YouTube Debates

The questions were a lot of fun to watch and the debate was innovative in it’s format. But as I’ve said before, getting people to ask questions of candidates isn’t somethign entirely new. State and local debates have had video “man on the street” style questions before and usually one presidential debate is a town hall setting where the audience gets to ask questions. Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry all took questions from an MTV crowd in their “choose of loose” series in their respective years as Democratic nominees. What the YouTube debate did  was simply allow the questions come from anywhere, including a question about ending the genocide in Darfur that was filmed in a refugee camp in Africa. CNN took contol of debate by showing only the questions they saw fit for the candidates. Some thought the users should be able to decide on the questions. Would that have made the debate more interesting, innovative or compelling?

 See the debate here


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