So how does CNN balance itself now? O'Brien claimed at the show's end that it would eventually be balanced out with "a similar forum on faith and politics with Republican candidates." Wallis, pretending to be nonpartisan, said he would like to host a Republican event. That better not be the "balance" CNN is talking about.
If it ever materializes, a Republican forum on faith and politics on CNN must be hosted by a group that is just as friendly to the Republicans as the leftists at Sojourners are to the Democrats. Each candidate was greeted with stage-shaking ovations and screams during the Democrats' affair -- the same setting should be established for the Republicans.
But CNN wasn't only offering free airtime to the Democrats. It was providing a big whopping present to Wallis and his group's fortunes. This was the central event of the annual Sojourners "Pentecost" conference, used to attract hundreds of conference bookings and add glitz and glamour and the image of great political influence to Wallis.
Wallis was very busy hitting up his supporters for donations after the CNN event: "Click here to make a donation of $50, $100 or more to support the work of Sojourners/Call to Renewal as we raise a prophetic voice in the 2008 election campaign. ... In the 36 years since we founded Sojourners, I cannot remember a moment of opportunity as tangible as this." CNN is offering "tangible moments of opportunity" for left-wing fund-raisers.
If CNN really wants to balance this event out, it needs to partner with a religious-conservative group -- for example, the Family Research Council is holding a Values Voters Summit in October -- and let a group like FRC have every tangible opportunity CNN just handed to the left-wingers.