On Thursday, CNN will host a town hall with President Obama as part of his "final-year push to make gun control part of his legacy." In addition to sitting down with liberal anchor Anderson Cooper, the network says Obama will "take questions from the audience."
Uh-oh. Get out your best pruning shears and trowels. In an age of micromanaged partisan stagecraft and left-wing media enablers, there is no such thing as a spontaneous question.
CNN has a long history of allowing political plants to flourish in its public forums.
At the cable station's Democratic debate in Las Vegas in 2007, moderator Wolf Blitzer introduced several citizen questioners as "ordinary people, undecided voters." But they later turned out to include a former Arkansas Democratic director of political affairs, the president of the Islamic Society of Nevada, and a far left anti-war activist who'd been quoted in newspapers lambasting Harry Reid for his failure to pull out of Iraq.
At a CNN/YouTube GOP debate two weeks later, the everyday, "undecided voters" whose questions were chosen included:
Once a manipulative gardener, always a manipulative gardener. During the push for Obamacare, Democrat plants spread like kudzu across town hall propaganda events. At White House "citizen town halls" in 2009, Team Obama hand-picked not-so-random "random" questioners who included:
Using young people as horticultural conduits to shape narratives wasn't an Obama invention, of course. Last week, Hillary Clinton's town hall events featured two children reading scripted questions on gender pay equity and guns. The campaign balked at accusations that they would exploit kids and manufacture questions.
But this is the campaign of the former secretary of state whose staff bragged in emails released last fall that it had "planted" questions with CBS News's "60 Minutes" in 2011.
And this is the woman whose 2008 presidential campaign staff admitted to providing prefab queries to a Grinnell College student in Iowa. Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff exposed how a senior Clinton staffer approached her with "a binder with pre-written questions." She told CNN—attention, CNN!—that the "top one was planned specifically for a college student. ... It said 'college student' in brackets and then the question."
Gallo-Chasanoff conceded to asking the question, which read: "As a young person, I'm worried about the long-term effects of global warming. How does your plan combat climate change?"
Upon reflection, Gallo-Chasanoff felt ashamed of her cooperation with Democratic Kabuki theater and condemned the charade as "dishonest."
If only more self-respecting journalists felt the same way.
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Michelle Malkin [email her] is the author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin is also author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies, and Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs.