Politicians To Debate Questions From YouTubers
from the politics-not-quite-as-usual dept
The political debates tend to be pretty boring — and you can pick up any of the good highlights off of YouTube (or the Daily Show) afterwards anyway. However, CNN is apparently teaming up with YouTube to let YouTubers ask questions for the next debate (this one between Democratic candidates; there will be a similar YouTube experience for Republican candidates later this year). Now, some will quickly decry this as being ridiculous — as many of the questions will likely be terrible. That’s not the point, however. There will likely be a few good ones, and the ability to plan it out and create a video with supporting info could mean that the candidates are actually asked interesting, challenging and different questions — rather than the bland ones the official talking heads usually offer up. Of course, all of the questions will still be filtered through CNN, so it’s likely that some of the best questions may get filtered out. Knowing CNN, they’ll probably let in one or two “wacky” questions, just to show how hip they are with this YouTube thing.
Still, the more important point (which not many seem to be paying attention to) is that it doesn’t really matter which videos or chosen or that the candidates will be taking questions via YouTube. What’s interesting is that this is the type of thing that could get more people both involved and aware of the process. The average person sitting at home behind his or her computer screen isn’t likely to get a chance to ask a presidential candidate a question. Now, anyone with a webcam has the potential to do so. That has got to get at least a few smart people more involved than they ever would have been otherwise. And, that alone seems like a good thing. It will be interesting to see if some of the questions that don’t get chosen by the talking heads on CNN end up generating lots of interest by themselves on YouTube — even to the point of forcing more candidates to respond after the debate (which actually would be even better, since it would remove the silly debate restrictions on the candidates as well). If that happens, then it would seem that the YouTube debate idea could be seen as a huge success.