The Republican You Tube Debate

So there is a lot of teeth gnashing in the Right Blogs about the now unlikely to happen Republican You Tube Debate. I am sympathetic to a part of the complaint. I thought CNN made a joke of the Democratic You Tube Debate. I hated it. Jeralyn and just about everyone else loved it and Democrats got great press for it. Clearly it was successful for Democrats. And there is the rub for Republicans as Patrick Ruffini describes:

At the end of the day, the issue is not YouTube. The YouTube debate snub is the symptom, not the disease. If Republicans fret about a simple debate format, which is really just the modern version of the 1992 townhall debate, how in the heck are we going to be make the really bold, gutsy decisions to transform our campaigns so we can raise over $100 million online and recruit millions — yes millions — of volunteers over the Internet?

Ruffini points to this from Trippi, discussing the You Tube Debate and the pitfalls for Republicans and the Internet (starting at 2:30 or so):


Well the Right Blogs have come up with an idea that of course CNN will never agree to, or rather, if CNN does agree to it, it will be the end of CNN - to wit they want CNN to agree to allow the Right Blogs to approve the questions:

So what's the solution? How can we engage voters in a national forum through the New Media, while keeping the debate substantive and serious? I have a simple solution: have CNN cede the editorial/selection process to the New Media, in the form of the blogosphere. CNN would ask bloggers to form a committee to review the YouTube entries. Since this debate is a Republican primary event, the bloggers should probably represent that segment of the electorate -- primarily Republicans, but perhaps with independent/centrist representation as well. The committee would review all of the YouTube entries and narrow them down to around 20, through whatever process and criteria to which these bloggers agree. They would also agree to the order in which the questions would be asked.

Sure Captain Ed. Republican bloggers will get to decide what questions are asked and CNN will lend you its name for such an event? Ridiculous. Of course, Right Bloggers could organize their own You Tube style debate but CNN will not be a part of it. Try Fox for that. Heck, you will not have to pick the questions then. But folks will understand what the debate is just the same.

The bottom line it seems to me is that Ruffini is right. Not participating is clearly worse for the entire Republican brand than participating. Heck, this fear of CNN is rather silly actually. But the old myths die hard. The whole "liberal media" myth still infects the Republican mind when it is clear that the Media has been cowed by the Right into, at the very least, an incompetent neutrality. And in today's politcal climate, an incompetent Media strongly serves the interest of the Republican Party. Because you know, the facts have a liberal bias these days.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 08:23:41 PM EST
    Of course, Right Bloggers could organize their own You Tube style debate but CNN will not be a part of it.
    I wonder if the Yearly Kos debate is to be televised. (C-SPAN?)

    IIRC, it's not a debate at Ykos. eom (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Geekesque on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 08:33:10 PM EST
    Sorry, "candidate forum" (right?) (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 08:42:36 PM EST
    I think that is up in the air (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 08:36:08 PM EST
    C-Span covered CPAC so it should not be a problem.

    it should't be a problem, but... (none / 0) (#7)
    by RedHead on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 01:39:18 AM EST
    if cspan cops out, watch them say, "well, CPAC was held in our backyard, not cross country."

    of course they cover events around the country and they covered yearlykos I, but it reminds of the early 90s when cspan would do simulcasts of wingnut radio shows and declined to cover any liberal radio hosts and urban stations, for two to three years.


    Looks like the Repubs (1.00 / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 09:06:42 AM EST
    are afraid of Snowmen and the Demos afraid of Fox News.

    It seems to me that CNN, and its supporters, chief claim is that this expands democracy. Given the small, in percentage of population, number that do You Tube I find that an overstatement.

    However, it does make a few people feel good because they got noticed. So there is some good in almost everything.

    I think Romney.... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 09:21:16 AM EST
    is scared of a bunch of questions about his Mormon beliefs from the holy roller contigent.

    Uhhh ... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Sailor on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 08:46:46 PM EST
    ... Dems refused to be on Faux news debate, a company that has been hostile to them, ran denigrating scrolls and cut away during the debate for 'commentary.'

    Repubs can't even handle discussing citizens' questions.

    so what's the real reason (none / 0) (#8)
    by RedHead on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 02:03:22 AM EST
    so why are they pulling out?  

    Ironically, romney now tells cspan the mid september date hampers the end of 3rd qtr fundraising rush.  well, that's fine, but they knew the sept 17th date when when they accepted the invitation.   I imagine he's afraid one of the questions will come from an animated dog, caged on top of a stationwagon.

    ps if you haven't seen it, cnn is advertising cheney's tuesday interview with larry king as "tough questions for the vice president"  He-He-He-He.