So CNN chose to close the debate with a ridiculously inane question to Hillary — “pearls or diamonds?”:

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.

As you may have heard by now, the girl said on her MySpace page that she was forced to ask this question and that she would have preferred to ask one about Yucca Mountain. She said this in response to the storm of criticism and ridicule the question has since received.

And it looks like the girl is right: Though she did submit the question, CNN did select it and ask her to pose it.

Hillary’s rivals are accusing CNN of going soft on the frontrunner, and they’re pointing to this question, among other things, as proof of this.

Seems like this is a bit overblown — but I don’t understand why the producers chose to waste time with that question in the first place.

To point out how incredible it is that MySpace led to this story would be trite, I guess. You know, media convergence and the self-publishing revolution and all that. (But, it is pretty incredible.)