Yesterday, Paste magazine made an observation about some of the questioners at CNN’s town hall with Bernie Sanders:
There were a bunch of audience members who are far more active in politics than CNN disclosed. Watching the town hall live made it seem as if these were just folks from all walks of life, when in reality many of these supposedly innocuous questioners were political operatives in one way or another, as this thread revealed.
— CNN called Tara Ebersole a “former biology professor” when her LinkedIn page lists her current job description as “Chair, Baltimore County Democratic Party” since 2016. Further, her husband was part of Hillary Clinton’s leadership council in Baltimore in 2016.
— Abena McAllister was labeled “an active Democrat,” which is far less descriptive than the Charles County Democratic Central Committee’s description of her as their Chair.
— Yunjung Seo was simply called a “George Washington Student” by CNN, despite her LinkedIn page saying she also works for the Katz Watson Group, a fundraising and consulting outlet.
— Michelle Gregory was simply listed as a “Maryland voter” by CNN, but a cursory Google search reveals her to be much more active in politics than just voting.
This prompted allegations at various outlets that the audience was “stacked” with establishment-Democrat Bernie critics.
I was kind of curious how this happened, so I reached out to CNN’s media people for a response. A spokesperson provided this statement: “Though we said at the beginning of the Town Hall that the audience was made up of Democrats and Independents, we should have more fully identified any political affiliations.”
Update: Reader Christian Sowalla notes these two tweets from Virginia delegate Lee J. Carter:
FWIW, pretty much all of the Virginia people I saw were Bernie delegates at the 2016 state convention.
— Lee J. Carter (@carterforva) February 27, 2019