Americans that spent their Saturday evening watching the Republican presidential debate witnessed the height of media hypocrisy.
Former Clinton adviser turned ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos actually asked attendees - with a straight face no less - if marital infidelity should be an issue in the campaign (video follows with highlights and commentary):
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Should voters consider marital fidelity when making their choice for president? And Governor Perry, in South Carolina this week, you said this is an important issue. Why?
Imagine a man who served former President Bill Clinton asking that question of Republican candidates in 2011. Didn't anyone at ABC News see the obvious hypocrisy in this?
Apparently not, for after Perry answered, Stephanopoulos continued with the absurdity that likely every viewer except folks associated with ABC News noticed like an 800 pound gorilla in the room:
STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is about its relevance to the presidential race. Let me just follow up quickly. Do you think a candidate who breaks his marital vows is more likely to break faith with voters?
For those that are wondering if I'm making this up, please check the video: Stephanopoulos really asked Perry this.
Do you think he was as concerned about "a candidate who breaks his marital vows [being] more likely to break faith with voters" when the man he was working for in 1992 was accused of having a 12-year affair with a woman named Gennifer Flowers?
The theater of the absurd was far from over:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Santorum, you were on This Week last Sunday and you summed up your position as character counts. You said this is relevant as well.
If you're noticing that so far everyone other than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was getting a chance to answer the question, that's because ABC News clearly orchestrated this so that the current frontrunner would be placed on the hot seat and wouldn't get a chance to respond until all of his opponents - including moderator Stephanopoulos - had taken their shots as the camera continually panned back to an obviously uncomfortable Gingrich:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Paul, what's your view on this? [...]
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, you chose to make your family and your faith a feature of your first ad here in Iowa this week. Why? [...]
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get Congresswoman Bachmann and then Speaker Gingrich, you wrap this up. [...]
STEPHANOPOULOS: Speaker Gingrich, what do voters need to know about this issue from your perspective?
After watching all of his opponents and the moderator speak on this matter, Gingrich was finally allowed to address it.
Readers are reminded that weeks ago, Herman Cain talked about the high-tech lynching done to him by Politico and the media.
On Saturday evening, another frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination was so treated, this time by the former adviser to a president that everyone in America believes was a serial adulterer.
Shame on ABC News for this obviously partisan display by a man that certainly shouldn't be pointing fingers concerning the impact of marital infidelity on a political campaign.