Just started watching, and so far both questions CNN has gone to the audience for had major issues.
First, the claim that the questioner was racially profiled is just that: a claim, not a fact.
Second, the question about immigration contained a lie: terrorists have indeed crossed our southern border, as have tens of thousands of people from Special Interest countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and more . CNN's Suzanne Malveaux then tossed it to Bill Richardson, who simply launched into his stock legalization speech.
CNN is wasting your time and allowing unfounded claims and lies to be spread.
From the transcript (link), here's the question:
It seems that many political commentators such as Lou Dobbs are guiding the debate and strongly shaping U.S. policy on immigration by insinuating a linkage to terrorism. As many people know, no terrorist has come from our southern border. Do you consider fighting terrorism and slowing the flow of illegal immigration coming from our southern border as intrinsically related issues?
About the second question, Katharine Q. Seelye of the New York Times says:
Really smart question from a voter who asked whether fighting terrorism and slowing immigration were intertwined.
You don't want to know what I thought of the "diamonds or pearls" question.
Please, please, please:
1. Go to campaign appearances.
2. Ask tough questions.
3. Upload and promote the response.
CNN isn't a news source, they're propaganda mixed with entertainment. We need to completely disintermediate them.
UPDATE: The "diamonds or pearls" student has issued a statement (link):
"Every single question asked during the debate by the audience had to be approved by CNN... I was asked to submit questions including "lighthearted/fun" questions. I submitted more than five questions on issues important to me. I did a policy memo on Yucca Mountain a year ago and was the finalist for the Truman Scholarship. For sure, I thought I would get to ask the Yucca question that was APPROVED by CNN days in advance."
CNN's Sam Feist (sam.feist *at* cnn.com) says it was because that question had already been asked earlier. Now that we know that CNN had to approve each question, we know that CNN allowed a lie and an unverified claim to be broadcast. Please contact Feist with your thoughts.
UPDATE 2: See also "Campbell Brown/CNN asks simplistic question, gets stock Barack Obama answer (benefits for illegal aliens)" and "Barack Obama supports driver's licenses for illegal aliens, misleads about incentives".
UPDATE 3 (POTTED PLANT EDITION): How prescient of me! The "racial profiling" person (Khalid Khan) is president of the Islamic Council of Nevada. He apparently has a link to Harry Reid. The "pearls" girl is apparently a former illegal alien who used to work for... Harry Reid. See the comment from Jenny Bea here.
Texas' top homeland security official said Wednesday that terrorists with ties to Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaida have been arrested crossing the Texas border with Mexico in recent years.
See also "[45,000] Illegals From Terror-Sponsoring Nations at Large in US", "FBI warns of 'special interest' aliens", "Terrorists at The Border?", "Illegals from terrorist nations are crossing the border into Arizona", "FBI's Mueller: Hezbollah Busted in Mexican Smuggling Operation" (March 2006), "Terror-Linked Migrants Crossing Into U.S.", Bush "cognizant" of border terrorism risk, but won't do anything about it and, from this PDF file:
Members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered to the United States across our Southwest border. On March 1, 2005, Mahmoud Youssef Kourani pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah. Kourani is an illegal alien who had been smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border after bribing a Mexican consular official in Beirut for a visa to travel to Mexico. Kourani and a Middle Eastern traveling partner then paid coyotes in Mexico to guide them into the United States.
Thu, 11/15/2007 - 17:38 · Importance: 4