CNN has stepped in it again. After the CNN-sponsored Democrat debate in Las Vegas, conservative bloggers found some of the "undecided voters" asking questions of the candidates were actually Democrat plants. (So much for "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.") This situation left CNN with egg on its face, so what did they do?
They let Democrat plants in the Republican debate last night.
Conservative bloggers have found more than a few Democrat operatives supporting Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards asking questions of the Republican candidates, also under the guise of being "undecided voters." How bad was it? Someone from a previous CNN-YouTube debate wearing an Edwards 08 t-shirt was allowed to ask a question while wearing a shirt that did not note her previous allegiance.
Boy, if you think CNN had egg on its face after the Democrat debate fiasco, they have an entire henhouse on their face right now. Anderson Cooper said in an interview before the debate, in essence, that it wasn't his job to weed out the plants. Then, as soon as he found out there were plants, he said CNN would have reported it had they known. Well, gee, wouldn't you have to be trying to FIND the plants to know they were there, AC?
CNN loves to tout how it's the "most trusted name in cable news." After being caught twice allowing Democrat plants in debates, I think it's time to strip them of that title, if in fact they are the most trusted name in cable news. On the other side, CNN should have an independent investigator look into their practices regarding the debates and find out where the failures occurred. Then, CNN needs to do the right thing and fire those individuals publicly and with full disclosure.
Will it happen? I doubt it. CNN will issue a mea culpa, promise to do better next time, and be allowed to skate. Media critics , both in the mainstream media and in the new media, should not let that happen. At best, CNN showed a lack of oversight in not screening the questioners better. At worst, it's an example of overt media bias.
There will be those who will dismiss the Democrat plant story as no big deal. Let me ask you: would you feel the same way if Fox News had used Republican plants in its Republican debate? And if you say that Fox News already did, I want proof. And if they did, I'll criticize them, too. Any media outlet that actively tries to deceive the public as CNN did deserves to be criticized, regardless of ideological affiliations.
Either way, CNN was dumb for participating in the purposeful deception of the public. One would expect a cable news channel to have higher standards.