The paper identifies these people as "sympathizing" with Carter's views.
A critic compared it to a Soviet style press conference.
To me they sound like they have constructed a Bush-like press conference in which all the questions are pre-screened and those who will be called on are determined in advance. Actually, Bush is not this bad. He just knows who will be asking. He does not know their questions.
I was amazed to see a respected professor such as Gordon Fellman participated in this kind of sham. Among the questions I would ask Fellman and his compatriots is:
*is the only way you can invite someone who once was the most powerful man in the world by completing controlling the environment?
*was this one of Carter's demands?
*why didn't you set this up as the debate Carter himself professes to want?
* Why don't you trust your colleagues and students to ask questions?