Here’s an update on the St. Petersburg Times report on CNN’s snarky response to conservative bloggers. Eric Deggans, one of the reporters on the CNN-YouTube debate, brought his own skepticism on Friday to CNN’s responses to the secret Hillary Campaign questioner on his blog The Feed. (Deggans is not a conservative, as my earlier Koulter Klan blog illustrates.)
Deggans mentions the anti-CNN complaints of bloggers on both sides, but suggests the liberals should consider how they would respond if the shoe was on their foot: "even though some liberal bloggers are saying the political background of questioners shouldn't matter, I have a hard time believing they would have tolerated seeing Hillary Clinton asked a tough question on an issue important to conservatives by someone with hidden ties to Rudolph Giuliani or George W. Bush."
That’s not to mention how nuclear Team Hillary would go if that happened. She thinks it’s a "gotcha question" when Tim Russert asks yea or nay on a policy question. Here’s the Deggans download:
In response [to bloggers], CNN offered a defense that couldn't explain away two key problems: political director Sam Feist told me yesterday the cable channel focused on the questions, not the questioners, refusing to "provide a ideological litmus test" to everyone who submitted a question.
But if the background of the questioners doesn't matter, why did CNN debate chief David Bohrman apologize for using Kerr and say they wouldn't have aired his question had they knew of his Democratic political ties? And since they figured out the final 60 to 70 possible questions for air in the 24 hours before the debate, how could CNN have possibly vetted all those questioners for significant ties to Democratic campaigns?
Unfortunately, as much as CNN officials bragged about making a Republican debate for Republicans, with questions submitted by average people, their question selection process made it impossible to keep out hidden activists. But I doubt anyone would have noticed, if they hadn't handed a signature spotlight moment to a questioner who they hadn't vetted much at all.
And even though some liberal bloggers are saying the political background of questioners shouldn't matter, I have a hard time believing they would have tolerated seeing Hillary Clinton asked a tough question on an issue important to conservatives by someone with hidden ties to Rudolph Giuliani or George W. Bush.
It's an ironic turn, given that so much initial concern about the CNN/YouTube debates centered on whether the questions would be good enough. Turns out, we all should have been playing closer attention to who was asking the questions -- especially CNN.