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Don't shoot the messenger (Student says CNN came up with Mac, PC question)
Brown Daily Herald ^ | November 10, 2003 | Brown university student

Posted on 11/10/2003 3:19:15 PM PST by RatherBiased.com

By Alexandra Trustman

I'm writing in response to thE Daily Jolt forums, the student dialogue and The Herald representation of me and my question at CNN's Rock the Vote. I'm extremely disappointed in the student body's reaction, especially because they weren't privy to the circumstances under which I had to ask the question, a situation that occurs daily in the media. To clear things up, I was called the morning of the event and asked by the executive producer of the show if I would ask a question at the forum. I was told the question would probably be something about Macs or PCs, but that, once I arrived in Boston, we could amend what I would ask. Immediately, confused by the question's relevance as well, I tried to think about ways to make it seem applicable. I thought perhaps CNN's aim in wanting the candidates to answer their computer preference was really a way to breach the topic of technology. So, I constructed a much more relevant question, about how, if elected, the candidates would use technology in their administrations. Once in Boston I was handed a note card with the Macs or PCs version of Clinton's boxers or briefs question. After reading it, I told the executive producer that I didn't see the question's relevance and had thought of one that I would like to ask instead. He took a look at my question and told me I couldn't ask it because it wasn't light−hearted enough and they wanted to modulate the event with various types of questions — mine was to be one of the questions on the less serious side. The show's host wanted the Macs or PCs question asked, not because he was wondering about the candidates' views of technology, but because he thought it would be a good opportunity for the candidates to relate to a younger audience — hence the 18− to 31−year−old audience of Rock the Vote. At this point it was clear to me that the question would be asked regardless of whether I was the person to ask it. I had to make the decision whether to actively participate in Rock the Vote by asking a question that wasn't mine and wasn't representative of me as a Brown student, or to sit in the stands uninvolved. The executive producer had asked and wanted me to pose the question, so being someone who doesn't like to go back on her word, as a favor to him I went ahead, hoping that if CNN wanted the question asked there must be a reason. Loyalty to my commitment and the opportunity to be involved in Rock the Vote outweighed any criticism I thought would come from the question. Granted, I wish I had been able to ask something else, but when put into perspective, there are many questions I could have asked that would have yielded a much more negative response. It's not as if what I said was inappropriate or politically incorrect. As the New York Times put it, Rock the Vote was "intended by its organizers to offer a somewhat offbeat view of the candidates by having them answer questions from young voters. And there were, indeed, the offbeat questions, like whether the candidates … preferred PCs to Macs." It's unfortunate that the candidates were unable to take advantage of the question to try to relate to the young viewers by extrapolating their answers. In effect they missed the opportunity to reveal an aspect of their offbeat, youthful side.

Those who criticized the question didn't take into account why CNN might have wanted it asked — what's more, they didn't hesitate to judge me for asking a question I couldn't change. I would have hoped that such a liberal student body, from a school that in the very school catalog advocates intellectual freedom, would have reserved judgment on a situation and person it knew little if nothing about. Not one person bothered to inquire or find out the truth about the incident. No one even asked me to write this opinions column. My side was left completely unrepresented and was as a consequence misrepresented. At a school where we pride ourselves on open mindedness and good journalism, I would have expected that before being criticized, both sides of the story would be presented, if not for the professionalism of the Brown Daily Herald, then perhaps for the respect of a fellow student.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cablenewsnetwork; chickennoodlenews; cnn; cnnschadenfreude; democratdebates; democrats; mediashenanigans; responsibility; rockthevote; schadenfreude

1 posted on 11/10/2003 3:19:16 PM PST by RatherBiased.com
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To: Timesink
shenanigans ping!
2 posted on 11/10/2003 3:20:34 PM PST by RatherBiased.com
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To: RatherBiased.com
A better formatted version (the original page makes almost everything one paragraph):

I'm writing in response to the Daily Jolt forums, the student dialogue and The Herald representation of me and my question at CNN's Rock the Vote. I'm extremely disappointed in the student body's reaction, respecially because they weren't privy to the circumstances under which I had to ask the question, a situation that occurs daily in the media.

