Friday, November 30, 2007

The CNN YouTube debates

youtube, debates, republicans,democrats
The CNN YouTube Debates '08
The CNN Youtube debates were on recently, hosting the Republican nominees this time. It has been undoubtedly controversial in its short lifespan. Exposure is key during the early party primaries, especially in this election where campaigning began many months earlier than usual. There are a slew of debates on offer that allow candidates to tap into various audiences. tom tancredo, republican, debate naacp They don't always have to show up, like in this debate organized by the NAACP where only Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo made an appearance. Read full story here

For all the controversy surrounding the format of the YouTube debate, there is no doubt that it attracts a lot of attention from commentators and the blogosphere. Of contention is the validity of the 'Open democratic' nature of the debate. Whilst questions are submitted by users around the world, detractors argue that it is an illusion as CNN picks the questions that go to air. The fact that potential leaders of the free world are questioned by 'unserious' characters is also unsettling. To be fair YouTube and open democracy is represented largely by unserious characters.

VIDEO: Critics point to the Snowman as the exemplar for the debate's ridiculousness

APF pundit Hugh Hewitt is one the biggest critics of the Youtube debates. He has a combative conversation with Steve Grove, the Youtube director of News and Politics. In this interview Hugh questions the judging panel that ultimately chooses the questions as well as undermining the the age and inexperience of the Youtube committee (Steve is 30). Listen to the audio here. Afterwards Hugh does a play by play of the 'travesty' that was the Youtube debate. He shows great interest and seems riveted whilst simultaneously bashing the debate. Listen here.

To highlight the activity on the blogosphere, here are some quick links from two of the biggest video blogs. Representing the right, HotAir. For the left, Crooks and Liars.

From Crooks and Liars (liberal leaning)
- Countdown: John Edwards mocks Republicans for being afraid to take Questions from Democrats
- Giuliani Asked About Creative Bookkeeping To Hide Travel Expenses
- Post-Debate: Undecided GOP Voter Leaning Towards Edwards
- Mitt & Rudy’s Spat–Sanctuary City or Sanctuary Mansion?
- More Boos At Republican YouTube Debate As McCain Re-Writes History
- Retired Gay General Slams Republicans On Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy

From HotAir (conservative leaning)
- CNN producer last week: We want GOP debate to be … “a debate of their party”
- Debate questioner is affiliated with Hillary’s and Kerry’s campaigns
- Hillary plant insists he’s not a Hillary plant
- The disappearing Hillary plant - Does it matter who the questions come from?
- Rudy’s then-mistress “used the PD as her personal taxi service
- Mitt alienates Red Sox nation
- Romney and Huckabee clash over scholarships for illegal aliens

Listen to Hugh criticise the debate before it started
Listen to Hugh criticise the debate after it finished

View all the questions on the official YouTube page.

Hugh Hewitt's disdain for the debate doesn't end there. Here are three more clips of Hugh diss-cussing the debate.
1. Listen to Hugh getting reaction to the "debacle of a debate" from regular guests, Mark Steyn and others.
2. Listen as Hugh continues to get reaction to the "fiasco" that was the CNN/YouTube debate from Time Magazine's Nancy Gibbs, and humorist and columnist James Lileks.
3. Listen to Hugh talking politics and the "CNN debate debacle" with the Fox News Beltway Boys

The greatest pundit of them all, Rush Limbaugh comments on the CNN YouTube debate. Rush also goes close to endorsing a candidate by singling him out as the only true conservative. Listen to the audio via HotAir

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