I missed another presidential debate last night because I had a meeting (more on that later). The Republican candidates faced a series of video questions posed by YouTube participants. Interestingly these always seem to be much better queries than those posed by the "media professionals." CNN posted an online survey yesterday asking who asks better debate questions the media or the public. When I voted the answers were 88% the people to only 12% for the media.
Shouldn't results like that be a wake up call? When 88% of CNN.com readers say the average person asks better questions than Wolf Blitzer isn't it time to revamp these "debates?" CNN also apologized this morning for one of the questions posed to the candidates. A retired general asked the Republican candidates why they thought American military personnel weren't professional enough to be able to serve openly with gays and lesbians.
What a great question, especially coming from someone with 43 years of service serving his country while in the closet. Of course it turns out that Gen. Keith Kerr has also lent his name to the Clinton campaign so, as such, CNN apologized for including his question. I was offended by CNN's apology. The man clearly stated he wasn't a plant but even if he was, isn't that what debates are supposed to be?
Once upon a time debates were actually discussions about the issues among the candidates. They weren't these staged entertainment events so out of focus a network feels it has to apologize for airing a question.