To clear things up, I was called the morning of the event and asked by the executive producer of the show if I would ask a question at the forum. I was told the question would probably be something about Macs or PCs, but that, once I arrived in Boston, we could amend what I would ask. Immediately, confused by the question's relevance as well, I tried to think about ways to make it seem applicable. I thought perhaps CNN's aim in wanting the candidates to answer their computer preference was really a way to breach the topic of technology. So, I constructed a much more relevant question, about how, if elected, the candidates would use technology in their administrations. Once in Boston I was handed a note card with the Macs or PCs version of Clinton's boxers or briefs question. After reading it, I told the executive producer that I didn't see the question's relevance and had thought of one that I would like to ask instead.

He took a look at my question and told me I couldn't ask it because it wasn't light-hearted enough and they wanted to modulate the event with various types of questions — mine was to be one of the questions on the less serious side. The show's host wanted the Macs or PCs question asked, not because he was wondering about the candidates' views of technology, but because he thought it would be a good opportunity for the candidates to relate to a younger audience — hence the 18- to 31-year-old audience of Rock the Vote. At this point it was clear to me that the question would be asked regardless of whether I was the person to ask it. I had to make the decision whether to actively participate in Rock the Vote by asking a question that wasn't mine and wasn't representative of me as a Brown student, or to sit in the stands uninvolved. The executive producer had asked and wanted me to pose the question, so being someone who doesn't like to go back on her word, as a favor to him I went ahead, hoping that if CNN wanted the question asked there must be a reason.

Loyalty to my commitment and the opportunity to be involved in Rock the Vote outweighed any criticism I thought would come from the question. Granted, I wish I had been able to ask something else, but when put into perspective, there are many questions I could have asked that would have yielded a much more negative response. It's not as if what I said was inappropriate or politically incorrect. As the New York Times put it, Rock the Vote was "intended by its organizers to offer a somewhat offbeat view of the candidates by having them answer questions from young voters. And there were, indeed, the offbeat questions, like whether the candidates … preferred PCs to Macs." It's unfortunate that the candidates were unable to take advantage of the question to try to relate to the young viewers by extrapolating their answers. In effect they missed the opportunity to reveal an aspect of their offbeat, youthful side.

Those who criticized the question didn't take into account why CNN might have wanted it asked — what's more, they didn't hesitate to judge me for asking a question I couldn't change. I would have hoped that such a liberal student body, from a school that in the very school catalog advocates intellectual freedom, would have reserved judgment on a situation and person it knew little if nothing about. Not one person bothered to inquire or find out the truth about the incident. No one even asked me to write this opinions column. My side was left completely unrepresented and was as a consequence misrepresented. At a school where we pride ourselves on open mindedness and good journalism, I would have expected that before being criticized, both sides of the story would be presented, if not for the professionalism of the Brown Daily Herald, then perhaps for the respect of a fellow student.
3 posted on 11/10/2003 3:23:15 PM PST by RatherBiased.com
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To: RatherBiased.com
But, but, CNN wouldn't tell the students what questions to ask, would they?

< /sarcasm>

4 posted on 11/10/2003 3:23:54 PM PST by Momaw Nadon (The mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it's open.)
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To: martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; Miss Marple; Tamsey; ...

Schadenfreude

This is the New York Times CNN Schadenfreude Ping List. Freepmail me to be added or dropped.


This is the Mainstream Media Shenanigans ping list. Please freepmail me to be added or dropped.
Please note this is a medium- to high-volume list.
Please feel free to ping me if you come across a thread you would think worthy of this ping list. I can't catch them all!


5 posted on 11/10/2003 3:28:36 PM PST by Timesink
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To: RatherBiased.com; PhiKapMom; Miss Marple
WOW!

Get a load of this ......rigged questions.

6 posted on 11/10/2003 3:29:06 PM PST by Dog
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To: RatherBiased.com
An asshat ivy-league chick hasn't learned that she's responsible for the idiotic statements out of her mouth, yet? Well, I'm glad she learned before she graduated and went to work at a Fortune 500 company and said something idiotic and got herself fired. Kids sure are damn stupid these days.
7 posted on 11/10/2003 3:30:16 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative ("We happy because when we switch on the TV you never see Saddam Hussein. That's a big happy.")
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To: generalissimoduane
FYI...
8 posted on 11/10/2003 3:30:43 PM PST by Dog
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To: RatherBiased.com
Thanks for your formatting of the letter - it was very useful

This just goes to show how much of a total sham these political forums are. We all know that we groan whenever we hear a truely stupid question out of the crowd, or a pathetic softball question. Now we know for sure just where such dreck comes from - the God Damned Liberal News Media.

