About Those YouTube Debates...
...the YouTube debates are a crack in the wall of control of elections, politics, and media. Bring your chisels.
Jarvis' criticism of CNN for giving itself "too much control and responsibility when it decided to single-handedly choose all our questions," is a tiny bit overwrought, but largely valid. It's a strange world where politicians and campaigns are more willing to loosen their grip on message-control than the media that cover them. (I have no doubt that the YouTube questions John Edwards and others answer outside the debate will be chosen very carefully, but still...)
On the other hand, the whole point of the press is to provide a valuable filter for the torrent of information it gathers. If the only role CNN should play is that of debate facilitator, then we might as well sign the entire Fourth Estate over to Google and be done with it.
The key, of course, is to strike a new balance that makes for good journalism (and a good business model) in this increasingly networked and information-saturated world. That's no easy task, and it's causing ulcers in newsrooms everywhere. But experiments like the CNN-YouTube debates, while still far from perfect, are an encouraging sign folks are trying -- and that we'll find that new sweet spot eventually.