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Why the YouTube debates matter at Sibutramine Prices - FDA Checked Pharmacy

Why the YouTube debates matter

The YouTube debates could fundamentally change the dynamics of politics in America, giving a voice to the people, letting us be heard by the powerful and the public, enabling us to coalesce around our interests and needs, and even teaching reporters who are supposed to ask questions in our stead how they should really do it. The debates could also demonstrate that democracy is in good hands, that we care, we are smart, we are informed. Too often, that's not the PR we, the people, get. We're masses who don't know and don't give a damn. But that's not the people you see in the vast majority of YouTube's 2,000-plus debate questions. Finally, the debates could begin to change the relationship between candidates and voters. Campaigns always have been and still are all about control, about handing down a message, about the appearance of listening. The wise candidates should go into those 2,000 questions and start answering the toughest ones, whether or not they're asked on CNN; that will earn our respect. (John Edwards plans to answer more questions after the CNN debate Monday night.) All this could happen. Or CNN could pick the dutiful, dull, obvious, sophomoric questions and make us look like a nation of dolts. I hope that won't be the case; I don't think it will. Yet CNN did give itself too much control and responsibility when it decided to single-handedly choose all our questions. They should have enabled us to select at least some of the questions and to rate, categorize, organize, and comment on them. At the very least, CNN should have asked us what we think about their choices. Not allowing that still indicates a lack of trust in us, the electorate. CNN shouldn't be controlling this. They should be organizing it. But Anderson Cooper, who'll moderate the debate for CNN, told our sister blog at the Washington Post, Channel 08:
>These are smart questions, and people are clearly living these topics. It's not just theoretical question, or an academic discussion. These are people that are very passionate about this topic. I want to make sure that this debate honors them, and honors the time they took to make these questions.
My fondest hope is that viewers -- and candidates and journalists -- leave the debate impressed with at least a few of the questions. I hope they see that handing over control to us -- or I should say, back to us -- makes for a better discussion and, in the end, a better democracy. I hope they see that we do care, we are smart. I hope they learn to involve us in their process more often. I hope we all feel better about the election and the country as a result. That is putting a lot of pressure on two hours of TV, YouTube videos, and politicians. But the YouTube debates are a crack in the wall of control of elections, politics, and media. Bring your chisels. * LATER: Preview stories from the Atlanta Constitution and NY Times quote PrezVid.

13 Responses to “Why the YouTube debates matter”

  1. 1 Social Citizen Jul 22nd, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Great feature! I must’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of weeks though because I just learned about this debate earlier today. I immediately posted about it on my blog, Nifty Nation.

  2. 2 Patrick Poole Jul 22nd, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I too feel this CNN/YouTube debate has a potential for interest. I will be very surprised if CNN chooses to use any of the really hard hitting questions proposed on YouTube. They have always had the opportunity to pose such questions and I do not believe the average American is any more capable than a reporter of asking the questions that really matter most; the reporters simply choose not to. I believe that most of the important issues are already on the table, apart from some minor details, and I am curious to see what new questions could be proposed via this method. I agree it certainly would be much better if CNN were “organizing” rather than “controlling” this debate. Nevertheless, I guess someone will have to decide what questions will be televised.

  3. 3 Jonathan Trenn Jul 23rd, 2007 at 12:30 pm


    I agree that this is potentially grounbreaking. And I agree that it would have been better in CNN organized the debate rather that control it.

    But, from what I’ve seen, reporters and debate moderators can ask the tough questions. And candidates can give canned answers, twist the truth, and attack opponet…all instead of answering that tough question.

    What makes you think that this will be different? Espceially without the benefit of the questioner sitting there with a follow up if the candidate dodged the question?

  4. 4 Brian Turner Jul 24th, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Potentially important - but politics is as much about controlling the message. While a step in the right direction, I don’t think we’re going to see politician’s unmasked anytime soon. 2c.

  5. 5 Everyday Citizen Aug 1st, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    While, overall, I’m extremely pleased with the debates - I do think that CNN/YouTube made mistakes in selecting the lineup of chosen questions.

    Women make up 54 percent of the population, 55 percent of registered voters and 60 percent of the electorate.

    In all recent elections, women have outvoted men (in terms of both turnout rates and actual numbers) in every racial and ethnic group - African American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and white.

    So, when CNN/YouTube/Google selected only 24% of the questions as female questions - they created a tremendous credibility and gender gap with the majority of the electorate.

    Please read my recent blog entry -
    Almost 9 Million More Women - YouTube Blew It?
    for more thoughts on this subject.

  6. 6 Surfer May 1st, 2009 at 1:38 pm
  1. 1 znth » Blog Archive » Will the YouTube Debates Be Any Different? Pingback on Jul 23rd, 2007 at 2:35 am
  2. 2 Trackback on Jul 23rd, 2007 at 9:18 am
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  4. 4 e.politics: online advocacy tools & tactics » Getting Ready for the CNN/YouTube Debate Pingback on Jul 23rd, 2007 at 1:08 pm
  5. 5 YouTube and CNN Democratic Presidential Debates » Webomatica - tech, movies, music blog Pingback on Jul 24th, 2007 at 7:30 am
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