The final question of last week's debate -- pearls or diamonds? -- was no doubt an intended softball. The Clinton campaign loved it because it showed her soft, lighthearted side. The other campaigns hated it for just the same reason. Turns out this question actually was from CNN, and not an audience question as billed by the network.
UNLV student Maria Luisa wrote on her MySpace page, that CNN refused to let her ask her original question and instead had her to ask the "diamonds or pearls" creampuff. "CNN ran out of time and used me to "close" the debate with the pearls/diamonds question. Seconds later this girl comes up to me and says, "you gave our school a bad reputation.' Well, I had to explain to her that every question from the audience was pre-planned and censored. That's what the media does. See, the media chose what they wanted, not what the people or audience really wanted. That's politics; that's reality."
An executive producer said Luisa was asked to choose another question because the candidates had already discussed Yucca Mountain. "When her Yucca mountain question was asked, she was given the opportunity to ask another question," executive prodcuer Sam Feist told The Atlantic. "My understanding is that the [diamond v. pearls] questions was her other question. She probably was disappointed, but we spent a lot of time with a bunch of different candidates on Yucca Mountain, and we were at the end of the debate."
According TPM, a CNN spokesman said the network did in fact chose the question and asked her to deliver it.