Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hillary Plants A Question In YouTube-CNN Debate?

Hillary, much criticized for planting questions (here, here), apparently succeeded in planting one tonight in the YouTube-CNN GOP debate.

The question, on the candidates' position on gays in the military, was asked by retired brigadier general Keith Kerr, who lived in the closet throughout his 40-year service to the country.

Kerr is much more than a YouTube video submitter who got his question about the candidate's position on gays in the military on tonight's debate.

He's even much more than being, to my knowledge, the only non-candidate, citizen advocate of a radical position to be given the microphone for several minutes during a nationally televised debate -- not to answer or ask a question, but to harangue.

What Kerr really is is an official part of Hillary's team, having served on her lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender steering committee. The CNN news release attempts to gloss over this scandal in the making, saying only:

A retired brigadier general Keith Kerr, who is gay, asked candidates if they thought U.S. military personnel were professional enough to work with gay and lesbian troops.

CNN later learned that Kerr served on Clinton's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender steering committee.

Note CNN refers to Kerr's role on the task force in the past-tense, "served," but a news release dated June 2007 shows Kerr as a member of the task force as recently as less than six months ago. If indeed Kerr is no longer a member of the task force, is it because his question was selected, so he temporarily stepped down? That would be Clintonesque.

The CNN release also says the network learned of this affiliation "later," but doesn't bother to explain how they learned of it or when. Does "later" mean after the debate aired? Before or after they handed Kerr the mike?

Who know what when? It's probable, with all the gays, lesbians and probably transgenders employed at CNN, and with the support Hillary gets from highly placed CNN execs, that there would be awareness of her GLT task force in CNN's news room. Therefore, I'd like CNN to support its position that they found out "later."

Update: Instapundit reports,
"MORE: An on-air apology from Anderson Cooper, saying that CNN didn't know that Gen. Kerr was on Hillary's steering committee: "If we had known that we would have disclosed it before using the question, if we used the question at all."
So perhaps it was an innocent mistake by CNN -- but was it a deliberate plant by Hil's campaign?

This episode reveals a weakness in the YouTube debate format. Clearly, more policing is needed, and just as clearly, we can't trust the MSM to do it.

It's worth continuing to work to improve the format, because it is superior to the sorry excuse for what passes for debates today. Because the media has cast itself as the moderator, directing what will be asked of whom, in what order, the debates are fatally flawed by the preening peacocks who stink up the process with their cheap-cologne-like egos, and not-so-hidden biases.

In the YouTube debate, Anderson Cooper's on-camera role is simply that of celebrity host with a bit of traffic cop thrown in. That's a massive improvement of format -- but with this revelation of Kerr's background, we see that Cooper's off-camera role of selecting which 30 or so of the 5,000 submitted videos (up from 3,000 in the Dem debate!), it's obvious CNN has too much power, and that the network obviously is not capable of handling that power responsibly.

CNN -- and the Clinton campaign -- have some tough questions to answer.

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