Following a Brown University student accusation that producers of last week’s Democratic presidential candidate debate coerced her to ask candidates whether they preferred Macs or PCs, broadcaster CNN admitted to the action and said that a producer on the show ”
went too far ” in telling the student what to ask.
Co-sponsored by CNN and the Rock the Vote organization, the event gathered most Democratic presidential hopefuls at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass. to speak to younger voters about their positions on the issue. Members of the audience asked questions ranging from the impact of the Patriot Act on civil liberties in the United States to the candidates’ position on American involvement in Iraq, sex education in schools, gay rights and other issues.
At one point, a Brown University student identified as Alexandra Trustman asked the candidates whether they used Macs or PCs. She later told the Brown Daily Herald that she was called the morning of the debate and given the topic of the question by CNN producers.
Trustman said that she was “confused by the question’s relevance” and would have preferred instead to ask the candidates about how they’d use technology in their administrations. She was told by the CNN producer that her question “wasn’t lighthearted enough” and that they wanted to “modulate the event with various types of questions.”
“In an attempt to encourage a lighthearted moment in this debate, a CNN producer working with Ms. Trustman clearly went too far. All of the other questions from the audience originated from the person asking them,” said CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson.