Hiller Instinct: YouTube CNN Democratic Debate
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: YouTube CNN Democratic Debate
What made this debate exceptional was that it was all about the questions, picked from thousands submitted to YouTube, an Internet site accessible to all.
So, throw out the panelists with blue suits, white shirts and red ties, and bring on the "real people" to challenge the candidates.
"If you were president, would you allow us to get married, to each other," one YouTube video submission asked.
"Do you think the response would be different if Katrina hit a predominantly white affluent city," asked another video submission.
"Seems the mainstream media is paying a lot of attention to ole Al Gore,” a third video submission said. “How much weight did he lose? What's it say in his book? Is he still worried about ole eyes?"
This was not politics as usual, and, in two hours, there was plenty of the unusual: questions that traditionally aren't asked and/or asked in untraditional ways:
"Would you scrap the whole thing, or just revise," a YouTube video submission asked.
"How do we pull out now,” asked another YouTube video submission. “Isn't our responsibility to get these people back on their feet?"
"Is African Americans ever going to get reparations for slavery," asked another YouTube video submission.
The videos also reduced the moderator's role:
"I'd prefer you stay on the question if you could,” Anderson Cooper, moderator, said.
"I'll stay on your the question," John Edwards, Democratic Presidential candidate, responded.
And, oh yes, the answers! Well, a few may make news:
"I think the reparations we need are in schools from what I've seen here in South Carolina," Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential candidate, said.
"I can't run as anything but a woman," Hillary Clinton, Democratic Presidential candidate, said.
"The truth of the matter is it will take us one year, one year to pull 160,000 troops physically out of Iraq logistically," Joe Biden, Democratic Presidential candidate, said.
So, was it a break-through, or a breakdown?
Did the new media teach the mainstream media (that's us!) a lesson we'll never forget and show us all the future?
If you're betting I'm going to say, "No," you'll lose that bet because my answer is, "Yes."
Sure, some of the debate was a gimmick, but the changes made possible by technology are genuine and will only increase.
Live newsroom, I'm Andy Hiller and that’s my Instinct.
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