Captain Ed’s YouTube debate compromise: Let bloggers choose the questions

posted at 6:17 pm on July 29, 2007 by Allahpundit

A nice try but one which CNN would never agree to. Why should they? If you believe they’re out to hammer the GOP (which I don’t), they’d want to do it from the left. If they farm it out to a panel of righty bloggers, they’re going to get stuff like, “Why shouldn’t we be in Iraq for 10 more years?” An uncomfortable question to be sure, but not the type they’re allegedly in the market for.

I’m not sure why Ed wants bloggers deputized for this role either. One of the guys at Tech President proposed before the Democratic debate that instead of letting CNN choose, the ‘Tubers themselves should select the top 30 or so questions by voting. CNN would eliminate any that are profane or offensive and just ask the rest in order. It’d absolve them completely from complaints over question selection and it’d make for dynamite television given the amount of crankery it would promise. If, as Ed says, the goal is to “truly … make the candidates accountable directly to the people” then why not go with the broadest base of “people” you’ve got?

Demanding a change in rules after the Dem debate’s already gone off actually looks worse, I think, than pulling out altogether. If you walk away, you can at least try to spin it as objecting to an undignified format. Most people won’t buy that, me included, but some will. If you say you’re okay with the format but want the questions approved by people who lean your way, you’re admitting you won’t step in to the box unless you’re expecting softballs. Not only is that PR poison but it makes no sense given that the GOP’s already participated in a CNN debate on June 5. If the prospect of fielding a question from a talking snowman is that disquieting to you, just concede that the Democrats were right to walk away from Fox and walk away.

Update: Ana Marie Cox claims the debate may be moved back all the way to December to accommodate Republican schedules. She’s also surprised that Michelle and her stereotypical image of Michelle aren’t one and the same.


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CNN choose, the ‘Tubers themselves should select the top 30 or so questions by voting.

For god’s sake (I know you dont believe in him…Yet) Allahpundit, dont you know that would be like democratic, Communist New Network…eh…

doriangrey on July 29, 2007 at 6:20 PM

The Republicans just have to take it like a man and not demand any format changes.

frankj on July 29, 2007 at 6:21 PM

this would be an awesome thought at least, Allah, Michelle, Ed, Ace, Charles Johnson and others picking questions would be great.

But if they let Kos and DU pick it, we’re kinda fracked

Defector01 on July 29, 2007 at 6:22 PM

I think that they should go in and question the veracity of the questions that are inane.Be ready with facts and hard data and rip the place apart , as in the concept of “you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own skewed/crude/unglued facts.”
We really need to stand up to these people and put them in their place.

bbz123 on July 29, 2007 at 6:27 PM

Again, do you think Ronald Reagan would have ever appeared at such an event? Never.

TheBigOldDog on July 29, 2007 at 6:30 PM

I would like to see the candidates actually say, “that is not a question” especially to the stupid stuff like “Do you believe in evolution?” What the heck was THAT all about? One of them needs to respond that way. Or respond like Fred! did in 38 seconds to Michael Moore.

Then watch Frank Luntz’s focus group charts go over the top.

(I like that – 38 seconds to Michael Moore. Sounds like a book title or movie title.)

CrimsonFisted on July 29, 2007 at 6:34 PM

Demanding a change in rules after the Dem debate’s already gone off actually looks worse, I think, than pulling out altogether. If you walk away, you can at least try to spin it as objecting to an undignified format. Most people won’t buy that, me included, but some will. If you say you’re okay with the format but want the questions approved by people who lean your way, you’re admitting you won’t step in to the box unless you’re expecting softballs. Not only is that PR poison but it makes no sense given that the GOP’s already participated in a CNN debate on June 5. If the prospect of fielding a question from a talking snowman is that disquieting to you, just concede that the Democrats were right to walk away from Fox and walk away.

I completely agree. The GOP comes off looking weak. Thomas Nast would draw a whole new cartoon to portray this behavior…

Theworldisnotenough on July 29, 2007 at 6:36 PM

Again, do you think Ronald Reagan would have ever appeared at such an event? Never.

