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CNN and YouTube host Democrat debate

25 July, 2007
By Allison Orr

In a partnership between old and new media, CNN and You Tube this week co-hosted a debate with Democrat presidential candidates.  In a first for presidential debates, it included a segment where questions posted by You Tube users were put directly to the candidates.  (For background on this issue, see our previous story here.)  Nearly 3,000 video questions were posted to the debate website, and of these, 39 were chosen by the CNN political team to be asked to the candidates.

The debate was compered by CNN’s Cooper Anderson, who introduced the first You Tube question from Zach in Provo Utah, who asked: “How are you going to be any different?”   All the candidates who responded to this question declared that they are different and would bring change.

Other questions included one for Senator Clinton: "How would you define the word 'liberal' and would you use this word to describe yourself?", to which she replied, "I prefer the word 'progressive'".  There were also questions relating to race, including  "Do you believe the response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina would have been different if the storm hit an affluent, predominantly white city?" and "Are African-Americans ever going to get reparations for slavery?".  Senator Obama stated that he thinks most Americans want to get beyond racial divisions.  You can read the full transcript of the debate at CNN/You Tube debate transcript: Who said what.

The debate included 8 Democrat candidates: Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Biden, Kucinich, Dodd, Richardson and Gravel.

This format will be repeated in September for Republican candidates.

Futher Information:
See the videos of the questions: YouTube/Debates
See the CNN rundown: Questions, not answers, highlight YouTube debate
Read the "YouTube/CNN Debate Post-Mortem" blog at TechPresident
See the Democratic Debate Mashup at CommunityCounts

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