Commenter “david, with ABEC” takes issue with last week’s suggestion that there may be a connection between CNN’s lack of debate questions on climate change and the fact that their debates have been sponsored by ABEC, a coal industry front group:
While we are flattered that there are some people out there who are convinced we can dictate the questions of the debate, the reality is we are merely a sponsor of advertising for the program. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Just as purchasing an ad in a newspaper doesn’t skew the editorial content of that paper, the same is true here.
Rather than try to keep the issue of climate policy from coming up, as some folks have suggested we are doing, we are putting our effort to ensure that the issue does come up on the campaign trail. In fact, here’s the question we’d love to see get asked in one of the debates: “How do you plan to help America meet its growing demand for affordable and reliable electricity while addressing the climate change issue?”
Isn’t that the question we’re all asking?
Actually, the question we’re all asking is why climate change has been taken off the table for the last five ABEC-sponsored CNN debates in a row. Whether ABEC is dictating the questions or not, the level of coincidence and perception of influence is striking.
But really, I don’t think anybody is blaming ABEC here. You have a business, you have an agenda, push it. Why else are you paying your P.R. department? The problem– if one exists– would be with CNN, which claims to be a completely independent and unbiased news organization, despite evidence to the contrary.