My first reaction to the presidential candidate debates was, “Wow, what a cool idea.” I naively believed that people could ask some really good questions that would no doubt be more interesting than the standard, “What are you going to do about health care?” ones. Don’t get me wrong; that is a valid question for any candidate in any country, but that is what always gets asked. I was looking forward to seeing hard hitting questions that struck beyond the norm of political debates. But alas, that was not what I got.
Ask And Yee Shall Receive
Unfortunately, that sub heading is not for the YouTube participants. It was the moderators that got what they wanted. What I am trying to say is that for the most part, we got the same standard questions, asked in a slightly dumber/funnier way. Now, I am not suggesting that the questions were set up. I am only saying that the odds are in favor of some people asking those types of questions. The moderators probably looked for those, and got rid of the toughest ones.
No. Absolutely not. Unless of course asking the same question, but only you record yourself in a chicken suit with wipe effects is considered ground breaking. Seriously, what part of this was ground breaking? That it was YouTube? Big deal. The only thing that was different was that it was kind of funny, but more in a sad way than a “haha” way…
If anything, the debate proved two major phenomena:
Overhyped Online Services:
Sure YouTube was innovative… 2 years ago. But lets face it; there are far better services now than YouTube (design-wise and content-wise). The mainstream media will unfortunately always be ten steps behind the cutting edge stuff that you and I know about.
American Politics are a Joke:
Literally, these debates transformed what little seriousness there was left in the American political system. I mean, the banner and flags and strange rallies with people wearing buttons of the candidate’s face is weird enough; I am curious about how the rest of the world is seeing and/or making fun of us…
I suppose I answered my own title here; it is a resounding waste of time. Unfortunately, it appears that the format was a hit and will take place again. Next year, the dramatic hamster will ask a question about social security…
This post was written by J David Macor.
Originally posted on July 28, 2007 @ 9:40 pm