Internet Videos + Bill Richardson = Kinda Must See, Sorta, TV

As a part of my continuing commitment to you, the sole reader of Burque Babble, I took some time out of my busy 11 week summer vacation to watch part (and I mean PART) of the CNN-YouTube Democratic presidential debate last night.

Actually, the only draw was the new-fangled “Internet” aspect of the proceedings, and I figured that as an advocate of the Tubes I needed to sit myself down and watch the ‘Net transform Democracy.

It was my first real exposure to these CNN debates (other than an occasional channel surf through CNN, one immediately leading to an involuntary shriek of pain from your humble blogster as he quickly changed the channel), and I gotta say that anyone who has watched every one of them in their entirety deserves either a Congressional Medal of Honor or an immediate psychiatric exam.

You Burque Babble Internet hipsters know where to go for analysis and insight, so I’ll provide even less of that than I usually do. All I’ll say is:

  • In general, I liked the IDEA of the YouTube video questions. They allowed the nervous John Q. Public several takes to get their question out, unlike those live audience debates where, like myself, the “average American” is so obviously peeing their pants while asking the question that one can’t bear to watch;
  • The EXECUTION of the questions was often just as embarrassing to watch as the live, peeing their pants, variant. I found myself wanting to turn the video down, and just have the audio play…but this was TV so I couldn’t figure out a way to do that, if you know what I mean;
  • Anderson Cooper just might have usurped the highly competitive “swarmiest TV personality” crown. Tough. To. Watch. And, of course, the idea that he has anything to do with choosing which video questions get played and who gets each question first was infuriating to contemplate;
  • I, grudgingly, thought Richardson did a pretty good job, and since we’re supposed to be rooting for him like he’s the local professional sports team: rah. rah. Good answers, I agreed with most of those answers, and he could even tell jokes. I think the format really suited him because he’s much more comfortable in a diplomat one-on-one, sitting on the porch drinking a post-prandial liquor kinda guy, and these videos allowed him to loosen up from the standard debate format. Not that I have seen him in that traditional format…I’m just regurgitating what I’ve read from the Tubes about his other performances (i.e., not good);
  • There was obviously no inference to be drawn from the fact that CNN had Mike Gravel on one far side of the hydra-esque podium and Dennis Kucinich on the other far side, with Hillary, Obama and Edwards toward the middle. None at all. Zero;

I could go on, but there are plenty of higher quality places to get “analysis and insight” about last night. Besides, those folks probably watched the whole calamitous shindig, whereas I could only stomach about 19% of the thing between pitches of the Red Sox/Indians game.

Frankly, I can tell you alot more about the Red Sox/Indians game than John Edwards’ views on teaching his young children on the subjects of inappropriate touching and sex. Now that I think about it, almost the only thing that really stuck with me was those two Tennessee YouTube stars doing a schtick about Al Gore. That was well done. And that Bill Richardson and I agree on some stuff like Iraq and No Child Left Behind.

Maybe if I get the inclination I’ll go to YouTube and watch the entire debate there. Nah, that’s not gonna happen…my 11 week summer vacation is far too valuable for that. Meanwhile, only 99 or so more CNN debates to go. I promise, dear sole reader, that I will attempt to avoid them like malaria.

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