mountain and the diamonds/pearls question, were entirely the questioner’s own.

“Yucca had already been discussed, so with less than two minutes left in the debate, CNN asked the student if she’d like to ask her ‘diamonds or pearls’ question. The student agreed to ask her question, and it seemed like a light-hearted way to end the two-hour debate.”

Yucca Mountain had been discussed earlier in the night, but not by Clinton.

Parra-Sandoval said CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux told her right before the end of the debate to go with the following question:

“This is a fun question for you. Do you prefer diamonds or pearls?”

I suppose a backlash will result from the rest of the candidates on both sides of the fence.

Update by Nate

I’m not sure if this was pandering or just discretion by CNN to go with a short question to wrap things up. Anything they did would be scrutinized because of the reports earlier in the week that Hillary’s campaign was leaning on Wolf Blitzer to go easy on her. They should have just nixed her question entirely since they were already well over time.

For the record, here’s the video of the question for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it:

It was sort of funny and lightened the mood a bit.

  • Randy Crawford

    Hillary’s planted questions have been going on for months, and the only amazing part of the story is that the media has taken so long to pick up on what has been happening with her campaign. When Hillary spoke at the Quality Inn/Highlander in Iowa City on April 3, 2007, she arrived late and kept the crowd waiting for about 40 minutes as she huddled in a back room with Johnson County (Iowa) and Des Moines party functionaries. Once she was introduced by Johnson Co. Supervisor Sally Stutsman and former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, she gave her prepared speech and then took about a half-hour’s worth of questions from the audience, which surrounded her on four sides with Hillary at the middle of the indoor open square space.
    To put on the appearance of herself as the family values/loves kids candidate, about midway through her Q & A session Hillary took a rather long and highly scripted question which a schoolgirl spent about a minute reading from a piece of paper she (the girl herself) held, as the girl faced in the direction of the media risers and their cameras. The girl had been positioned in the front row, at the center of her quadrant of the audience. After Hillary gave her “isn’t that cute” response, evidently imitated from the style pioneered by Art Linkletter half a century ago, she resumed taking questions from adults.
    Finally, after another 10-15 minutes of Hillary ignoring children, Christie Vilsack rose and interjected, “it’s almost time to go, time for one more question.” On that signal, Hillary went straight to a schoolboy located in the front row, middle of the audience, 180 degrees opposite from the schoolgirl. Once Hillary gave another “isn’t that cute” response to the boy with his back to the cameras, the Q & A was indeed over, and the crowd started dispersing.
    The whole thing was as patently contrived at the schoolkids who provided “happy Chinese children” background for Nixon on his historic trip to China, viz. kids who had their jump ropes and hair ribbons confiscated as soon as Nixon left his outdoor appearance site. So, I went to look over the kids in the Quality/Highlander audience a little more closely. The girl and her mother were rewarded by having their picture taken with Hillary. The boy was wearing a Hillary staff badge. Just prior to this event, Hillary had promised ex-Gov. Tom Vilsack, who was there with Christie, that she would help him retire his campaign debt from his recently failed presidential bid. –END–

  • Josh

    What A Surprise! CNN and the Clinton Campaign Planting more questions so Hillary can avoid taking a stance on yet again another issue.