CNN Didn't Disclose That Audience Member Who Set Warren Up for Viral Soundbite Was Maxed Out Donor


It was a viral moment for Sen. Elizabeth Warren — and it didn’t involve the reveal of a dodgy, ill-starred DNA test that haunted her campaign for months.

On both of those counts, it was a win. During the questioning at last week’s CNN LGBT-themed town hall meeting, an audience member — Morgan Cox, the chair of the board of directors of the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign — tossed the Massachusetts Democrat a batting-practice pitch.

He gave Warren a hypothetical situation: “A supporter approaches you and says, ‘Senator, I am old-fashioned, and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.’ What is your response?”

Without skipping a beat, Warren made a somewhat ridiculous tacit assumption but otherwise hit it out of the park, at least as far as Democrat voters are concerned:

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“Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that and I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that,’” Warren said, adding, “Assuming you can find one.”

Can we get a few clap emojis up in here? Because that’s what the kids like to call a clap back.

Good to see that Warren thinks her supporters who hold to Christian orthodoxy are pretty much bridge-trolls who can’t find a wife. Good to also see that she assumes women who hold to this position and support her don’t exist.

Do you think CNN is biased?

I’d posit supporters of either gender who hold this position also probably don’t hold a high opinion of Warren, considering the fact her contempt for orthodox Christianity isn’t exactly a secret.

However, what was a secret was something else that may mean that video stays viral in a completely different way — at least for conservatives.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, CNN didn’t disclose that Cox, in addition to being on HRC’s board of directors, had also maxed out his donations to Warren’s campaign.

“Cox’s Twitter profile indicates that his full name is ‘Morgan W. Cox III’ and he is a partner at the investment firm Marquis Group,” the Free Beacon reported Monday.

“The Marquis Group is located in Plano, Tex., part of the larger Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. FEC filings show that a ‘Morgan Cox III’ from Plano, Tex., who listed his occupation as ‘investor’ donated the legal maximum of $2,700 to Warren’s Senate primary campaign in 2017, followed by two donations totaling $2,700 to her general election campaign the following year. Cox also donated $2,700 to the Elizabeth Warren Action Fund PAC.”

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He hasn’t donated to any other 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, although he’s donated to several congressional candidates in the past (mostly Democrats, as if you needed to ask) as well as the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 2004.

As the Free Beacon pointed out, this isn’t the first town hall meeting on the network which has seen some modicum of controversy.

“The lack of disclosure comes after CNN was criticized in February for not disclosing the Democratic Party ties of town hall participants who asked harsh questions of outsider presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), including identifying the Baltimore County Democratic Party chairwoman as a ‘former biology professor,'” the media outlet reported.

“A CNN spokesperson admitted in a statement that they ‘should have more fully identified any political affiliations’ in response to the February controversy.”

Apparently, CNN didn’t learn their lesson. Or, to take a more passive verbal construction, “lessons weren’t learned.” Mistakes were made!

Rest assured those lessons will remain unlearned and mistakes will continue to be made. CNN didn’t respond to the Free Beacon’s request for comment, after all, and there wasn’t any change from the last town hall.

For CNN not to have known this — to not do basic due diligence — after the events of February is simply stunning. If they did know it, that makes it even worse.

At this point, CNN should just admit that it is biased and it’s either not going to vet the people asking questions at these town halls or let them ask their questions despite the fact they’ve got an undisclosed conflict of interest.

Either way doesn’t bode well for how the rest of the network’s events with the Democratic candidates are going to end up going, at least for viewers tuning in expecting something substantive.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture