Did CNN Plant The Audience, Too?

November 16, 2007

Actually, there are suggestions at some prominent Democrat sites that CNN didn’t just plant questions, but perhaps in the administration of the debate, they created a situation where Hillary Clinton had a decided advantage. It’s mentioned at DailyKos but the best information is here. Admittedly, it comes from an Obama fan. But if you think about the logistics, it’s hard to imagine Hillary wouldn’t have a home crowd.

I want to comment on a couple of issues relating to the Debate because I feel it is important to speak out about it. I have had some inside information about how this debate was conducted and I think that CNN and those who organized this debate have a responsiblity to answer for the way it was conducted.

Of particular note, if accurate, is that of 1,000 tickets given to UNLV, only a hundred made it into the hands of students. Both Edwards and Obama do better among younger Democrats. And as for dissemination of tickets by the Nevada Democrats, Jill Derby the Democrat Chair is a moderate with some friends close to Hillary. Does the name Begala ring a bell?

Derby has had numerous supporters. CNN political anaylst, as the Reno Gazette-Journal reported, Paul Begala, who helped engineer Bill Clinton’s 1992 win, said he was encouraged by U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to “stump” for Derby.

I’d stop short of calling it a conspiracy, as some Democrats are doing. But if it’s true that each candidate only had 22 tickets out of 2,000, in a state where Hillary is polling 20+ points ahead of everyone else, if no steps were taken to balance the audience, that might explain why she was cheered, while several others were booed.

There were only 2000 available tickets.  1000 of those tickets were given to the Nevada State Democratic Party, of which I was a member in 2005 and 2006.  The other 1000 tickets were given to UNLV.  Now here is where it gets interesting.  The 1000 tickets given to the NSDP were given to people who were in high ranking positions, of which several of my friends are involved with the NSDP.  Those friends were able to go to the Debate at Cox Pavilion.  Some of my other friends who are not as involved in the Nevada State Democratic Party were excluded.  So you have the State Party who pre-selected who they wanted to go.  Many of the people in the NSDP are very sympathetic to Sen. Clinton. It’s no secret, its just a fact of the State Party.  According to my sources, not only did they pre-select who went to the Debate, they actually based it on the percentage of the various minorities in the state.  So 15% of the people had to be Hispanic, 10% had to be African-American, and there were various other groups which were required to be selected by the Nevada State Democratic Party. 

So what happened to the UNLV tickets?  Didn’t they go to students?  Not exactly.  About 100 or so tickets did go to the students, and they held a lottery which selected certain students for the Debate.  The other 900 or so tickets actually went to UNLV staff and professors and their family members.  I am not joking, this is what I have been told by a very reliable source in Las Vegas.

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  1. CNN’s Planted Debate

    If any of you suffered through that sham “debate” on CNN last night, it was painfully evident the fix was in for Mrs. Clinton.
    Now it’s confirmed.

  2. CNN says:

    We control the horizontal and the vertical. Reality is what we say it is.

  3. Peach says:

    *Admittedly, it comes from an Obama fan.*
    I tend to believe this. They’ve laid it out pretty soundly vs. what they *think* happened.
    This is what we are in for folks. Hillary has controlled everything, she’s not about to stop now.

  4. Peach says:

    *So then, who cares about them moving it to the Cox Pavilion? Well, HERE is the BIG Problem. I have learned from my friends who are well connected to Nevada Democratic Politics that in fact the audience was actually pre-screened. *
    Prescreened. I know that some were as their questions were, but the entire audience was prescreened? Why? Profiling? Terror precautions? <—- just kidding, but why was the audience prescreened?

  5. Mr. Anonymous says:

    Another piece of the puzzle: “Diamonds or Pearls” Girl’s story has been starting to break in the MSM. Note that her name is Maria Parra-Sandoval (this is from the CNN transcript), and NOT Maria Luisa, as has been reported. The latter appears to be a Myspace alias. If you do some web searching on “Maria Parra-Sandoval,” you find that she is a former intern of HARRY REID!!! This info is NOT difficult to find. What a KO-INK-I-DINK!!! (NOT)! So there you have it. I call BULLxxxx. The CNN debate was PLANTED, and here is my proof below:

  6. The Most Trusted Name In …

    Give me a sec – I’ll think of something. “CNN ran out of time and used me to “close” the debate with the pearls/diamonds question. Seconds later this girl comes up to me and says, “you gave our school a…

  7. Vita Brevis says:

    The NSDP, hunh? Considering their actions, isn’t the proper acronym for these folks NSDAP?

  8. CNN demonstrates why it has the nickname Clinton News Network

    From my quick scan of the blogosphere this morning, I can see that the post-CNN debate questions and accusations are piling up. A surprising number of liberal blogs are complaining that the audience and the questions had a decidedly pro-Clinton stance…

  9. BStone says:

    NSDAP. Bravo!

