“We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
As I watched the last democratic presidential candidate debate, I mentioned to someone on instant messenger that CNN likely rigged the debate to favor Hillary. It was a facetious comment, but I did think it was odd Clinton was handed all the softball questions and a crowd which supported her every move. As it turns out, I was right.
A conservative leaning blogger by the name of Dan Riehl started digging up a couple of strange coincidences, and soon the facts spilled over to other blogs here and here. Even the New York Times picked up on CNN’s stacking the analysis deck with Clinton insiders. Mark Ambinder of the Atlantic Monthly picked up on an odd question (“Do you prefer diamonds or pearls?”) supposedly undecided voter “Maria Luisa” asked Senator Clinton. Turns out the young lady outted CNN’s selecting scripting the question as the finale to the debate on her myspace page. Awesome.
It gets better – she’s not eligible to vote. On top of that, she’s interning for Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, so it’s not clear she’s just a regular gal as suggested. The picture to the right was from her bio on UNLV‘s website before it was removed which described a strikingly similar girl who is “an immigrant on a quest to become an American citizen.”
Dan Riehl also dig up information on another supposedly undecided voter, who apparently wasn’t so undecided back in 2003 when she served as a political director in the Arkansas Democratic Party. Yep, the same Arkansas the Clintons are from.
If the “undecided voters” aren’t bad enough for you, the discussion moderators even altered questions. I almost fell out of my seat when I saw CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux redirect a health care question into an abortion question.
As I see it, there are two takeaways from this, which I think we can all agree on (independent of your politics or political affiliations):
1. President Eisenhower’s advice above is timeless, and I’m glad people are outting the Clinton News Network playing favorites. Shame on both CNN for doing this and Hillary’s campaign for its tacit support of this sham.
Final score: Emergent Democracy 1, Cronyism 0.