Earlier today I posted a question: What’s so special about the YouTube debates? Sure people submit questions, but the same producers/journalists decide which questions get asked anyway as in every other type of debate, so what’s the big deal? The talking snowman?
Now the CNN producer in charge of picking the questions for the debate comes clean on the subject, essentially saying that there really is nothing all that special about the debate.
As Republican presidential contenders brace for Wednesday’s CNN-YouTube debate, the executive in charge of the event is unapologetic about his decision to put mainstream journalists in charge of deciding which user-contributed YouTube videos the candidates will actually face on the air.
For all the talk about online voter empowerment, the web is still too immature a medium to set an agenda for a national debate, says CNN senior vice president David Bohrman.
“If you would have taken the most-viewed questions last time, the top question would have been whether Arnold Schwarzenegger was a cyborg sent to save the planet Earth,” says Bohrman, the debate’s executive producer. “The second-most-viewed video question was: Will you a convene a national meeting on UFOs?”
That’d actually be a good question for Dennis Kucinich, but all joking aside it’d clearly be a disaster to let the internet decide the questions at the debate. For the Republicans, all the question would probably be for Ron Paul. Stuff like “Why are you the only true conservative in the race” and “How often are you told that you’re the best-looking candidate” and “When are we going to return to the gold standard.”
So for better or worse, the journalists pick the questions and the whole “YouTube” thing is just a fad CNN is engaging in to appear hip, open and technologically advanced.