I suggest that we all save and print this letter, and send it to our non-political friends as the 2004 political season heats up. Such stark reminders of the games the media plays bear dissemination and repeating.

9 posted on 11/10/2003 3:32:30 PM PST by Yossarian (1 CA Governor down, 1 CA Senate and 1 CA House to go...)
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To: RatherBiased.com
"At a school where we pride ourselves on open mindedness and good journalism,"

I guess she missed the lesson on paragraphing.

I still use Scribner Handbook of English which notes that "the paragraph is a guide to the eye."

But what the heck......Brown....Amy Carter went there!

10 posted on 11/10/2003 3:36:24 PM PST by JimVT
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To: RatherBiased.com
As the New York Times put it, Rock the Vote was "intended by its organizers to offer a somewhat offbeat view of the candidates by having them answer questions from young voters.

I see. They didn't want the young voters to come up with questions, they only wanted the young voter to ask questions written by adults. They should have just gotten Greg Packer to ask the question.

-PJ

11 posted on 11/10/2003 3:41:45 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: JimVT
When she says
"I had to make the decision whether to actively participate in Rock the Vote by asking a question that wasn't mine and wasn't representative of me as a Brown student, or to sit in the stands uninvolved"
what she really means, of course, is "I had to decide if I wanted to be on TV or not".

Well, we all know what her priorities are now.

12 posted on 11/10/2003 3:43:24 PM PST by HarryCaul
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To: Momaw Nadon
I have seen CNN in action live with Klinton. The audience and the questioners are given a stern talking to about what they can and cannot ask, and even midly threaten them. I attended one of Klinton's town hall meetings (invite from the Concord Coalition on Privitizing Social Security) he formed when he was under impeachment because it gave the impresssion he actually cared about solving social security and other issues. I distinctly remember Gwen Ifill be the ring leader.
13 posted on 11/10/2003 3:45:42 PM PST by KC_Conspirator (This space for rent)
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To: RatherBiased.com
My side was left completely unrepresented and was as a consequence misrepresented.

Now you know what it's like to be a conservative dealing with CNN, chicky.

}:-)4

14 posted on 11/10/2003 3:47:17 PM PST by Moose4 ("Germans?" "Forget it, he's rolling.")
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To: RatherBiased.com
There was no doubt at all that the questioner who asked about the world series was prepped for Kerry to make the remark about Florida.

No way was that question or the answer spontaneous.

15 posted on 11/10/2003 4:01:58 PM PST by OldFriend (DEMS INHABIT A PARALLEL UNIVERSE)
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To: GraniteStateConservative
I had to make the decision whether to actively participate in Rock the Vote by asking a question that wasn't mine and wasn't representative of me as a Brown student, or to sit in the stands uninvolved.

"I had the choice between integrity or going along with goofy questions dreamed up by someone else. I chose to sell out, then whine about getting criticized for it later."

16 posted on 11/10/2003 4:06:23 PM PST by WOSG (I SUPPORT COLONEL WEST.)
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To: GraniteStateConservative
Can I guess about this "put=up=questioner"? Answers below: Is she thin? Is she pretty? Does she have a brain? Does she think for herself? Does she value notoriety over thought? Does she think we don't see through this "apology?"

Answers: Yes. Yes. Perhaps. She pretends to, but I think not. Yes. Yes.

17 posted on 11/10/2003 4:15:41 PM PST by RossA
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To: WOSG
"I had the choice between integrity or going along with goofy questions dreamed up by someone else. I chose to sell out, then whine about getting criticized for it later."

...or lie and agree to ask the question, then ask a poignant one.

18 posted on 11/10/2003 4:25:40 PM PST by Djarum
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To: HarryCaul
what she really means, of course, is "I had to decide if I wanted to be on TV or not".

That about sums it up--lead the rest of your life as a relative nobody or step up to the plate and become a famous dolt.

19 posted on 11/10/2003 4:41:07 PM PST by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: RatherBiased.com
Brings to mind "A conservative is a liberal that's been mugged"

However, since she is a "Pembroker" there ain't no hope for her.

20 posted on 11/10/2003 5:04:39 PM PST by nevergiveup (We CAN do it!)
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To: RatherBiased.com
I had to make the decision whether to actively participate in Rock the Vote by asking a question that wasn't mine and wasn't representative of me as a Brown student, or to sit in the stands uninvolved.

I would have hoped that such a liberal student body, from a school that in the very school catalog advocates intellectual freedom, would have reserved judgment on a situation and person it knew little if nothing about.

