During last night's Republican presidential debate, a member of the audience stood up and asked the candidates a very simple question on Iran (my emphasis):
QUESTION: Hi, my name is Ken Taylor (ph) from Wickenberg, Arizona and my question to all the candidates is, how do you plan on dealing with the growing nuclear threat in Iran?
It's a very important and timely question, given that President Barack Obama has effectively granted the Iranian regime an additional four years to develop its nuclear program, after placating eagerly seduced pro-Israel Democrats with the false promise: "I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel."
The simple and direct question from the audience invited the candidates to contrast their policies with Obama's failed record on Iran--and on Israel, which Obama has exposed to existential danger on this and other issues. But before any of the candidates could answer, CNN moderator John King stepped in to turn the question around completely (my emphasis):
KING: It's a pressing question at the moment. Mr. Speaker, let's go to you first on this one. I want to ask you in the context of the president's and this country's highest ranking military officer, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dempsey told CNN this last week, quote, "A strike at this time would be destabilizing and would not achieve Israel's long term objectives." If you win this election, General Dempsey would still be -- would then be your chairman of the joint chiefs.
If the prime minister of Israel called you, said he wanted to go forward and questioned, Sir do you agree -- Mr. President do you agree with your chairman of the joint chiefs? Would you say, yes, Mr. Prime Minister, please stand down? Or would you give Israel the green light?
So the question "how would you deal with Iran?" became "how would you deal with Israel?
That's exactly how the Obama administration--which is doing more to stop Israel than it is to stop Iran--wants to re-frame the issue. It wants to distract from its own dismal record, and cast the president's reckless confrontations with Israel as reasonable statesmanship.
Meanwhile, the Tehran regime accelerates its nuclear program, happy that Israel is once again the primary target of both the Obama administration and its eager defenders in the mainstream media.
That's the effect of having CNN moderate the Republican debates.