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July 23, 2007

You Tube “Debate”: For A Moment, Forced To Look Up

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I don’t think Jeff Jarvis was so far off in his critical takedown of last night’s first YouTube debate.

The videos were too distant and remote from the candidates on what was effectively an indoor billboard (over-)promoting CNN.  (That garish stage that CNN keeps insisting on using was particularly inappropriate, marginalizing the role of YouTube.)  The fact the videos played on monitors on each candidate’s podium, as well as the large screen, sometimes made it hard to assess their degree of attention.  The video selection, itself, clearly favored the quirky.  The candidate videos were uneven and out-of-place.  Also, the distribution of speaker time was again out of whack.

But given all that, with the chance to witness the Democratic candidates literally looking up to, and listening to everyday Americans — that involvement fueling a good deal of emotion and spontaneity within the group — it would be hard to call this a bad night.

More snaps after the jump…

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(screen grabs: BAGnewsNotes via CNN)

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