Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CNN's Sandbags

sandbag, v - the process of concealing winning arguments for as long as possible to prevent the opposing attorney from effectively preparing to counter them.

At the most recent CNN Democratic debate in Vegas, it was fairly evident that the network was working as hard it they could to tip the scales in favor of one candidate over the others (as discussed elsewhere.)
Wikipedia's definition will suffice as a description of just one of the more egregious tactics employed by CNN in order to slant this evening's debate against the entire Republican slate.

Towards the end of a meandering exchange - between (mostly) small men answering questions posed by an even smaller man, and prefaced by the morbidly underoccupied - one of the YouTube questioners, retired Army Brigadier General Keith Kerr asked "why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians." (By the very phrasing of the question, it is apparent that General Kerr was trying to set a rhetorical trap; if a candidate disagreed with Kerr's position that servicemembers in same-sex relationships should be allowed to serve openly, that candidate would be questioning the professionalism of our troops.)

By way of housekeeping, let me once more and again enunciate my full support of gays being allowed to serve openly in the military. Of course, gays serving openly is hardly the point. I am perturbed by CNN's deliberate attempt to represent Gen. Kerr as a distinguished veteran who was merely posing a question from a non-partisan point of view, as nothing could be further from the truth. CNN would surely know (
as they have had prior dealings with Kerr) that he has been a long-time activist working to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

In a December 11, 2003 interview that aired on CNN's American Morning, Kerr appeared with retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Alan Steinman and retired Army Brigadier General Virgil Richard (all three of whom disclosed their orientation to the New York Times.) At that time, Kerr was quoted as saying the following:

It's the 10th anniversary of don't ask, don't tell and the three of us think that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is not working. It prohibits and discourages loyal Americans who want to serve their country from doing so, because they have to lie and conceal their personal life. And Americans who are interested in serving their country should be given the opportunity to do so.
Beyond that bit of duplicity, CNN also did not disclose that Gen. Kerr served on the Veterans National Steering Committee for the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign, and is currently serving in a similar capacity for Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. (He is also a member of the "LGBT Americans for Hillary" Steering Committee.)

Now imagine if you will a Democratic debate where candidates would be asked questions posed by supporters of a Republican contender.

Okay, you can stop now. (Unless you are under the age of four, you don't have sufficient power of imagination to conjure up such a mental picture.)

But try this one. Imagine if Fox News Channel were as directly implicated in supporting a Republican presidential candidate as CNN is in supporting Hillary.

Update: Here's CNN's lame-ass mea cupla.

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