Friday, November 30, 2007

"Freedom" of Speech

Today's Washington Post sports an article about CNN's failure to vet questioners in this week's Republican YouTube debate. Apparently, several of the videotaped, user-submitted questions actually came from supporters of Democratic candidates. Bloggers and pundits are criticizing CNN for its failure to research and nix the questions.

Isn't the point of the town-hall style debate to open the floor freely for questions from members of the "town"? The questions were good ones - homosexuality in the military and punishment for mothers who choose abortion if the practice became illegal. Why the uproar over the sources? Shouldn't candidates have answers regardless of who's asking the questions? Am I missing something that makes this less ridiculous? Thoughts?


Beth said...

I agree that it is ridiculous to try and screen comments from the "town" when the idea of a town meeting is to address questions from everyone around.

The thing I noticed most about your post however was the question about punishment of mother who choose are referring to abortion if I am not mistaken.

John P. said...

my uber conservative friends in college expressed extreme disappointment with the republican debate...but not with the questions.
They said that it was really frustrating to watch the candidates mudsling at each other. This was intriguing to me.

In other news, I will be visiting UVA's doctoral program on monday. thought you would appreciate that...what with you being a Virginiaphile.

Dana said...

True, Beth, I did mean abortion. Correction has been made.

Dana said...

John, words cannot express how envious I am of your potential enrollment in a PhD program in the Commonwealth. I hope the visit goes well!

Is it ever possible, do you think, to hold a political debate in America without mudslinging and infernal posturing? Is the CNN/YouTube format a step in the right direction?