Can HuffPost Mashup a Presidential Debate? And Deggans on CNN Sunday Morning
The Huffington Post has announced an interesting initiative today; creating a presidential debate mashup which will allow users to submit questions and then choose the answers they want to hear.
Much as some traditional media types tried to slag off the recent Democratic YouTube debate, it had the benefit of introducing some new voices into the mix of questions while getting the country's cybernauts excited about a presidential debate again.
Now, even as net-savvy Republicans beg their leading candidates not to pass up a similar opportunity, the HP has come up with an online-only twist: on Sept. 12, moderator Charlie Rose will conduct discussions with the Democratic candidates based on questions submitted by users. In partnership with Yahoo! and Slate, The HP will then code the answers so users can see the responses in any way they choose.
Some may choose to compare Obama and Clinton down the line. Others may want to see the discussion on a single topic, such as Iraq. Since the event will only be available online, users will choose what sort of debate experience they want to have -- a format the three online sites are touting as the ultimate interactive debate experience.
Snarky critics like me will point out that it also allows users to avoid hearing answers or questions they don't like. And candidates with lower profiles may have a tough time getting users to sample their responses.
Still, this format seems to follow the plea of online guru Jeff Jarvis to "have the YouTube debate on YouTube and leave TV behind." Like many other cybernauts, Jarvis was disappointed with the control CNN ultimately had to exert over the process -- selecting questions he felt often made the questioners look foolish, while displaying the questions themselves in a way that diminshed their impact.
So now we have a format which will be fully of the Internet, by the Internet and for the Internet. At a time when we've had more debates than we can count with more than a year remaining in the presidential campaign, at least this discussion will transform the traditional format even more.
More Deggans Than You Can Stand on CNN, NPR and Local Radio
At least, that's my theory for why I have so many pundit gigs coming up. On Sunday at about 10:30 a.m., I'll make my latest appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources -- this time with a new cast of foils in a roundtable discussion which will include conservative film critic Michael Medved.
I also recorded an interview this week for CNN's Dead Show Walking, Paula Zahn Now, about the controversy over ABC's Cavemen series. Given the media swarm over the Minneapolis bridge collapse, I don't expect it to see the light of day, but you never know.
I talked with NPR's Juan Williams on Monday about recent controversies Black Entertainment Television for an upcoming (and unscheduled) story and I'm scheduled to appear at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning on Mike "Cowhead" Calta's radio show on 102.5 the Bone to discuss the upcoming fall season.
Since I'm providing so much free content, i wonder if I can get these guys to write a column or two for me?