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Why do conservatives but not progressives get to question candidates?

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At the CNN-sponsored Republican Party debate last month at the Reagan Library, one of the three panelists CNN selected to question the candidates was conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, affiliated with the proudly right-wing Salem Radio Network.

But at Tuesday's upcoming Democratic Party debate, CNN is planning to include not a single progressive advocate among its panel of four questioners.

Click here to change that.

It's clear that who gets to pose questions has impact on the tenor of the debate. For example, Hewitt used September's Republican debate to declare that President Obama's "knees buckled" over Syria and that every Republican candidate was "more qualified than" Hillary Clinton. Hewitt pressed Jeb Bush from the right over his comment about making sure guns are not in the hands of the mentally ill: "Where does it go from what you said last week, how far into people's lives to take guns away from them?"

For the sake of basic fairness and balance, CNN should add to its panel an unapologetic progressive for Tuesday's debate.

Click here to sign the petition we'll deliver to CNN.

At CNN's Republican debate last month, along with Hewitt, the panel was composed of two journalists CNN presents as somewhat objective or neutral: CNN anchor Jake Tapper and CNN correspondent Dana Bash.

At CNN's upcoming Democratic debate, the panel is to be composed of four journalists CNN presents as neutral: CNN correspondent Dana Bash and three CNN anchors (Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon and Juan Carlos Lopez of CNN en Espanol.)

Glaringly missing from this proposed lineup is an unabashed progressive advocate.

Click here to tell CNN to quickly add a progressive to the panel.

There are many qualified journalists for this seat – from respected progressive media institutions (for example, The Nation or Mother Jones, to name just two). 

Hewitt's appearance on the CNN panel is reportedly part of an agreement by which CNN and the right-wing Salem Media company are teaming up on three GOP presidential debates.

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-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

Hot Air: Salem, CNN team up for three GOP primary debates



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