TheBigOldDog on July 29, 2007 at 6:30 PM

To answer your question. No. To ask one of my own. Would Reagan have ever faced this type of format?

Theworldisnotenough on July 29, 2007 at 6:37 PM

In my opinion, the youtube situation is demeaning to the Presidency which is exactly the purpose of this exercise. Not to mention high on the list for the socialist agenda. Right now there are 178 liberal idiotic snide attacks in question form awaiting the repub candidates. You can view them here.It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see that where this is going. I don’t know about the rest of you but I will be impressed by a candidate who is man enough and patriotic enough not to be led by the nose into such a debacle. Any candidate who signs on is pandering to the left in my opinion and afraid to make a stand on principle. There are plenty of ways to hold an actual debate that will be able to actually exchange meaningful information in a dignified manner than resort to taking questions from hot dogs and Santa.

Guardian on July 29, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Letting YouTubers vote on the questions is a bad move, too. What political spectrum does YT embrace? Center-left Dems to full-on commie nutballs. Conservatives are an abberation.

So some Indymedia crank with a cable TV video studio puts on a tie and pretends to be a “conservative” pissed off about the war and asks when we’ll be bringing “our children” home. Another one puts on a white sheet and says the GOP has betrayed the White Man. YouTube leftards vote them to the top.

Hannibal Smith on July 29, 2007 at 6:42 PM

Would Reagan have ever faced this type of format?

Theworldisnotenough on July 29, 2007 at 6:37 PM

“What Would Reagan Do? WWRD?” I like the sound of that.

DCA on July 29, 2007 at 6:53 PM

If you walk away, you can at least try to spin it as objecting to an undignified format. Most people won’t buy that, me included, but some will.

I think most people “will” buy that…me included.

repvoter on July 29, 2007 at 6:58 PM

Well here again is fuel. From that link that Allah posted about Conservative blogs debating if the Republicans should go (a TIME site) this is the first comment

Posted by archie stanson
July 28, 2007
Cheney survived another hospitalization. We must achieve IMPEACHMENT before the next one

Again is this what we will see on Youtube ?

William Amos on July 29, 2007 at 7:08 PM

Sorry again from that Anna Cox site

Posted by archie stanson
July 28, 2007
Americans no longer need to hear what repukes have to say. We know they love illegal wars, tax breaks for the rich, and they resist the right to immigration for the peoples.

All intelligent people in America have tuned out the GOP long ago. All we have to do now is replace the GOP with more Democrats and then move toward the wonderful place we will be.

Impeachment would speed this up and should still be our #1 priority.

William Amos on July 29, 2007 at 7:10 PM

“the youtube situation is demeaning to the Presidency”

Guardian on July 29, 2007 at 6:39 PM

I agree. The whole thing seems to cheapen the debate to some kind of gimmicky sock-puppet game. We the electorate would be better served via a round table style debate ala Special Report w/ Brit Hume. The KEY is a fair journalist moderating, although such a thing is in small supply these days. The best debate format is one that cuts to the meat and potatoes of core issues. Youtube style is quite the opposite spectrum.

synycalwon on July 29, 2007 at 7:13 PM

Whether CNN or YouTube viewers pick the questions, I’m still forseeing them being along the lines of “Question one: Have we killed enough innocent civilians in Iraq to justify leaving yet?”

(i.e. Have you stopped beating your wife yet? No. I mean yes. I mean…)

Tanya on July 29, 2007 at 7:13 PM

You guys are out of control with this liberal media bias/left wing conspiracy thing. I will be the first to admit there is a liberal slant in the MSM, there always has been and there probably always will be, you’re just going to have to get over it. It’s not really that bad. And besides the media is biased towards money way more than they are towards any ideological agenda. CNN might let some questions you don’t like slip through, but they want to make money and they don’t do that by offending and alienating all the Republican candidates.

