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Remember how last night's debate closed on a, like, totally serious note with a question to Hillary Clinton about whether she preferred diamonds or pearls? Can you even believe that some ditzy student would ask such a question?

Well, as it turns out:

Maria Luisa, the UNLV student who asked Hillary Clinton whether she preferred "diamonds or pearls" at last night's debate wrote on her MySpace page this morning that CNN forced her to ask the frilly question instead of a pre-approved query about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

"Every single question asked during the debate by the audience had to be approved by CNN," Luisa writes. "I was asked to submit questions including "lighthearted/fun" questions. I submitted more than five questions on issues important to me. I did a policy memo on Yucca Mountain a year ago and was the finalist for the Truman Scholarship. For sure, I thought I would get to ask the Yucca question that was APPROVED by CNN days in advance."

CNN's defense?

Specifically, a CNN spokesperson confirmed to me that the network chose that question and asked her to ask it.

But in the network's defense the spokesperson also says that the girl wasn't "forced" to ask it. She submitted the question in advance -- it was her question -- and voluntarily agreed to ask it. CNN selected the question and asked her towards the close of the debate if she wanted to ask it. She said yes.

Oh, well then, that's ok! No problem with a so-called news network focusing on the appearance and devotion to consumerism of the first serious female presidential candidate ever. I'm so glad they cleared that up. Otherwise I might have had to question my faith in the awesomeness of CNN.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:40 PM PST.

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