The Democratic Debate: ‘CNN Redeemed Itself’

By Mark Joyella 

CNN, knocked for a long, clumsy Republican presidential debate last month, is getting positive reviews for Tuesday night’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas.

“CNN redeemed itself,” writes Slate’s Justin Peters. “(The) Democratic debate was the polar opposite of its predecessor: brisk, informative, issue-focused, and constructively adversarial.”

Much of the credit went to moderator Anderson Cooper. “(Cooper) showed…how a lively debate is supposed to proceed and how critical the moderator is to its success,” writes Peters.

At Politico, Cooper was praised for sharp follow-ups that kept candidates from avoiding direct answers. “Cooper pushed back with clearly prepared notes, citing statistics and their past quotes, telling the candidates to actually answer the question he asked.”

CNN was criticized for its use of Don Lemon and Juan Carlos Lopez. The Washington Post’s Janelle Ross said “there was something very wrong with the incredibly limited ones proscribed for Lopez and Lemon”:

(CNN) thought it wise to allow an experienced Latino reporter to ask a small series of questions about immigration, and a black reporter to introduce a single inquiry from Facebook about Black Lives Matter. And that’s all we heard from them until nearly two hours into the debate.

Even conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell, publisher of Newsbusters had praise for the moderator:

And this, later in the day: