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CNN/YouTube Debate Will Be Different

Tonight's CNN/YouTube debate will have a distinct difference. 2,300 video questions have been submitted by citizens, and 75-100 will be chosen by the CNN moderators for inclusion in the debate.

Barry Levin at Newsfactor.com on tonight's debate:

A woman whose brother was wounded in Viet Nam in 1968 held up his picture, noted that he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and said that he never really "got the help he should have gotten." Saying she has heard that Iraq War veterans are suffering from the same disorder, she asked, "What will you do to make sure that the returning veterans of today get better help than the Viet Nam veterans did?"

In another video, Kim, a young woman with a Southern drawl and a biting delivery, said that "it shouldn't surprise me that 46 percent of personal bankruptcies involve major medical expenses." You tell me, she added, "how you're going to make sure that all Americans have health care available to them." And, she asked, "Why don't you make it affordable, too, 'cause I'm sick of not being able to afford to be sick."

All of this citizen participation inside a previously closed debate format might make politicians nervous. Dan Rather, a broadcast journalism veteran of more than a few presidential campaigns, has said on CNN that candidates "do hate -- genuinely hate -- audience participation because they like to control the environment."

CNN senior vice president and Washington bureau chief David Bohrman has noted that the YouTube questions include ones that "we, the mainstream media, would never think to ask in the presidential debate."

Take a (2:04) tour of the debate set...
Click on the 'play' button in the lower left-hand corner to play the video.

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Comments (2)


considering that it's the CNN political team that is selecting the questions that will be used, how exactly is this different?

Lee Ward:

Did you watch?


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