Election News

The 4th Democratic debate ended with a question about Ellen & people are mad about it

Ellen at a lectern
Photo: Shutterstock

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked a question about Ellen Degeneres at the Democratic debate last night that left viewers and participants mad.

CNN and the New York Times hosted the fourth Democratic primary debate last night with twelve of the top candidates attending.

Related: Mayor Pete ‘made history’ by talking about his coming out at the Democratic debate

For the final question, Cooper brought up the controversy around Ellen’s friendship with George W. Bush last week. He asked the candidates about a “friendship that you’ve had that would surprise us” and the impact the friendship had on them.

Many people called out Cooper for the question, especially since so many important topics had not been discussed in the debate.

Washington Gov. and former 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee tweeted about the lack of questions on climate change.

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro suggested that the time may have been better spent on immigration policy, climate change, or housing.

Political commentator Emma Vigeland also wanted to know where the climate change questions were.

L. Joy Williams, the president of the Brooklyn NAACP, went to all-caps to express how inane the Ellen question was.

Writer Charles Pierce was not amused.

But The Daily Show was.

In a statement, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis noted that the debate didn’t have any LGBTQ questions, unless one counts the Ellen question.

“We are living in an alarming time for LGBTQ Americans when just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments and will now decide whether employers should be granted the right to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.

“The election media cycle now needs to reverse course and ensure questions that address marginalized communities take center stage during debates and are not relegated to the sidelines.”

It should be noted that Cooper seemed to miss the point of the controversy last week. Ellen wasn’t being criticized because she’s so different from Bush, but because she’s very similar to him. They’re both wealthy and famous and neither of them really suffered as a result of the Iraq War, making their friendship too likely for all the wrong reasons.

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