July 23, 2007
The Debate Web (Bob Franken)
@ 11:22 am
The great feature about the blogosphere is that everyone has an equal voice. Of course that’s the great problem too. Because, let’s face it: A whole lot of people who spout off online are cyberspace cadets. They have no Earthly idea what they’re talking about.
So now we come to the CNN-YouTube-debate debate: The Internet faithful are going bonkers. How dare CNN for insisting on deciding which questions to ask? That should be left up to a popular vote.
It’s hard to argue that the traditional media have often frittered away their credibility. They are frequently at the same time establishment elitists and panderers with their incessant coverage of trivialities like Paris Hilton.
However, SOMEONE has to decide what’s worthy of a presidential debate, and that should be journalists, as imperfect as we are.
If the questions were determined by a popular election, we’d end up with quirkiness, bombast and other outrageousness in place of the important matters that should be discussed by those people running for president.
Our national discourse is already too much influenced by sound-bite demagoguery. A skeptical journalist can ideally sift through some of the gimmickry. Hopefully that will happen with this new hybrid approach to political communication.
To do it any other way will lead to a chaotic din that will drown out any useful exchange of ideas.
And now, I will wait while for the vitriolic response otherwise known as the Wrath of Blog.