I have spent many hours in green rooms preparing to appear on CNN. I know many - probably most - of the political reporters and a number of the political news executives. I do not believe CNN intentionally engaged in a pattern of mis- or dis-information (except, perhaps, in the case of Gen. Kerr) but is probably guilty of nonfeasance for its lack of thoroughness in vetting the questioners.
The Conservative Blogatorium spent the entire day after the CNN debate gleefully pointing out how few clicks it took to discover the affiliations or inclinations of the YouTube questioners.
It was a little like an Internet version of "I've Got a Tune": I can identify the Democrat in three clicks.
This embarrassment on the part of CNN might have a salutary effect on the process. If the major campaigns put their collective feet down and demand that the networks provide a more dignified and thoughtful venue for these "debates" then we will all be better informed and the manner of selecting a President will be greatly improved.
CNN's Lemon Battles Rapper Over Ferguson--Let's "World Run By White Supremacy" Comment Slide | Greg Hengler