Blog Post

Republican YouTube Debate a Snoozer

How was the first Republican CNN-YouTube debate? So exciting I fell asleep! I missed the last six questions, and had to catch them in YouTube’s helpful playlist from the night. There’s also live-blogging coverage from The New York Times, ABC News, and Mahalo.

There were no melting snowman questions to trivialize Mitt Romney’s participation, but there was some goofiness, like this homemade candidate roundup ditty. As for content, CNN’s efforts to make sure the questions weren’t too left-leaning — a.k.a. “weed[ing] out the obvious sort of Democratic gotcha grenades” — meant that things like health care and climate change weren’t even mentioned.

The Republicans were a bit stiff about the whole engaging-with-regular-YouTube-people thing, and when given the opportunity to contribute “YouTube-style” campaign commercials, they chose to contribute what were basically standard TV ads. Fred Thompson even played an attack ad that was harsh enough on his fellow debaters for host Anderson Cooper to delay a commercial break in order to give them a chance to respond.

Other thoughts from what I jotted down in my notebook:

  • Chuck Norris is in the audience! So why did Mike Huckabee elect to show a standard ad instead of his HuckChuckFacts video, which has some 860,000 views on YouTube?
  • Man, they didn’t fix the crappy video display in a too-small box projected against the wall. Candidates are having trouble hearing the videos and the questioners’ lips have not once lined up with their words. Huckabee tried responding to a questioner by talking to the wall on which she had been projected, and it was really awkward.
  • I think they censored Duncan Hunter saying “damn good.” Wow, that’s harsh.
  • It’s a very vocal studio audience — lots of boos and whoops.

Some 5,000 video questions were submitted, more than double the number that came in for the inaugural YouTube debate that the Democratic candidates participated in way back in July. But yeah, I still fell asleep.

5 Responses to “Republican YouTube Debate a Snoozer”

  1. Craig Rubens

    It bears mentioning here the development involving ex-General Kerr, the gay serviceman who asked about gays in the military. It turns out he is a Hilary plant, of sorts. Here Anderson Cooper apologizes.

    Also, I found it amusing today that when I opened my most recent NetFlix movie, the all-American “Live Free or Die Hard,” the ad on the inside flap was for the Republican Debates. Does NetFlix target the ads based on the movie?

  2. I think the idea of allowing anyone to ask a question is great, but considering the quality of the video, not the bit rate quality, but the manner the questions are posed, it just does not come off as if he question was asked in person.

    I think media outlets just want to ride the youtube wave, and by doing so they want some viewers to identify more with their brand/service.

    The goofiness basically strips away some of the credibility. is it a true question or some ploy to get attention and have your 15 minutes. Well 15 seconds these days.

  3. I actually liked it a lot more than the Democratic debate that happened a few weeks ago (which isn’t saying much). Though I’m not a Republican (I don’t like to affiliate with either party though I’d be lying if I didn’t say most of my thoughts lean left) I thought the Democratic debates have been way too PC to be interesting – at least the Republicans seem like they want to kill each other and they all rush to get to the right of one another.

    Saw Chuck Norris as well while Huckabee was speaking towards the end – that had to be the hands down highlight.