Desperate times call for desperate measures and when you struggle to compete with cable networks like TLC, Investigation Discovery and the Hallmark Channel, as does CNN, despair can cause you to do some regrettable things.
Like airing a game show-like special “draw” to decide the lineup for the upcoming Democratic presidential debates — which proved that while drawing viewers may be a challenge for the network, drawing mockery is no problem.
With 20 “qualified” candidates, CNN will hold debates on two consecutive nights and the network held three separate drawings to divide the field into three tiers. The third tier featured the front-runners: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
This was to prevent an unbalanced lineup one night over the other, as seen during the recent NBC debates.
Randomly drawing from two sets of boxes, one representing the candidates and one the night they will appear, the debate lineup was set.
This wonderful process was overseen by anchors Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper, with Ana Cabrera doing the drawing for the final drawing of the top-tier candidates.
The over-the-top production included Cabrera shuffling the cards and placing them into the appropriate box, complete with an overhead camera to ensure no cheating — after all, this is CNN, and drawing the names on live TV.
The end result has Sanders and Warren appearing Tuesday night, July 30, and Harris and Biden appearing Wednesday night, July 31.
More from Fox News on the overall lineup:
On Tuesday, July 30, the debate stage will have Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Gov. Steve Bullock, D-Mont., former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson.
And on Wednesday, July 31, the stage will include former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Rep.Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and businessman Andrew Yang.
Predictably, CNN was brutally mocked, as Fox News noted, pointing to Slate writer Ashley Feinberg, who tweeted that this “was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.”
And that’s not all she tweeted:
what the fuck am i looking at pic.twitter.com/b0ujWyckAy
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) July 19, 2019
Here’s a sampling of other responses to CNN trying a little too hard, from Twitter:
CNN has positioned multiple cameras around the draw box in order to ensure Donna Brazile is not hiding in one.
— David Catanese (@davecatanese) July 19, 2019
Watching #CNN milking the #DemocraticDebate draw for everything it’s worth. They don’t report the news, they make the news – even when there’s no news to make. So silly, I can’t believe I’m watching. pic.twitter.com/chNzTHNGGZ
— James J. Zogby (@jjz1600) July 19, 2019
— Nadir Carlson (@NadirCarlsonWI) July 19, 2019
#CnnDraw results for the Detroit Dem debate:
First night: White night (no racial minorities)
Second night: Diversity night (all racial minorities in the race). Biden v Harris rematch.
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) July 19, 2019
Where things stand after the second draw:
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 19, 2019
Democratic Debate Draw on CNN
Good to see CNN is handling the future of American democracy will the same classy gravitas as the swingers key party in The Ice Storm. pic.twitter.com/tCHtWEwtYW
— Ryan Adams 🎞️🏳️🌈 (@filmystic) July 19, 2019
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) July 19, 2019
Here for the CNN debate draw programming pic.twitter.com/QjomIljZiV
— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) July 19, 2019
This CNN draw is taking more liberties than the Goblet of Fire film pic.twitter.com/vpyW8k2gf4
— Max Levy (@maxwellkayton) July 19, 2019
Seriously @CNN. Why is this prime time again!! You are showing the drawing for debate slots.. seriously mind numbing.. I don’t know why have not changed the channel yet.. my brain is mush watching #cnndebatedraw #mindnumbing pic.twitter.com/MMkAqTRgXC
— Dilip Khadye (@khadye) July 19, 2019
This CNN debate drawing—– pic.twitter.com/veUf6FRUJF
— Jonathan Hardison (@FOX6Hardison) July 19, 2019
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