Stephanopoulos’ Other Shoe Dropping

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I admit I was puzzled when during January 7th’s New Hampshire debate, moderator George Stephanopoulos kept pressing and pressing candidate Mitt Romney on the issue of contraception.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But I do want to get that core question. Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?

ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception. I can’t imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were governor of a state-

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the Supreme Court had ruled on that …

ROMNEY: -or a legislator of a state, I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception. So you’re asking, given the fact that there’s no state that wants to do so, and I don’t know of any candidate that wants to do so. You’re asking: Could it constitutionally be done? We can ask our constitutionlist here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m sure Congressman Paul …  but I’m asking you: Do states have that right or not?

ROMNEY: George, I don’t know whether the states have a right to ban contraception. No state wants to. I mean, the idea of you putting forward things that states might want to do that no state wants to do and asking me whether they could do it or not, is kind of a silly thing I think.

At the time, I was thinking that had to be one of the dumbest lines of questioning in a Presidential debate that I could recall.  Of all the issues that were facing the American Republic, contraception wasn’t even in the top 10,000, let alone the top ten.  Why waste precious time talking about a totally unimportant political topic?

But that was then.

Now, post Komen controversy, it’s a little clearer.

Dick Morris offered a theory on Hannity yesterday that Stephanopoulos was acting under White House guidance in order to generate hopefully some sound bites that could be construed as anti-contraception.  Why contraception and not the liberals favorite social issue, abortion? The polling on abortion has changed.  Now, fewer people describe themselves as either pro abortion or pro choice, depending on your flavor.  But contraception?  Who’s against that?

Since contraception wasn’t even on the radar in January, this really requires an assumption of close contact and coordination between the White House and either ABC News or George Stephanopoulos.  Unfortunately, that’s not too far fetched.

The Daily Caller is running a multipart expose ofthe Soros sponsored website Media Matters.  What’s noteworthy is how the Caller reveals the close cooperation and coordination it enjoyed with the administration.

Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama’s deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.

The idea that Stephanopoulos worked with the White House in doing battlefield preparation for the election by trying to ensnare the likely Republican Presidential Candidate with an issue that nobody, except for those inside the White House, was aware would become a political issue within the next month; seems all too likely.

Certainly it’s happened before.  The journalist club Journolist, which kept Jeremiah Wright out of the mainstream news for months during the 2008 campaign still exists under the new appropriate name of Cabalist.  Of course in the case of Journolist, these were reporters who were coordinating their coverage with each other, exchanging talking points and discussing what should and shouldn’t be published.  That a certain ABC News This Week host might be coordinating directly with the White House isn’t at all far fetched.

Although not proven at this point.

It does explain Stephanopoulos’ wacky line of debate questioning better than any other reason I’ve heard of though.  Frankly, as untrustworthy as the Media is, I don’t think they should be moderating Presidential debates.  I’d rather the moderators come from think tanks or Universities that have actual debate professors who know how debates should be run.  The TV News channels wouldn’t likely want to give up their monopoly and if you were Barrack Obama, you wouldn’t want them to give it up either.

With this sort of media advantage, it will be hard to beat Obama regardless of any polls or issues.

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