During the Democratic YouTube, many people in the comments suggested that the GOP candidates could never survive this format. That without a reliably neutered journalist who cared too much about access to Lynn Cheney’s fabulous chili to risk putting any of them on the spot, they really wouldn’t be able to function. That looks to be somewhat prophetic. They’re all looking like a bunch of girl’s blouses and are refusing to commit to CNN’s GOP YouTube debate.
I really liked the YouTube format — I found the questions fresh and often fearless, and with it CNN managed to attract the 18-34 year-old audience in record numbers. I have no doubt that Mitt Romney and his penchant for dissembling looked upon the spectacle with horror. Canned hunts and canned audiences are GOP specialties, because the fantasy life of lizard brains can only survive in hermetically sealed environments. Daylight and reason are like wingnut kryptonite (but lo hear them caterwaul about the value of “free speech” when you don’t want their racist, genocidal ranting in your comment section — suddenly they’re all Bobby Seale).
Anyway, the other day I speculated that Fox’s attack on Yearly Kos was in no small part due to jealousy over the fact that they Democrats had, under pressure from the netroots, denied Fox the chance to hurl their propaganda at an under-85 audience when they refused to let them host a Democratic debate. Yet all the Democratic ’08 hopefuls are showing up at YK. As Josh notes, Hugh Hewitt is already seeding the ground with “CNN’s too liberal” and not to be trusted as an excuse for quaking chickenshittery.
You have to wonder if the Republicans are just a bunch of weenies, or if there was any spiteful Fox arm twisting involved. I suppose the two are not mutually exclusive.