Networks Skimp on Radical Questions at Dem Forum

The three networks on Tuesday mostly glossed over the Democratic candidates participating in Fusion's Monday night Brown and Black Forum in Iowa that included radical questions about “white privilege,” “white terrorism” and reparations. Instead, ABC and CBS focused on fun, light queries at the Iowa event. NBC ignored it entirely. 

On CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes allowed just one of the more incendiary questions to be mentioned. She explained, “Democratic candidates took questions from a panel at the minority oriented forum. But this one came from a college junior.” Cordes then featured a clip of a Drake University student demanding, “Secretary Clinton, can you tell us what the term white privilege means to you.” 

Other than that, Cordes veered towards the frivolous parts. She gushed, “A rapid fire round of questioning brought this revelation from the former first lady.” This clip followed between Clinton and Fusion’s Alicia Menendez: 

ALICIA MENENDEZ: Best rumor you've ever heard about yourself. 

CLINTON: Oh! My favorite, when I was in the White house, one of the tabloids published this amazing picture. It was my head and there were arms coming around and the headline was, Hillary's secret alien baby. 

Over on Good Morning America, Menendez cheered that Bernie Sanders is “also taking time out for a few laughs.” Reporter Cecilia Vega included this snippet: 

MENENDEZ Is it off-brand for a democratic socialist to live in a mansion like the White House?

SANDERS: Well, I would consider it more like public housing.

MENENDEZ: Nice public housing. 

As noted by the MRC’s Curtis Houck, the forum included this question: “Do you believe that white terrorism and extremism is as much a threat to some in this country as something like ISIS?” 

Tell the Truth 2016

Despite a four-hour run time, NBC's Today skipped the forum. Instead, Matt Lauer spent the show at the White House and interviewed the President. 

For more on the forum, go here

A transcript of the January 12 GMA segment is below: 


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to turn to he race for the White House now and the gloves are off between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton like never before. With new polls showing a dead heat just 20 days before the first votes, they faced off in Iowa last night and ABC's Cecilia Vega is on the trail in Des Moines. Good morning, Cecilia. 

CECILIA VEGA: Did you say heat, George? Good morning to you from a freezing Iowa. This time, 20 days from now as you say we will know who won the Iowa caucuses. But this morning, Hillary Clinton is feeling the pressure and Bernie Sanders is pouncing. They were not on stage together but overnight a Democratic candidates' forum hosted by ABC’s sister network Fusion, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton going head-to-head. 

JORGE RAMOS: Have you noticed this lately that she has been getting more aggressive with you? 


RAMOS: Why is that? 

SANDERS: It could be that the inevitable candidate for the Democratic nomination may not be so inevitable today. 

HILLARY CLINTON: I have laid out specifically my tax plans and my friend, Senator Sanders, has said he will lay out hit before the Iowa caucuses and I and others will be anxious to see them. 

VEGA: Battling it out not just with each other, but going after the Republican frontrunner too. 

CLINTON: He was basically a Democrat before he was a Republican. 

VEGA: Also taking time out for a few laughs. 

ALICIA MENENDEZ Is it off-brand for a democratic socialist to live in a mansion like the White House?

SANDERS: Well, I would consider it more like public housing.

MENENDEZ: Nice public housing. 

VEGA: And across the aisle, the laughs continued. Donald Trump on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, confident as ever. 

DONALD TRUMP: An extraordinarily handsome person. I have a beautiful head of hair. 

VEGA: And, of course, on the attack — 

TRUMP: I think she's got maybe a race that's going to be a little tougher. I think she'll win, I guess. 

VEGA: — when it comes to Hillary Clinton. 

TRUMP: I haven't even started on her yet, although last week I did a little bit, I guess. But we haven't even started. 

VEGA: Yeah, he is not letting up. And right now the Clinton campaign is trying to lower expectations. One campaign insider telling me the mood inside camp Clinton is not necessarily nervous but the word is realistic, George. 20 days to go.

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