Conservative talk show host Larry Elder (right, above) appeared on CNN with Don Lemon today to debate Democrat strategist Hilary Rosen (yes, that Hilary Rosen, who once mocked Ann Romney for having been a stay-at-home mother). The conversation quickly became two-against-one, as Lemon, frustrated by the cogency of Elder’s arguments on Obamacare, showed his true partisan self and intervened on Rosen’s side.
When Elder defended the shutdown by pointing to Obamacare’s contribution to the national debt as well as its harm to the economy, Rosen responded by arguing that Obamacare has become more popular (i.e. less unpopular) since the start of the shutdown, according to polls. (That exchange is typical of much of the debate: conservatives point out the facts, while Democrats point out the politics, as if the latter trumps the former.)
Lemon then asked Elder to respond to a statement by Dr. Ben Carson saying that Obamacare had been the worst thing to happen to America since slavery. Elder explained the parallel–that Obamacare “compelled” Americans to buy a product, and countered Rosen by suggesting that one reason Obamacare might have risen in the polls during the government shutdown was that the media kept maligning the Republican Party.
That was too much for Lemon, who jumped in, trumpeting the Democrats’ talking points: “I think the Republican Party is doing a good job of maligning themselves…the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party shut down the government, and it doesn’t make sense to anyone, and I’m sure most Republicans either, that you get on television and you’re upset because there are parts of the government that are shut down.”
All Rosen had to do was smile and nod as Lemon, proclaiming that he was “someone who is independent,” did her job for her–though no better, and with no more facts, than she had brought. Two against one, conservative facts and principles against liberal media snark and opinion polls. This is why the public distrusts the mainstream media in general and CNN particular. It is also why Elder’s loyal audience loves him.