On Thursday, CNN will host a town hall with President Obama as part of his “final-year push to make gun control part of his legacy.” In addition to sitting down with liberal anchor Anderson Cooper, the network says Obama will “take questions from the audience.”
Uh-oh. Get out your best pruning shears and trowels. In an age of micromanaged partisan stagecraft and left-wing media enablers, there is no such thing as a spontaneous question.
CNN has a long history of allowing political plants to flourish in its public forums.
At the cable station’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas in 2007, moderator Wolf Blitzer introduced several citizen questioners as “ordinary people, undecided voters.” But they later turned out to include a former Arkansas Democratic director of political affairs, the president of the Islamic Society of Nevada, and a far-left anti-war activist who’d been quoted in newspapers lambasting Harry Reid for his failure to pull out of Iraq.
At a CNN/YouTube GOP debate two weeks later, the everyday, “undecided voters” whose questions were chosen included:
- A member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Americans For Hillary Clinton Steering Committee.
- A young woman named “Journey” who questioned the candidates on abortion and whom CNN failed to properly identify as an outspoken John Edwards supporter.
- A supposed “Log Cabin Republican” who had declared his support for Obama on an Obama ‘08 campaign blog.
- A supposedly unaffiliated “concerned mother” who was actually a staffer and prominent Pittsburgh union activist for the United Steelworkers — which had endorsed Edwards for president.
- A supposed “undecided” voter who urged Ron Paul to run as an independent, but who had already publicly declared his support for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s Democratic presidential bid.
A staffer for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), a former intern for Rep. Jane Harman (D-California) and a former intern for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.