CNN people get paid a lot of money, and no one pays me anything to engage in media politics. Yet I could rig a debate much less crudely than they did. It would be easy – I would simply pick questions, from the thousands of suggestions, that would make the Republicans look bad. I would not pick Democrat activists to ask the questions, on the contrary I would pick Republicans or real independents. There is no need to present Democrats as Republicans or undecided people.
For example, on the Log Cabin (i.e. homosexual) Republican question – I would have picked a real Log Cabin Republican, not got an Obama supporter. Nor would I have got two John Edwards supporters in to pretend to be undecideds. And I certainly would not have got a person who is on two of Senator Clinton’s committees to ask a “when did you stop beating your wife” question (about why the evil Republican candidates did not think American men and women in uniform “were not professional enough to work with gays”) – and then given him a come back after the replies so that he could denounce the Republicans again.
It was just so crude, as were the “we did not know who these people were” lies afterwards. After all the “General” was not a random face on the internet – he had been carefully chosen and had been flown in. Why are the CNN people paid so much money, when then can not even rig a debate with any skill?
Only on the “gun control” stuff did they get close to doing the rigging game well. The people chosen to ask the questions were chosen because of their aggressive manner (which seems to have a been their real manner – i.e. they were not actors putting on a show). The subtext being “people who are against gun control are nasty”.
But the rest of the presentation was pathetic.
As for the candidates:
Mike Huckabee is supposed to have done really well. For example, he turned a how would you control government spending question into an attack on the IRS.
And Fred Thompson is supposed to have done really badly. For example he gave specific policy ideas on tax, social security and the rest of the entitlement programs.
I would turn the judgement of “really well” and “really badly” on its head – perhaps that explains why no one pays me to be involved in media politics.