As Expected, CNN's YouTube Debate Skews Leftward

In the lead-up to Monday night’s YouTube debate with the Democrat presidential candidates, CNN ran prime-time specials previewing videos that might be featured during the debate, and most of those featured came from the liberal side. It should be no surprise then that video clips featured left-wing clips by almost a 3 to 1 margin versus the conservative clips - 17 liberal clips to 6 conservative clips, out of a total of 38 video question clips.

Video of 10 of the liberal questions (6:20): Real (4.53 MB) or Windows (3.79 MB), plus MP3 audio (2.15 MB).

In the 7 pm hour, the first left-wing question came 17 minutes in, and asked the Democrats where they stood on reparations to blacks for slavery. This was followed by a questions on how race and class affected the response to Hurricane Katrina; and how Obama and Clinton address criticisms that they’re not "black enough" or "feminine enough."

Two question clips in a row at the bottom of the 7 pm hour dealt with the question of "gay marriage," one of them from a Reverend Reggie Longcrier from North Carolina, who got to ask his question through his video clip, and in person at the debate. This was the first "gotcha" moment of the debate, which was directed towards John Edwards. Two liberal questions on the timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq, whether women should have to register for Selective Service, closed the 7 pm hour.

Only two conservative questions were asked during the 7 pm hour. The first came 46 minutes into the hour, and the questioner asked how we could pull out of Iraq, when it would likely get worse after we pulled out. The second, which came immediately afterwards, asked from Senator Gravel from Alaska to defend his statement that members of the military who died in Vietnam died in vain.

At the top of the second hour of the debate, a Stephen from California (and was actually present for the debate as well) asked the Democrat presidential candidates if they would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea in the first year of their administrations. This was the second "gotcha" moment, as Stephen was in the audience as well. Host Anderson Cooper first directed the question to Barack Obama, and Stephen himself directed it to Hillary Clinton. Another question about troop withdrawal from Iraq followed.

Twenty-four minutes into the second hour, one of the most egregious question clips of the Democrat debate featured a woman who self-identified as someone who worked for Planned Parenthood, and asked the candidates about sex education. The lunacy continued with the next two questions, but this time on the "hot topic" of climate change. A crudely-animated snowman asked a question about global warming, followed by a "Bay Area" woman, specifically in Berkeley, California, who asked the candidates how they would decrease energy consumption. While a third question clip related to "climate change" followed (the producer agreed with the "scientific consensus" on man-made global warming), the questioner asked the candidates about their stance on nuclear energy, which he supported.

In the last half-hour of the debate, the main issues shifted to the benefit programs of the government, such as Social Security and health care. Two women from Pennsylvania asked the candidates if they would accept a minimum wage salary if they were elected president, in an attempt to get the candidates to see how the minimum wage needs to be increased. In the following clip, a woman from Wilmington, DE asked what was up with people who make more than $97, 500 stop paying into the Social Security system (she obviously saw this as problematic).

The big question of the last half-hour was a question clip that came from four individuals, each with a health problem or disability (a son who has a mother with Alzheimer’s; a woman with three relatives who have diabetes; a woman whose breast cancer treatment made her bald; and a man in a wheelchair) , who asked the candidates what they were going to do to help their problems. As a follow-up, a young woman asked whether the candidates’ health care plans covered "undocumented workers." The last left-wing question came from a young atheist man who worried about the Democrats paying lip service to religious Americans.

The first conservative question of the 8 pm hour, which some might consider to be ambiguous (though it was asked by a member of the military), asked Hillary Clinton how could people in the Middle East could take her seriously as president when they treat women as second-class citizens. The next conservative question did not come until 45 minutes later, when a widely-publicized question on taxes, set to country music, was played. Another conservative question, which pointed out how taxes go up under Democrat administrations, followed immediately afterwards. The final conservative question, which was played as the debate went slightly over into the 9 pm hour, asked the candidates where they stood on the issue of gun control, as he proudly showed-off one of his guns.

The Republicans’ YouTube debate isn’t until September, but the public shouldn’t act surprised if CNN starts showing a number of clips that are mostly liberal in the lead-up to that debate.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center