Imagine for a moment that a Republican state senator in a liberal Northeastern state filibustered gay marriage legislation or some gun control measure like background checks. If he went on CNN the following day, do you think he would be grilled about his position? Without a doubt.
But that's not what happened when CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Texas state senator Wendy Davis after she filibustered a bill that would prohibit most abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and establish stronger safety standards for abortion clinics. In fact, Davis wasn't asked a single question about the substance of the bill she filibustered. Here are the six (closely paraphrased) questions that Cooper asked Davis:
1. How are you even awake today?
2. What was it like standing for that long?
3. It was a remarkable scene. Did you have any idea that it would grow like this?
4. What did this filibuster accomplish if Governor Perry can bring it up in another special session?
5. Was the time stamp on the vote intentionally falsified in an attempt to pass the bill?
6. Will you filibuster again?
It wasn't surprising to see MSNBC's Chris Hayes give Davis the "Chris Farley Show" treatment last night. (Hayes to Davis: "That was an amazing, amazing moment to watch.") But isn't CNN's Anderson Cooper supposed to be a self-respecting journalist? Shouldn't he have at least asked her under what circumstances she thinks late-term abortions should be legal? Or maybe he could have asked Davis to explain how late-term abortions are different than the Gosnell slayings?
But Cooper never bothered to ask Davis just one question about a measure that Texans back by a 32-point margin (62 percent to to 30 percent), according to a Texas Tribune poll. Again, one has to wonder, is this how the interview would have been conducted if Davis were a Republican senator filibustering gay marriage or gun control?