John on August 2, 2011 at 11:28 am
Hot Air posted this first clip yesterday. It’s about 8 minutes long and has to be one of the most slanted interviews you’ll ever see on television. CNN’s Don Lemon interrupts Sen. Rand Paul at least three times and towards the end even tells him exactly how to answer the question. If you don’t feel like watching, I’ve transcribed all of the questions asked by host Don Lemon just below:
Here are the questions:
- At this point though, and can we, can we do this…let’s do this interview without talking points, okay, let’s just talk to each other…Both Democrats and Republicans are pointing fingers at you. So I guess maybe the best question to start with is what will make you and the Tea Party happy at this point?
- Hang on…how did you vote on those plans?
- But on the Boehner plan how did you vote?
- Well, let’s talk about the American people, and I’m sure you have to know this, uh that the American people are–for the most part, except for the extremists, except for the people who are really far left and those who are really far right–most people in the middle want some sort of compromise and they feel that you guys should have gotten to that way before this point.
- Okay listen, the Democrats have made many concessions when it comes to, uh, what is going on here and even the Tea Party position–it appears to most people–remains rigid. The question is have you made your point and by continuing to go on with this do you feel like you’re overreaching and you’re going to lose the clout and really the respect that you’ve gotten because, you’ve really made your point here and most people would say you’ve done a good job at it. Do you feel like you’re overreaching right now?
- Okay, hang on, hang on, can we just stick to the…we’re going to get to that but hang on…let’s stick to the…hold on please be respectful here. We’ll talk about Moody’s and all that. If you answer the question I will give you plenty of time. Do you feel like you have made your point and now, do you feel like people are going to think that you’re overreaching and maybe you’re going to ruin the clout that you already have and the respect that you’ve gotten?
- Okay, now continue on…you were talking about Moody’s and our credit rating…
- You have been criticized here as I said by both sides and maybe the answer to this question is both sides are to blame, but if the US does default do you think…who will be to blame here? Will it be the President? Will it be the Democrats? Will it be the Tea Party? Republicans? Who is going to be to blame here?
- Okay, Mr. Paul, I’m going to ask you again, just a simple answer to my question. If we indeed default, who is going to be to blame?
- You should know that the public is really frustrated right now and they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t understand why we haven’t come to some sort of consensus or you guys haven’t come to some sort of consensus. Are you feeling that in Washington right now?
- But hang on, hang on one second again. Again…I’m asking you to answer the question. I don’t want talking points. With all due respect I’m asking you, do you feel the public sentiment in Washington?
- I’m not asking you what you did, sir, with all due respect. I’m asking you if you feel how the public feels in Washington. You don’t have to tell me what you did but are you feeling? Do you understand how people feel about this?
- So you are hearing the American people, you feel? Yes?
Now contrast this highly confrontational and at times partisan performance with the same host’s interview with progressive caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva. Same topic, same host, just one day later.
Here are the questions this time:
- Thank you very much Congressman, you doing okay tonight?
- Clearly the President caved, why?
- What would you have like to have seen the President do? Because even Mitch McConnell said on Saturday, he said listen, the President is the one who decides this. If he agrees with us then most of the Democrats will fall in line. What would you have liked to have seen from the President?
- Congressman I want to ask you this. Really it’s about the President’s political future, whether or not it has helped him, but let me read this first and then you can answer. Your colleague in New York Gary Ackerman said the Republicans invited the President “to negotiate as a strip poker table and he showed up half naked.” And then liberal columnist Paul Krugman calls the deal “an abject surrender.” Would the President be better off running as a conservative in 2012?
- It’s not that he’s too conservative, but do you feel he is strong enough when it comes to these issues, fighting for what Democrats want.
- You think this won’t matter by 2012, that he’s not going to be hurt by this politically?
- There is this chart that has been going around showing that Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to want their representative to compromise. Democrats twice as likely as Republicans to want their representatives to compromise, all right to get things done. And then that Republicans are twice as likely to want the representatives to stick to their principles. Would it be better for the country if Democrats were more like Republicans or perhaps if Republicans were more like Democrats?
- It’s not done until it’s done. You know how that is. There are still more votes to be taken.
Quite a contrast isn’t it? When interviewing Sen. Paul, Don Lemon spoke for Democrats and for the “frustrated” American people about the need to compromise. When interviewing Rep. Grijalva, he seemed to be speaking for frustrated Democrats who want the President to fight harder and compromise less.
The framing of the entire Rand Paul interview is why won’t you intransigent Tea Partiers compromise now that you’ve made your point. On the other hand, the interview with Rep. Grijalva is about not giving in so easily.
It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that Don Lemon has a horse in this race or, more precisely, a jackass.
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