Credit where credit is due department: The Los Angeles Times’ reliable lefty Tim Rutten blisters CNN in a column tiitled “Corrupt News Network.” Concluding graphs:
THIS is intellectual venality, but it pales beside the wickedness of using some crackpot’s query about the candidates’ stand on Biblical inerrancy to do something that’s anathema in our system — to probe people’s individual religious consciences. American journalists quite legitimately ask candidates about policy issues — say, abortion — that might be influenced by their religious or philosophical convictions. We do not and should not ask them about those convictions themselves. It’s nobody’s business whether a candidate believes in the virgin birth, whether God gave an oral Torah to Moses at Sinai, whether the Buddha escaped the round of birth and rebirth or whether an angel appeared to Joseph Smith.
The latter point is relevant because CNN’s noxious laundering of this question through the goofy YouTube mechanism quite clearly was designed to embarrass Mitt Romney — who happens to be a Mormon — and, secondarily, to help Mike Huckabee — who, as a Baptist minister, had a ready answer, and who happens to be television’s campaign flavor of the month.
Beside considerations like these, CNN’s incompetent failure to weed out Democratically connected questioners pales.
In any event, CNN has failed in its responsibilities to the political process and it’s time for the leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties to take the network out of our electoral affairs.