  10. Dan says:

    Sorry I am not sure what the issue is here,
    The debate is being held in Nevada and should represent the people in Nevada.
    You say right at the beginning that Clinton is running 20 points ahead in Nevada so why are you surprised that she will have an advantage in the audience.
    Half the tickets went to the State party, those most active in the state party will try and get themselves and their friends there, Clinton probably has an advantage.
    Half the tickets went to the University, they held a ballot but I am sure for a big event like this lots of the leading figures will have wanted to be there, so did 10% get “reserved” for faculty heads, very probably and very normal. If Clinton is 20 points ahead in the state then on average she will have an advantage there too.
    So what the only way to prevent her having an advantage if she is well ahead in the polls is to vet all ticket holders and divide them up equally based on the supporters of each candidate. So the room has no neutrals or independents and equal numbers of supporters of Kusinich and Clinton. It may seem “fair” but what is the point it does not represent America. This is not President Idol, the audiance should represent the state.

  11. JustADude says:

    Nope here is her full name
    Maria Luisa Parra-Sandoval, from Las Vegas, Nevada is a Sophomore attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas majoring in Political Science. She has volunteered in the following capacities: voter registration, UNLV Student Organization of Latinos Dream Act Campaign, the Cambridge Community Center, El Dia de los Ni–os at the Clark County Government Center, Gear Up, and on the Kappa Delta Chi’s “This is My Life” program.

  12. JustADude says:

    I was sitting in U.S. District Court a couple of weeks ago when about 60 people from places like Russia, Ethiopia, Japan and Canada were sworn in as U.S. citizens by Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt. Then they gave themselves a rousing round of applause.
    Among them was 20-year-old Maria Parra-Sandoval, a junior in the honors program at UNLV. She was born in Ixtlan del Rio, about 60 miles northeast of Puerto Vallarta.
    When she was very young, her father sneaked into the United States with his father and brothers. He worked at unskilled jobs and sent money home. It wasn’t enough to sustain his wife and their three children.
    “I lived with poverty all around me,” Maria told me with no air of complaint. “Ours was one of the better houses. My dad and grandfather built it from bricks.” Just down the street was a cardboard shanty town.
    Their house was surrounded by cactus, sunflowers and pine trees.
    When they ran out of gas for the stove, they burned firewood. They carried water to the house. Their garden produced chili peppers, melons, tomatoes, limes and grapes.
    When Maria was 6, her mother decided to sneak the family into the United States. “My mom wanted the family together, and because we lived in a very poor neighborhood, she wanted to find new opportunities for us.”

  13. JustADude says:

    Parra-Sandoval is a member of the Honors College at UNLV. She was selected to attend the prestigious Public Policy and Leadership Conference at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and to serve as a political communications intern for Sen. Harry Reid in Washington, D.C., according to a press release the school issued about two years ago.

  14. tom says:

    My understanding is Hillary had a preview of all questions prior to the debate. There was also an agreement that if she answered a flat no to the driver’s license question that Wolf would not follow-up.

  15. JustADude says:

    The Hispanic graduate student from UNLV per the transcript is a little more involved than that
    George Ambriz
    George joins our team from Douglas, Arizona, having earned his associate’s degree in administration of justice from Cochise College in 2000. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science and criminal justice from Western New Mexico University. He is currently completing a master’s degree in ethics and policy studies at UNLV. He plans to pursue doctorate and law degrees, practice corporate law, and become active in politics
    George Ambriz
    Undergraduate Recruiter

  16. PJ says:

    Mr. Ambriz was wrong when he said that no terrorist had come over the southern border and CNN I’m sure knows that’s incorrect. Guess he never heard of a Mr. Kourani:
    “Prosecutors said Kourani entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico in 2001 in a car trunk, carrying a visa bought from a corrupt Mexican official in Beirut. The charges said he was a “member, fighter, recruiter and fund-raiser for Hezbollah [trained in] weaponry, spycraft and counterintelligence in Lebanon and Iran.”

  17. A former Reichskanzler in the 9th Ring of Hell... says:

    “— The NSDP, hunh? Considering their actions, isn’t the proper acronym for these folks NSDAP? —”
    These days, we prefer to be called the DNC – “Democratic National Convention”.
    -A. Hitler

  18. The Plants At The Democrat Debate

    Jenny at The War Against Political Correctness blog has done some outstanding detective work on that recent CNN debate. You know the one. The one with the college student being told she had to ask a silly diamond question to…

  19. DanWard says:

    The other Dan above completely misses the point. The point is not that the audience might have favored Clinton, the point is that CNN is a) lying to us and b) stacking the deck. At this point, they’re not reporting the news, they’re manufacturing the product and attempting to play Kingmaker.
    /I’m holding Parliament at Wye. Also, storms at sea force all ships to port, and a Peasant Revolt takes Fitzhugh to his castle.
    //Still has the box set.
    ///And all the event cards.
    ////And all the slashies!