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Their debate at Sibutramine Prices - FDA Checked Pharmacy

Their debate

I am sorely disappointed. CNN selected too many obvious, dutiful, silly questions. Anderson Cooper didn't pace the debate; he tried to trip the runners. The videos were too tiny to be given justice. The candidates' videos were just commercials. There were far too few issues. There were too many candidates. The candidates gave us the same answers they always give. I have no doubt -- no doubt -- that we, the people, would have done a better job picking the questions than CNN did. I have no doubt that we would have heard far more substance without CNN and TV cameras in this. This should have been a debate held online: candidates answering questions directly without the need for CNN, Anderson Cooper, or their cameras. We end with the usual horserace blather of the TV commentators. A terribly wasted opportunity, this was.

20 Responses to “Their debate”

  1. 1 Toby Jul 23rd, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Jeff - Do you think having ‘the people’ vote on which questions to ask from the total submitted would have made a difference to the tone of the debate?

  2. 2 Mark @ News Corpse Jul 24th, 2007 at 12:29 am

    I too was disappointed. What I saw was a:

    Two Hour YouTube Commercial On CNN
    What they succeeded at was promoting YouTube and it’s corporate parent, Google. The program was a two hour American Idol style commercial for a business that has a broad portfolio of vested interests in media and politics. CNN is partnered with Google who’s search engine is featured on their web site. And all of the political players on the stage have potential for benefiting Google’s regulatory agenda.

  3. 3 elleng Jul 24th, 2007 at 1:16 am

    There is merit to each of your complaints, but this was the best ‘debate’ I’ve seen.

    As long as the 2 parties refuse to agree with league of women voter’s format, I think we should see this format only. Real people asking real questions. Some ‘tweaks,’ of course.

  4. 4 JD Lasica Jul 24th, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Jeff, I think some of your points are well taken, but on the whole, tonight was a refreshing exercise in political discourse and not the same old same old.

    Perhaps because you had such a clear (and keen-eyed) vision of what you’d like to see in these national conversations, you perhaps aren’t giving enough recognition to the fact that this evening’s debate changed the rules of the game. Perhaps not profoundly. But surely significantly.

    More here:

  5. 5 KOffee Jul 24th, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Well i wasnt expecting much anyways. It would be hard to have a direct online debate though for it would be to messy thousands of people would ask question at the same time.

  6. 6 KOffee Jul 24th, 2007 at 6:56 am

    @JD LAsica: I dont see how it changed the rule significantly. Can you explain? There were basic questions with same old answers. Question format did change but that’s the only thing. Where I am from (France) we had a similar debate with people asking candidate questions directly on TV: didnt change nothing…

  7. 7 Steve Clancy Jul 24th, 2007 at 7:24 am

    I had very little expectations for the debate, so my experience was different - I thought it went pretty well. I think the key here was that the questions tonight were better than anything Wolf Blitzer had last month. In that debate I got the sense he was using the forum to outsmart candidates and inflate his own ego. To Cooper’s credit he stayed a moderator throughout the debate and held the candidates to the specific questions the YouTubers posted - rather than let them duck it with a stump speech. I think the question about diplomacy, the question about women in the draft, the gay marraige question, and several others were all very strong and telling of where these candidates stood. Maybe it wasn’t as open and hip as something totally online would have been, but I think it was better than anything cable TV has come up with thus far.

  8. 8 Tim Hood Jul 24th, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    I’m actually not sure the video format works that well-aren’t we getting a little obsessed with the medium? If we actually wanted the public to vote and choose the questions to be asked, then how likely would it be that many people would browse 3000+ 30 second clips? Questions in text form are far more browsable and the process of writing questions enables people to edit and hone. The winners of a crowd sourced interview competition could still be invited to ask the question live or record it. And for real dialogue, surely the questioners should get the chance to respond? Or may be they did and I missed it…
    For an example of an alternative format, please see the limey site,
    We’ll soon have all the presidential candidates on the site and text questions are welcome, as are volunteers to somehow get a commitment to the candidates to answer them.

  9. 9 Shelby Jul 24th, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    I talked to Anderson Cooper at the post-debate Google party (what an event *that* was, complete with sod brought in for a grassy parlor…and roaches), and asked him about the blogosphere’s dissatisfaction with the selection process. He said they had to keep control of it to prevent any candidates from gaming the system. He seemed to be referring to the Biden campaign’s “Then What” initiative, saying something along the lines of, “As we saw one candidate wanted to flood the system with his own question,” and went from there to the conclusion that even with authentically original questions, a candidate could pick favorites and ask their supporters to compulsively vote for particular questions. He did seem to concede that the next time around there might be some way to compromise between editorial control and average-Joe input. I might be able to post the video of said chit-chat by tomorrow.

  10. 10 Tim Hood Jul 24th, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    In the UK, the TV company Sky uses voting buttons on the remote controller for viewers to participate in online polls. This would be an effective way to both involve people who don’t use the web regularly in the selection of questions and to offset the effects of gaming on the process.

    I think a combination of first stage text questions, followed by second stage televised shortlists on video followed by a combination of telephone and web voting on the shortlist would be the most inclusive solution.

  11. 11 Elizabeth/ Jul 31st, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I watched some of the debate. Also, agree with
    several of your points. I watched only to see
    what the YouTube was all about. The 1 person video
    became boring after 15 minutes. I think next time
    the videos should be with a group of 50 people or
    Elizabeth G.

  12. 12 Everyday Citizen Aug 1st, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    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.

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