CNN has long been called the "Clinton News Network," but after last night's debate, many today are asking if the name is more than just a joke reserved for Republicans.
If you watched the debate -- or even just saw clips -- it was obvious that the audience was stacked with Clinton supporters who not only applauded her -- but booed
any criticism of her.
Now, I'm not speculating that CNN helped "stack" the audience in her favor -- that would be conspiratorial. But CNN clearly broke protocol by allowing the audience members to applaud and boo. Traditionally, a moderator will order the audience to keep quiet. That did not occur last night.
In football, you've probably heard of "the 12th man." Well, last night, Hillary definitely had home field advantage. I can't think of another debate, ever, where the audience was allowed to take control of the debate to this extent. By allowing this to occur, CNN was essentially helping guarantee a Hillary advantage.
So why was it allowed to occur?
As you'll recall, after the last debate, the Clintons actually threw some elbows at moderator Tim Russert
. At the time, I speculated that their attacks on Russert were meant as a warning for other moderators. Could it be that Wolf got the message?
According to Drudge:
CNN debate moderator Wolf Blitzer did an 'outstanding' job in Vegas, a senior adviser to the Hillary campaign said early Friday. 'He was outstanding, and did not gang up like Russert did in Philadelphia. He avoided the personal attacks, remained professional and ran the best debate so far. Voters were the big winners last night.'
... But it wasn't enough for CNN to help Hillary during the debate. By booking pro-Clinton "independent analysts" like James Carville
and David Gergen
, they ensured the post-debate spin would go her way. Obviously, both Carville and Gergen have worked for Bill Clinton -- Carville in the campaign and Gergen in the Administration. How on earth could they be deemed to be impartial analysts?