Dems Prep For YouTube Debate

New format shakes up political discourse
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2007 7:55 AM CDT
CNN work crews work to prepare the the Citadel's McAlister Fieldhouse for a rehearsal Sunday, July 22, 2007, in Charleston, S.C. The Fieldhouse is being transformed into a huge stage for the Democratic...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Democrats vying for the 2008 presidential nomination are readying to face a media force that didn't even exist in 2004: YouTube. The video sharing site is teaming with CNN to host a debate for the eight contenders in South Carolina tonight, in which questions will be posed by ordinary Americans with a webcam, an uplink and political curiosity.

Nearly 2,000 video questions have been posted on the site, complicating the candidates' traditional means of preparation. The network has dashed hopes of an unalloyed new-media debate by hand-picking which questions will reach the candidates tonight, but analysts are hailing (or in some cases bemoaning) the debate as a major step towards Democracy 2.0.