I’m confused. It’s clear from TPM’s reporting that CNN is blocking James Carville, Paul Begala, Robert Zimmerman, and other unnamed contributors from appearing on the network until after the primary processes are over (unless they are acting in a “surrogate” capacity) because they are allegedly too closely aligned with or supportive of particular candidates.
If guests/commentators/analysts are introduced properly, I’d guess the audience is smart enough to interpret what they contribute with the appropriate grains of salt.
These are intelligent men with a lot of political campaign experience between them. I, for one, am interested in what they have to say as the process continues. I’d also venture to guess that you’d be hard-pressed to round up qualified experts in Washington who don’t have some history of affiliation or current transparent bias. Heck, George Stephanopoulos has his own show where he talks to everyone, and he was as Clinton as it gets.
That aside, I’m also missing the confirmation of an Obama campaign influence on CNN’s internal decision-making. If his people did complain, then shame on them for making the call and shame on CNN for caving. But until there is a significant quote from someone in the know truly justifying his team’s involvement, I’d just as soon chalk it up to rumor and assume it’s not the case.
3 thoughts on “What Am I Missing?”
The Carville – Begala flap began after the November Dem CNN debate when CNN was taken to task
by the NYT: “Questions About Carville and CNN,” and
Kos: “CNN’s and Carville’s lack of ethics,” and many other bloggers/news orgs for not introducing the pair properly (not to mention that was when CNN also got a lot of grief for ending the debate with the (
planted?) “diamonds or pearls” softball specifically for Clinton).
I remember. And I think there was definitely negligence in not being upfront about contributors’ ties. My argument now, however, is the following:
1. Why shut out smart in-the-know analysts when a little due diligence would go a long way?
2. I have yet to see confirmation from anywhere – let alone Obama’s camp – about their allegedly requesting the Clintonites be removed.
I agree with you on both points, especially the second. I see Greg Sargent has inferred such, and I wouldn’t blame the Obama campaign if it’s true, but it’s not confirmed.
fwiw I like Carville and Begala allright and think they could and maybe even should still be a part of CNN’s political punditry universe throughout the primaries (same goes for Gergen), but they would need to make it clear that they’re part and parcel of team Clinton and they would need to have several other non-‘Clintonites’ on at the same time for some balance, neither of which they did after the Nov debate.
CNN also got raked over the coals from the rightwingers after the GOP YouTube debate. I don’t blame them for becoming overly-cautious, especially now that the primaries have begun.