Faces Of The Green Town Hall

A look into the faces — the people appearing on CNN’s Green Town Hall. Was it balanced, or did CNN stack the deck?

In total, eight people had the opportunity to direct questions to Jill Stein. Whatever anyone’s opinions of her answers, it would be difficult to say that Stein carried herself with anything less than grace and poise.

To anyone that watched, there may be questions as to the authenticity of the selected few. I dug down as far back as December 2015 to try to bring a little insight. Seven of the eight had Twitter accounts which I looked through. For the Twitter absentee, I performed an Internet search and found a political article.

Six of them were as presented. Two were not. I commend Alexander McCoy for his efforts with #VetsVsHate. Marcella Aburdene was the Twitter absentee and a featured anti-Hillary voice in an article. There were varying degrees of political causes championed by each — but what about the more questionable two?

Gloria Tso and Andrew Fader both pictured above and both introduced as “leaning towards Clinton”, were supposedly Sanders supporters — or were they?

Gloria Tso

Gloria was the first person to get up and ask a question. She is the first I dug into, and is the one that required looking all the way back to December 2015. I wanted to see what she was up to when Bernie was still in the race. Gloria’s account is full of dogs, the Olympics, and Capybaras. There is a clear anti-Trump sentiment, and what I would characterize as adoration of Barack Obama whom Gloria is pictured with on her account. There are a few mentions of Bernie Sanders, but aside from name dropping involvement with the fashionable organizations for an up and coming social climber, Gloria seems largely uninterested in politics.

Gloria has exactly four pro-Sanders tweets all posted on February 13th, 2016. But about two weeks later on March 2nd, 2016 she took the initiative to go out to see Hillary Clinton at an appearance. Three months after on June 9th, 2016 she posted a tweet indicating she thought Sanders should drop out. Finally two months later on July 25th, 2016 while Sanders supporters were lamenting Sanders’ loss, Gloria applauded Sanders endorsement of Clinton on the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

It seems Gloria had been more than “leaning” towards Clinton — Gloria had drank the Clinton Kool-aid months before Sanders lost California.

What would you like to say to win over Sanders supporters like me who are absolutely not voting for Trump but are feeling somewhat disillusioned by Clinton?

How disillusioned with Clinton can someone be that attends a Clinton appearance, wishes for Sanders to drop out early, and is excited at his loss? Not very. Not at all really.

But if Gloria’s question suggested neutrality, why not take her at face value? Well, it is precisely because of her “face value” that prompted me to question her. Television is not mere dialog. Words on a page can do that. We had the benefit of Gloria’s body language and facial expressions as well. Watching Gloria, something just didn’t sit right. She struck me as subdued and low energy. She gave off very little, but just didn’t seem to care about Stein’s answer.

Is Gloria Tso smiling, or wincing?
Gloria Tso’s tweets.

Andrew Fader

This may come as a surprise to those that watched Andrew’s segment, but he really is a Sanders supporter. His Twitter account is plastered with exactly the sort of pro-Sanders sentiment you would expect to see. There is also some anti-Trump, some anti-Hillary, and here’s the important part — some anti-Stein content.

To look through Andrew’s account, he doesn’t like Stein. He is firmly entrenched in the idea that Stein can never win and that she is a spoiler.

Andrew has clearly gotten some rather nasty remarks stemming from his appearance in the Green Town Hall. The consensus being that he was a Clinton plant. After all, why is someone so resolutely against Stein attending the Green Town Hall in the first place?

Given the way our political system works, effectively you could help Donald Trump like Ralph Nader helped George Bush in 2000, how could you sleep at night?

While Andrew’s question is fair and necessary at such a venue, his phrasing is loaded, biased, and leading. Surely there were others that submitted a near identical question, yet here was Andrew asking Stein why her turds don’t stink. CNN surely had a screening process in advance of the selection process. For over a year the network’s message has been vastly biased in favor of Clinton. There was a clear ulterior motive in selecting Andrew.

The real question is, did CNN know what they had? Andrew’s disgust with Stein came out more than 23 times all over his face — that was all I could count within reason, many were rapid fire expressions. It’s not hard to picture producers talking to Andrew before hand, seeing his frequent emoting, and realizing how that could instill similar negative feelings towards Stein to certain viewers.

Stein’s response to Andrew was filled with facts which seemed only to frustrate him. And frankly it’s odd. You see, Andrew really was a Sanders supporter. His Twitter is filled with information and links to articles that suggest he was likely familiar with many of the points Stein was making. Had it been Sanders on that stage, I can only imagine Andrew would have been on-board.

It appears lost on Andrew that like Stein, it was once Sanders that was accused of being a spoiler. While Stein does not have the political career to look back at like Sanders did, her platform is closer to Sanders than any of the other candidates.

Andrew may not have been a Clinton plant, but the inherent bias of his selection was not appropriate. It might be more fitting to say he was a CNN plant.

— Antyal


You can find Antyal Tennyson on Twitter under the handle @AntyalT.