With Political Green Thumbs . . .
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in 2008 | planted questions | The Republican YouTube Debate — Comments (4) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The retired general who asked about gays and lesbians serving in the military at the CNN/YouTube Republican debate on Wednesday is a co-chairman of Hillary Rodham Clinton's National Military Veterans group.
Retired Brig. Gen. Keith H. Kerr was named a co-chairman of the group this month, according to a campaign press release.
He was also active in John F. Kerry's 2004 campaign for president.
Kerr asked candidates "why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians."
After the debate, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett said on a CNN panel that he was being told Kerr was involved with the Democratic presidential campaign of Clinton, a New York senator.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who moderated the debate and the panel, said that if that was the case, CNN should have identified Kerr as such.
David Bohrman, a CNN senior vice president and executive producer of the debate, later said: "We regret this and apologize to the Republican candidates. We never would have used the general's question had we known that he was connected to any presidential candidate."
I am on record as supporting the ability of gays and lesbians to serve in the military, so I am fully on board with Kerr's policy position regarding the issue. But of course, that's not the issue here. Rather, transparency--or the lack thereof at CNN--is the issue.
This is the second time in the past few weeks that CNN has had itself a debate scandal--the most recent scandal being CNN's failure to disclose that James Carville, who was invited to comment on the last Democratic Presidential debate, is an adviser to Hillary Clinton. Either the organization has to clean up its act or it has to stand convicted of rampant dishonesty in its presentation of news and views. And unless heads roll, the latter option becomes the most likely one for CNN.
Meanwhile, are the Democratic debates so boring that Hillary Clinton believes she needs to insert plants in Republican ones? Just wondering.