Getting ready to watch the Republican YouTube debate on CNN. I missed the Democratic version a few weeks ago and had to watch it in chunk online, so I’ll be interested to see how this debate plays live. One of the interesting questions that has come up this time around is that the YouTube format may not be as timely as other formats. For example, the questions were posted several days before today’s Politico report claiming that Rudy Giuliani billed NYC agencies for personal travel, making it more difficult for that issue to be introduced during the debate. That being said, it’s also worth asking whether individual debates should be tethered so heavily to the latest news cycle. I’m still ambivalent about the YouTube format and certainly aware of its limitations in fostering genuine political participation, but I’ll be interested to see how this debate plays out.
I may do some half-hearted liveblogging over the course of the debate if the mood strikes.
Update: Kevin Drum links to some of the post-debate reactions, including a National Review observer who argued that CNN intentionally chose questions from YouTubers that would reinforce negative stereotypes of Republicans as “confederate-flag-waving, gun-toting, bible-brandishing conspiracy theorists.” I’m inclined to agree with Kevin that these guys (and they were guys for the most part) fit comfortably within the party of Tancredo, Huckabee, and Paul. Certainly CNN chose questions that would play well on TV, but the views many of them were espousing were consistent with things said during the campaigns.
While I’m updating, I wish I’d noticed that the CNN debate page had (briefly) linked to my blog (which led to a somewhat significant, though, temporary, increase in traffic around here). I would have made more than a half-hearted attempt to liveblog during the debate.