All this week, CNN has been running promos for their CNN/Youtube Democratic Candidates debate.
The idea was that anyone could upload a question for last night’s candidates debate and that the candidates would then have to answer it.
Well, its an interesting start on the democratization of democracy, so to speak, via video. But it was only a start.
As my friend Jeff Jarvis points out on Buzzmachine, it was a disappointment.
A few days ago, CNN started running a promo in which CNN News VP David Bohrman and a few producers sat at a table in front of laptops. “We’ve gotten hundreds of questions so far” says Bohrman, “and we have to pick the best ones to ask”.
Why does David Bohrman (or anyone for that matter) have to pick the best questions, or any questions. Why not just post all the video questions on the web and let the public decide which ones they like the best.
In the online world, David Bohrman, (or anyone else doing this) simply gets in the way of the process. The beauty of the web is that it does not need, nor does it want ‘executive producers’ or ‘vice presidents’. Neither would I want David Bohrman to be on Amazon.com deciding which of the thousands of books available we will be offering tonight.
The same goes for Anderson Cooper.
Get out of the way.
The CNN/Youtube debates were a start, but only a start. We are halfway there. New technologies arrive, but we cannot help ourselves but to plug them into old and tired architectures for delivery.