And regardless of any media bias, the amount of voters who get their news from talk radio and right-wing blogs is very small when you’re looking at the big picture. If you want to reach mainstream Republicans and independents you can’t just constantly rely on Sean Hannity and Hugh Hewiit to get on their knees for you. This election is going to be tough enough for Republicans as is, shunning the MSM as “biased” and only talking to those who get goggly eyed just looking at you is not the way to improve your odds.

JaHerer22 on July 29, 2007 at 7:15 PM

I agree with Guardian and repvoter. This entire youtube fiasco IS demeaning to the Presidency. So why can’t the American people just submit questions in email/sms/phone/VoIP format and just skip the theatrics of talking snowmen and singing manic depressives. I think “taking it like a man” is copping to the left and sets precedent. It’ll lead to “If I get elected, I’ll take it like a man and do any stupid old thing the left or the vocal public wants.” Hmm, how about a State of the Union Address that’ll “reach out to the generation”. I can see it now, have the next president voice a puppet version of themself, or maybe have them sing the SotU in hip hop or pop song. I wouldn’t be surprised if other countries are laughing their butts off on how we handle our elections. Come on, we’re electing an American President here, NOT the next American Idol.

Tuari on July 29, 2007 at 7:17 PM

Demanding a change in rules after the Dem debate’s already gone off actually looks worse, I think, than pulling out altogether. If you walk away, you can at least try to spin it as objecting to an undignified format. Most people won’t buy that, me included, but some will.

I think this whole debacle is pathetic. If President Bush is fielding questions from 4th grader at townhall meetings, I don’t want to hear any crap about how the candidates don’t think it’s presidential enough to warrant consideration even though the Democrats already did it.

This is almost the epitome of the stodgy old suit that can’t be troubled to engage the younger generations. And what would Reagan have done? I don’t know, because I’m not him, but I bet he’d told spread his message and put on a show doing it. I have some audio of speeches of his, where he is places that you might not expect.

Spirit of 1776 on July 29, 2007 at 7:21 PM

I finally thought of one GOOD reason to go with the youtube debates. But it requires a republican candidate saavy enough to pull it off.

I would tell rudy or Fred or Mitt or anyone of them to push for ONE moonbat type question about 9/11

Have some raving leftie lunatic stand up there and trash the US and rant about his vile conspiracy theories.

Then when he finishes Have said candidate turn around and answer

“I see we have a member of Obama(or Hillary’s) campaign here. This America is what the democratic party stands for. This is what they believe. This is the best reason to elect me as President of the United States to prevent this kind of thinking from being in control of the country”

If only….

William Amos on July 29, 2007 at 7:21 PM

Some people still aren’t getting the problem here.

Instead have Republican candidates to a Talk Radio Debate hosted by Limbaugh and Hewitt using questions submitted by their listeners.

THEN demand Democrat candidates submit to the same format.

Get it now ??? (c’mon people use your noggins)

boris on July 29, 2007 at 7:27 PM

(I like that – 38 seconds to Michael Moore. Sounds like a book title or movie title.)

Sounds like what you hear a minute before the buffet runs out of food.

trubble on July 29, 2007 at 8:07 PM

I think that this site’s support of the YouTube debate format is muddled with its support of the blogosphere in general. Hot Air, especially, is a bold leader in the blogosphere, with a heavy emphasis on video over the written word. It’s almost as if Hot Air has been pushing this out of solidarity for the videoblogging movement.

To suggest that YouTubers are irrelevant is to suggest that Hot Air is irrelevant. That’s understandable. But I still don’t buy the need for serious candidates for the US Presidency to field questions from Frosty the Snowman.

windbag on July 29, 2007 at 8:09 PM

Mcguyver

Mcguyver on July 29, 2007 at 9:02 PM

CNN would eliminate any that are profane or offensive and just ask the rest in order. It’d absolve them completely from complaints over question selection and it’d make for dynamite television given the amount of crankery it would promise.

You don’t think people would still complain? If people are willing to assume that the selection of questions will be biased by the people at CNN why wouldn’t those same people assume that the selection of questions will be biased by the general public (the YouTube community)?

