In case you missed it, last night we reported that one of the YouTube questions came from a Hillary Clinton campaign co-chairman. You can read that and see video of the question here,
However, this whole thing is now erupting into a scandal and we have lots of information to report on.
First, here is CNN’s Anderson Cooper, debate moderater, sort of apologizing for letting Gen. Keith H. Kerr slip through with a question:
Second, here’s a report from The Politico:
The retired general who asked about gays and lesbians serving in the military at the CNN/YouTube Republican debate on Wednesday is a co-chairman of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s National Military Veterans group.
Retired Brig. Gen. Keith H. Kerr was named a co-chairman of the group this month, according to a campaign press release.
He was also active in John F. Kerry’s 2004 campaign for president.
Kerr asked candidates â€œwhy you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.â€
After the debate, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett said on a CNN panel that he was being told Kerr was involved with the Democratic presidential campaign of Clinton, a New York senator.
He worked for Kerry too and they still didn’t discover this!
Apparently CNN did check him out, a little:
David Bohrman, a CNN senior vice president and executive producer of the debate, later said: “We regret this and apologize to the Republican candidates. We never would have used the general’s question had we known that he was connected to any presidential candidate.”
Kerr told CNN that he had not done work for the Clinton campaign, and CNN verified before the debate that he had not contributed money to any candidate, the broadcaster said in a blog post after the debate.
So he hasn’t donated money but apparently they failed to discover he’s a co-chairman of her campaign. CNN is claiming they were completely unaware of the fact that Kerr was named, this month, as a co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Here is Joe Scarborough on MSNBC wasting no time in taking CNN to the ropes over the controversy:
Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse for CNN, that they knew and let it slide, or that they couldn’t spend 5 minutes checking out the source of each question. Either way, it’s completely irresponsible not to disclose the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign is asking questions at a Republican debate. Can you imagine if a Giuliani campaign member was asking questions to Hillary at a Democratic debate?
According to Fox News, Hillary’s camp denied prior knowledge:
Clinton spokesman Phil Singer has denied that the campaign had any knowledge ahead of time that Kerr was going to participate in the debate, and Kerr said he did not inform the campaign of his plans.
Who knows if that’s the truth. Either way, it just proves that mainstream news organizations get sloppy and things like this happen. I’m doubting that CNN took orders from the Clinton campaign to orchestrate this whole thing. It’s more so just CNN’s lack of research into their questioners.