She "pretended" it was her question, now she's upset that people believed what she said.

21 posted on 11/10/2003 6:11:15 PM PST by RJL
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To: RJL
The silly jackass COULD have said: "CNN wants me to ask this question: ...."

Then proceed with the question.....but nooooo....thereby giving away the "game."

These Town Hall meetings/debates have long been a crock of dung...I remember one such Dole/Clinton '96 "debate" [gag] that was advertised as being given before a San Diego audience who "are ALL neutral and have not made up their minds." One of the "gee, I just can't decide" "questioners" tossed a real softball at clinnochio. San Diegans who followed politics knew it was the SISTER of an ex-Demo San Diego Mayor (Maureen O'Conner). Suuurrrree she hadn't "made up her mind." At that debate NOT ONE person asked clinnochio about the dirty hands chinese money he had been recieving NOT ONE...bastards all....

I NEVER watch these so-called "debates" anymore. They're all softballs and "Gotchas" depending on how the media wants it to go:

"Mr. Bush, who is the #4 man in Ugudabugadah Land?" Then when he "doesn't know!!!" he's "stupid."

Then they turn around and say:

"Mr. Demo, If you could have another 10 days of the year to help crippled children, would you do it?" then demo says "Yes" and "he cares, he's sensitive, he feels our 'pain' "[he's also full of $&!+ but that is beside the point]

Poor Bush #1---frankly while it didn't score "he feels about our pain and 'cares' about it" Bush looking at his watch to see how much longer he would have to put up with that crap showed a REAL sign of genuine intelligence, no matter how the media spun it.

22 posted on 11/10/2003 6:42:38 PM PST by karen999
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: RatherBiased.com
So what I want to know is...Did the CNN puppetmaster had his hand up her skirt when he moved her lips and made her ask the question that he wrote?

Enquiring minds want to know.
24 posted on 11/10/2003 7:21:21 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (DEFUND NPR & PBS - THE AMERICAN PRAVDA)
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To: RatherBiased.com
>>Loyalty to my commitment and the opportunity to be involved in Rock the Vote outweighed any criticism I thought would come from the question.

Translation: I knew I was coming off like a dumb bimbo, but I was going to have my chance to be on TV!

Guys: Don't date this woman. (OK, there are better reasons than this:) She'll screw your brother if she thinks it'll get her on Jerry Springer.

D@mn! I had more respect when I thought she was just asking a "personality question."
25 posted on 11/10/2003 8:46:09 PM PST by dangus
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To: RatherBiased.com
Now she's learned her lesson. Play the fool for the Left, be pegged as a fool. If you think it's stupid, don't put your name on it!
26 posted on 11/10/2003 9:22:47 PM PST by thoughtomator ("A republic, if you can keep it.")
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: RatherBiased.com
This is just PERFECT for CNN and so typical: don't trust the people to come up with appropriate questions -- you have to PRODUCE it! Nice to see they found a gullible Brown co-ed willing to participate in their fraud.

I bet she really did want to ask the "boxers or briefs" question but would Carole Mosley Braun have answered?

28 posted on 11/11/2003 3:25:41 AM PST by ReleaseTheHounds
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To: thoughtomator

These college kids haven't learned yet that they are just props at candidate events such as this, to show how "with it" the nerdy candidates are? Ha! I thought this Y Gen was supposed to be so media savvy, but they are just as gullibe as the elderly in nursing homes who are used as props for the cameras when discussing "saving Social Security". TV is the worst thing that has happened to politics in this country.
29 posted on 11/11/2003 3:36:59 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: RatherBiased.com
In case anyone cares about the stated computer preferences of the Democrat Presidential candidates, they were:

PC: Dean, Kucinich, and Moseley-Braun (but her son has a Mac)
PDA: Lieberman

and, drum-roll please ...

Mac: Sharpton

(courtesy of The Mac Observer)

30 posted on 11/11/2003 3:13:50 PM PST by AZLiberty (Where Arizona turns for dry humor)
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To: AZLiberty
And here's George W. Bush with his PowerBook (what a great name for a Presidential computer).
31 posted on 11/11/2003 3:34:10 PM PST by AZLiberty (Where Arizona turns for dry humor)
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To: AZLiberty
Oops, should have included the picture.


32 posted on 11/11/2003 3:37:16 PM PST by AZLiberty (Where Arizona turns for dry humor)
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