LA Times Editorial: “CNN: Corrupt News Network”

Some harsh, but seemingly appropriate words for CNN concerning the CNN/YouTube Republican debate from, of all places, the Los Angeles Times editorial board:

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.

They do make an excellent point, have we heard enough about confederate flag questions? Seriously, who actually cares about that compared to major issues?

Why didn’t they discuss the decline of the dollar, the trade deficit to China, the threat of Iran, energy independence, or a whole number of other much more important topics. Out of the 5,000 questions, I can guarantee more useful questions were submitted than a Red Sox/Yankees question.

The editorial continues:

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. That’s particularly true because that same Pew poll reported findings of particular relevance to Republican voters, the vast majority of whom continue to support the war in Iraq.

I’ve got to say, I agree with the LA Times on this issue. While the debate was entertaining, and had the highest viewership yet, over 4 million, it lacked a lot of substance.

Read the full editorial here.

Update from The Angry American: More information regarding the questioners has come to light. For example did you know that the “retired gay general” is in fact a retired gay colonel who was given the rank of brigadier general in the national guard by Arnold Schwartzenegger. This so called “General” happens to be apart of Hilary Clinton’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Steering Committee. Also Anderson Cooper(ever so not the genius) unknowingly let us in on the fact that the question and the asker was indeed planted by making sure to ask the “General” if he believed his question was answered to his satisfaction. Thus letting us know Cooper was fully aware of the intent of the question and it’s asker. They were purposely hoodwinking the Republicans. Cooper was playing right up to every Democratic supporter who asked a question.

From Fox:

Ted Faturos, 20, a student at University of California, San Diego, asked a question about corn subsidies. It turns out the urban studies and planning major also worked as an intern for Democratic Rep. Jane Harman. John Hess, Harman’s chief of staff, issued a statement Thursday saying Faturos is no longer affiliated with the office.

Another questioner, Leeann Anderson, asked about the danger of lead toys from China. Anderson, an activist on the issue, is reportedly an assistant to Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers of America. The union endorsed Edwards earlier this month, and Anderson’s question is posted on the steelworkers’ YouTube page next to a picture of Edwards.

David McMillan, a screenwriter from Los Angeles who asked the candidates why they thought the vast majority of African Americans don’t vote Republican, has pictures of himself on his Web site attending a fundraiser for Barack Obama as well as several parodies bashing current and former Bush administration officials Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales.

I concur…..Corrupted News Network indeed.

The real kicker to the whole story is CNN admitted it stacked the deck with Democratic Party supporter’s questions and then DEFENDED it’s doing so. Gee what does that tell us about CNN?

  • Michael Jerryson

    I realize I am throwing my opinions around like peanuts, but I have to interject in here, once again.

    Yes, the debate lacked a lot in terms of ‘substantive’ issues (although I think the questions regarding the U.S war in Iraq and torture were not). But let’s understand the frame of this whole venture.

    It was a “YouTube” debate. The topic, alone, makes it quite provincial, and no, I am not suggesting that YouTube contributors are not bright people. What I am insinuating is that the way of filtering/evaluating important questions was limited.

    We have no idea what were the types of questions they received (all 5,000 of them). They did show about 50 or so ridiculous ones at the beginning, so we have to assume that perhaps a good 10-20% of the questions were throw aways.

    This L.A Times editorial seems more like a witch hunt. Blame the system, not the people involved in it. CNN hosted the YouTube debate. Consider “YouTube” questioning a failure, not CNN.

  • I will concede that probably 10-20% were throw aways.

    However, out of 5000, that still leaves like 4000 valid questions. I’m certain that pretty much every type of question would exist in that. Sure, some would be duplicates but come on, there must have been better more substantive questions.

    Did CNN have a an agenda to avoid tougher foreign policy questions in fear that the Republican candidates would come off sounding more hawkish on topics like Iran than the Democratic candidates? I’m not saying so, I’m just asking.

    I have not spent time looking through them all, but perhaps I will peruse them and see what gems they passed over in favor of confederate flag questions.

    And your opinions are always welcome, I like peanuts.

  • The Angry American

    CNN hosting the debate makes them the oversight. Who better to know what questions would be fitting, YouTube or CNN, ultimately I have to place the responsibility with CNN becuse en d the end they made the final choices on which questions were to be asked and as with any debate news organizations typically do this.

    I don’t agree that there is any witch hunt at all, I firmly belive sometimes things just are the way the are. And this happened to be a contrived set up that was poorly delivered.

  • Paul Rothstein

    I attempted to visit a web-site linked to CNN as the access path, which asked whether I supported Israel or the Palestine position regarding the current defensive efforts of Israel in stopping the multitude of random rocket attacks by Hamas upon the civilian population of Israel over the past several years. I find it interesting that when I tried to vote for Israel the server response was “Server temporarily unavailable” but when I returned to the site and attempted to vote for Palestinians my vote was accepted and counted. Is there any possible way your poll can have any credibility when votes for Israel are rejected and votes for Palestine are accepted. Whether by accident or by design your poll is invalid and if by design your organization has NO CREDIBILITY. I look forward to your response both privately to me and if you have any integrity, publicly to your viewing and listening audience. I have printed out the communication to the web site so I can provide printed documentation of my allegations.


    Paul L Rothstein