But maybe Mitt Romney will reconsider the debate once he realizes that YouTube isn’t Myspace.

Nonfactor on July 29, 2007 at 9:07 PM

If you say you’re okay with the format but want the questions approved by people who lean your way, you’re admitting you won’t step in to the box unless you’re expecting softballs.

I stopped watching CNN during their coverage of the Republican Convention, ’92 or ’96, I don’t remember which. Haven’t watched since. They were brutally partisan and entirely negative. Completely opposite of their coverage of the Democrat Convention that same summer.

Maybe you remember the Republican June 5th debate on CNN. More people watched the FOX analysis of the debate than watched the debate itself because a lot of people don’t trust CNN.

I’m just saying there should be a level playing field. Why should the debates be seen though a liberal lens?

jaime on July 29, 2007 at 9:17 PM

How about an all-animals-with-dubbed-human-voices YouTube questionaire?

MODERATOR: Harriet the Duck, from Dubuque, has a question for Governor Romney.

HtheD: Mr. Romney, are the Mormons ever going to drink tea?

The media is letting it slip into the Twilight Zone… by design.

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 9:24 PM

boris on July 29, 2007 at 7:27 PM

The Republican Candidates go on Boston talk radio (which covers New Hampshire) all the time and take questions from listeners.

This isn’t about taking questions for “real people” it’s about submitting to a demeaning format where the participants don’t represent real people at all and the questions are screened for entertainment value. Reagan wouldn’t be a part of such a farce and neither should any of the Republican candidates. Let the Dems play the fools. They are good at it.

TheBigOldDog on July 29, 2007 at 10:30 PM

But maybe Mitt Romney will reconsider the debate once he realizes that YouTube isn’t Myspace.

Nonfactor on July 29, 2007 at 9:07 PM

Maybe Joe Biden can go on My Space and ask them if they have had an AIDS test ?

William Amos on July 29, 2007 at 10:54 PM

If the prospect of fielding a question from a talking snowman is that disquieting to you, just concede that the Democrats were right to walk away from Fox and walk away.

I would hope that one could tell the difference between taking questions from a snowman, a hot dog, and Santa Claus from dignified questions from an accountable moderator on Fox.

Guardian on July 29, 2007 at 11:00 PM

JaHerer22 on July 29, 2007 at 7:15 PM

Thanks for the ‘life-vest’ :)

Entelechy on July 29, 2007 at 11:33 PM

William Amos on July 29, 2007 at 7:08 PM

I even went further down. It’s like a Kos annex over there.

But back to the “debate”. I’ve been saying since I first heard there was going to be a youtube debate, the Dims were getting the good shot, Repubs were gonna get the shaft. Ir was up to them to make the best of it. I personally don’t think running from it, is making the best of it. On the other hand even getting an easy setup has caused Shrill and Obama to go after each other.
So what are we left with? So far Ron Paul and McCain getting 2 hours of free air time. That’s not good. I don’t see CNN calling this monkey off. Nobody beside FNC is pointing out Dims not going on FOX. So it only makes the Repubs look bad. Is it gonna be pretty? No, so go, but treat it for the dog and pony show it is. My take only.

PowWow on July 30, 2007 at 12:41 AM

TBOD:

submitting to a demeaning format where the participants don’t represent real people at all and the questions are screened for entertainment value

Which is how dimorats would view a Talk Radio Debate hosted by Limbaugh and Hewitt. My suggestion is to make a more comparable format between YouTube = TalkRadio instead of the ridiculous Fox News Channel comparison.

IMO a Talk Radio Debate hosted by Limbaugh and Hewitt would be FAR MORE legit than any YouTube debate ever could. The POINT is that dimorat candidates would not get within a hundred parsecs of one. One might imagine people saying to the dim candidates “Hey you complain about TalkRadio and that’s why you SHOULD WANT to engage the people of America in that format rather than abandon the media to conservatives !”.

Persuasive? Hardly.

boris on July 30, 2007 at 9:26 AM