CNN performs ‘special drawing’ to select Dem debate lineups, but likely drew more mockery than viewers

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:

Here’s a sampling of other responses to CNN trying a little too hard, from Twitter:


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