Wednesday's GOP CNN/YouTube Debate was awaited with great interest as to how the format was going to play out: How were the candidates going to interact with each other? How would Mike Huckabee react to questions regarding his less-than-conservative policy decisions while governor of Arkansas now that he has become relevant? Who was going to be the brunt of attention from the field of candidates and from the "ordinary people", as well, selected to contribute? Would Ron Paul's supporters optimize this opportunity as aggressively as they have other web-based tools? How was the post-debate commentary going to go?
Admittedly there was an expectation of bias and ideological agenda being infused into the event. CNN is the network that took some heat, just two weeks ago, for utilizing the Hillary Clinton supporting, political strategist James Carville on its post-debate analysis panel following the Las Vegas event - The long time Clinton collaborator was tasked with scrutinizing that field's group of candidate performances. To nobody's surprise, Hillary was declared his winner - Hands down.
The prospect of the playing field being skewed in last night's event was of definite concern. For that reason, Wednesday's Daily Roundup  included CNN's very own article regarding their debate which claimed the network's supposed format and objectives  prior to the airing of the end product - Of note in the release from CNN was this portion:
Interesting... CNN, in damage-control mode, made a statement today and now insists:The questions they will field in the groundbreaking format won't come from journalists.Instead, they are user-generated content from ordinary people.
Thankfully, we have CNN's earlier article for reference, which closed with this comment from CNN Senior Vice President, David Bohrman:"CNN cared about what you asked. Not who you were".
The format of this debate is all new to the Republican presidential hopefuls, and that's part of the excitement. The candidates and their campaigns have no idea exactly what to expect. " There is some sense of the unknown, and so they're going to be a little bit out of their normal comfort zone, which is a good thing," Bohrman said.
It has now been well-documented to where a good amount of the content selection can be credit The extreme political left! Michelle Malkin provided a great service  throughout the night to those of us that tend to question where the spoon which feeds us has previously been. I would say Bohrman's objective of keeping the GOP hopefuls "out of their normal comfort zone" was quite simple when the Republican Debate's agenda was dictated by questions framed by leftwing political activists.
Fox New's John Gibson summed up the events nicely in Thursday's "My Word" - Black Eye for CNN, Anderson Cooper and Google :
Gibson also added:
So we're supposed to believe that old pro David Bohrman, the CNN vice president of elections - and an old friend - didn't know he had a Clinton ringer in his basket of YouTube questions? Hard to believe. Especially since CNN bought him a ticket, flew him in, planted him in the section of live questioners and then handed him a microphone.
Oh and that isn't all, as Michelle Malkin has discovered, digging into the backgrounds of other questioners:
We had a supposed Republican who is online as a John Edwards supporter?
We also had a gay Republican who can be found online as an Obama supporter?
And here's the math: The Google debate started with 5,000 YouTube questions. CNN narrowed it to 70 and then down to 40. They flew 20 questioners in and only two got a chance for a live on-air follow-up question - namely the gay general and somebody else.
The slant of the questions asked was not the only questionable aspects of the coverage. During the debate analysis, a group of about 20 "undecided Republican voters" were presented. The sample was selected to provide real-time debate reaction electronically and to comment on how they felt about the performances.
Of the group, one of the few to get airtime for voicing her opinion of how the night went was a 40-something female - again - "undecided Republican voter". The chosen participant stated that she had been deciding between Mike Huckabee... and JOHN EDWARDS.
Most who watched last night would agree that Huckabee had a solid performance. As to be expected, however, he faced some of the first challenges in his run detailing many of his very non-conservative - one might even say liberal - policies while governing Arkansas, which should have been to his benefit with this "undecided Republican voter", one would think.
How this woman could even be deciding between Huckabee and Edwards is very puzzleing, in and of itself. How such a voter could be selected as a suitably qualified member for that panel is more puzzleing still. But, how that woman could honestly say that she was MORE likely to vote for John Edwards, considering those socially liberal issues were highlighted from Huckabee's past, goes beyond head-scratching material.
What's done is done. It is, what it is. CNN has apologized for last night. To their credit, they even cut General Kerr's portion out of the broadcast when it replayed later last night. But, thats an interesting move when you consider the CNN statement of today claiming the questions of the debate mattered and not who was framing the questions of the debate - Obviously, the two are inseperable.
As the truth has surfaced on just how many democrat activists were involved, it makes one wonder if CNN became concerned with the amount of editting that may have ultimately been required if they remained consistent with last night's policy on the debacle. The network would love nothing more than for it all to just fade way and be forgotten - Anderson Cooper did not even mention the controversy on his 10:00 program.
It was an ironic embarrassment for the most prominent, established news media outlet in the world and the IT colossus that has positioned itself as the paramount index of information in the universe. The tandem got scooped - possibly exposed - by the "New Media" . An irrelevant event, this was not.
What occurred within the course of the debate, itself, last night is now part of the political historic record. But, what may eventually be seen as most remarkable is what occurred in the blogosphere after the lights and cameras shut down.