Last night CNN and Larry King gave the Democratic party a generous election year gift. King’s guests consisted of 9liberal Democrat Senators, four of whom are up for reelection in November, and 0 Republicans. Larry King noted that a few weeks ago he had the Republicans on. However, that program, on May 18th, was designed to have Republicans fight each other and show divisions in the Republican party. But last night, Larry King made it clear this was going to be an opportunity for these Democratic Senators to show unity and attack the Bush Administration and the Republican Party:
"Tonight, exclusive, all 9 Democratic women of the United States Senate [Senators Hillary Clinton-NY, Barbara Boxer-CA, Dianne Feinstein-CA, Patty Murray-WA, Maria Cantwell-WA, Debbie Stabenow-MI, Barbara Mikulski-MD, Blanche Lincoln-AK, and Mary Landrieu-LA]. Could one of them become the first female President? How do they think Bush is doing, and how would they do it differently? Together for the hour next on Larry King Live."
King invited these Senators to attack Republicans on issues such as energy policy, the economy, stem cell research, and college education, just to name a few. In fact the most challenging question King asked was whether the other Senators would support Hillary Clinton if she ran for President. A transcript of the show can be viewed here.
Republicans watching the show last evening may have been outraged at the lack of balance on the program. However, King reminded viewers that he had the Republicans on "a few weeks ago." He was talking about the May 18th edition, and it was a far cry from what transpired last night. The tone of that broadcast was not the same as the one he took with the Democrats. King opened on May 18th:
"Tonight, have President Bush and his party become a house divided? Republicans from across the political spectrum speak out on why conservatives in the GOP-controlled Congress have turned against President Bush on some key issues and what he can do about it."
And, instead of having on Republicans who agreed with each other inviting them on to promote the Republican agenda and show a unified party, King had on Republicans who disagree and gave the appearance of a fractured party. Which ,by judging from his introduction, was his intent. A transcript can be viewed here.
Obviously, the tone and purpose of the May 18th program with Republicans was much more hostile than the 1 hour election year special for the Democrats yesterday. That is, while King put the Republicans on the defensive when they were on his program, he set up the Democrats to go on the offensive with their policies and to attack Republicans and the priorities of the Republican party.
While Larry King may be able to say he had almost an equal amount of Republicans as Democrats on the program with these two broadcasts, the content was far from equal. It appears King and CNN gave the Democrats a generous election year gift, a full hour of free campaign advertisement time.