NOT THE UNWASHED MASSES! Media types wailing and gnashing their teeth about having a debate (gasp!) not controlled by a Respected Media Professional may wish to remember, say, Ted Koppel's ridiculous performance in the last Democratic primary debates:

You can forgive him for experimenting with a couple of questions about the horse race. But when the experiment failed and he persisted, that's on him. When he asked inside-baseball questions and got substantive answers instead, he chided the candidates for failing to stoop to his level. First he asked John Kerry why Howard Dean couldn't beat President Bush. Kerry talked instead about why he would make the best president. Koppel then turned to Dick Gephardt and said, "I'm not really asking you -- at least, I wasn't then -- whether you think you're the better candidate. I was simply asking you whether you thought that Howard Dean could beat George W. Bush." Later, Koppel asked Carol Moseley Braun whether Al Gore's endorsement of Dean would make blacks loyal to Dean. Braun talked instead about what Democrats should stand for. Koppel then said, "Sen. Edwards, what I was trying to get to with Ambassador Braun was whether loyalty can, in any way, be transferred by an endorsement." Edwards wisely ignored the question as well.

I dunno, it's hard to imagine the YouTube public doing any worse.

--Scott Lemieux

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