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Online presidential debate…

Posted 23 April, 2007 at 11:43am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Current Events)

For a while now, the political arena has been trying to figure out how to deal with the internet, e-mail communication, and most recently blogging. Everytime, they seem to screw up and miss the point (or drop the ball). Just a few years ago, political candidates had really nasty looking webpages and couldn't even get their mailing lists working properly. These days, their webpages are a lot cleaner (realizing that the web is an important source of research/information they decided to spend some of their hard earned money on decent web designers) but their forays into blogging often come across as disingenuous and sound more like a speech-writer than a blogger. Now, according to this article, Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post, Yahoo!, and Slate will be hosting two online debates (one for Democratic candidates and one for Republican). It sounds like Yahoo! will be doing most of the heavy lifting (getting the video technology set up). The people involved in this say the web-only debates "will be substantively different than televised debates that appear online" and Yahoo's director of news and information services "compared the debates to the first televised forums between Democrat John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960". To me, the only difference is that the debaters won't actually be in the same room as each other, but will basically be performing a video debate (like participants on Larry King Live from different coasts). I don't see how this will be as significant as the JFK vs. Nixon radio/television debate.

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