Like much of the mainstream media, CNN anchor Jack Cafferty has set aside any pretense of objectivity in this year's presidential election. On today's Situation Room he used a "Cafferty File" segment, in which a question is posed to viewers for their response, to attack GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. He prefaced the question:
But McCain chose Sarah Palin, who immediately became a national joke to everybody, except the conservative base of the Republican Party. Even some Republicans are convinced the Palin selection showed a total lack of judgment on McCain's part.
Oh, what about Florida Governor Charlie Crist? Would winning Florida help John McCain? You get the idea here.
Here's the question: Was it a mistake for John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate?
Last Thursday, his question for viewers was if they think John McCain has run an honorable campaign. Some of his background "information":
In fact, in the last few weeks, John McCain has become downright nasty.
It began around the time -- you'll recall this -- the time that one of his advisers said that if McCain campaigned on the economy, he would lose. And the ugly personal attacks began: Barack Obama's past acquaintance with William Ayers; Barack Obama's economic plan is socialism; Barack Obama will say anything to get elected. His running mate, Sarah Palin, chimed in with such gutter-level rhetoric as Obama pals around with terrorists.
Wednesday found Cafferty asking "Should Sarah Palin reimburse Alaska taxpayers for her children's travel and entertainment expenses?" He prefaced that with, "How do you present yourself as any kind of candidate of reform when the practices you employ puts you in the very same category of every other (emphasis added) two-bit, sleazy, opportunistic politician that has come before you.
On Tuesday, Cafferty asked "Why do citizens in 70 foreign countries prefer Barack Obama to John McCain by a margin of nearly 4 to 1? Simply stunning numbers."
Obviously, only a handful of viewers' responses can be read on the air. Cafferty often exhibits the same balance in selecting them as he does in choosing his questions. For example, he read six replies on why Obama is so popular overseas; five were anti-McCain.
Even when asking, as he also did on Tuesday, if a Democratic congressman calling some voters in his state racist will hurt Obama, Cafferty had to drag in the GOP:
Democratic Congressman John Murtha from Pennsylvania is challenging Republican Governor Sarah Palin for who can say the stupidest things on the campaign trail. Right now, it's pretty much a dead heat.
Jack could bring up many issues challenging Obama and Biden, but doesn't. By including Cafferty's undisguised contempt for the McCain-Palin ticket, host Wolf Blitzer has made The Situation Room absurdly partisan. He should urge his bosses at CNN to give Cafferty and his increasingly intemperate ravings their own venue. It could be called The Rubber Room.