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Thread: In A Twitter World, Do We Still Need Debates?

  1. #1
    Angry Former GOP Voter
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    In A Twitter World, Do We Still Need Debates?

    Dade: With social media and the Internet providing more ways for candidates to get out their message, are debates any less influential with voters? Or will debates now assume a different role?

    Lampkin: Absolutely, less influence. With Twitter and blogs, you've got instant reaction and almost overanalysis. You say something at 11 a.m. and it's going to get a reaction from opponents by noon, it's going to be covered by online posts and bloggers immediately. The turnaround time for candidates and pundits is instantaneous.

    So debates really have taken on a different meaning. They let voters see candidates in real time, how they look, their body language ... how you connect with them in the mass marketing way. The uniqueness of debates is they give you a chance to look at everybody at the same time. You look at the Herman Cains, the Thaddeus McCotters — this is their 15 minutes to break out. If you go back four years and look at [then-Republican presidential candidate] Mike Huckabee, his ability to connect with conservatives at debates is what gave him the ability for a while to compete well with [eventual Republican nominee John] McCain.



    Dade: What about the post-debate spin room, then? If campaigns are constantly communicating in real time — as they no doubt will during tonight's debate — is there still a need for the rehash session following the debates?

    Lampkin: Around the edges it is effective. I think other things have overtaken it. Pre-Internet and pre-24-hour news cycle, you were having these spin room discussions with reporters. Now, it's instant tweeting or blogging; most people can access the debate over the Internet and you have validators and advocates instantly weighing in. It's become diluted in a sea of activities that allow people to shift the debate instantaneously. So, we have a lot of analysis that goes on in real time that makes the spin room less and less relevant.
    In A Twitter World, Do We Still Need Debates? : NPR

    Some of that is interesting, but again, I find myself thinking that the news media is too fascinated with itself and its new-found toys. The news media and their use of social media need not be brought into every little conversation, especially when the subject does not call for it. They demand that we care about their world about everything, including politics. The rest of the interview was focused on the primary season, rather than the headline's subject matter itself. It seemed as if Lampkin had to appease Dade momentarily before getting back to business.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 08-11-11 at 08:33 PM.
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    Re: In A Twitter World, Do We Still Need Debates?

    To answer the thread title: Yes. Definitely. From the article:

    They let voters see candidates in real time, how they look, their body language ... how you connect with them in the mass marketing way. The uniqueness of debates is they give you a chance to look at everybody at the same time. You look at the Herman Cains, the Thaddeus McCotters this is their 15 minutes to break out. If you go back four years and look at [then-Republican presidential candidate] Mike Huckabee, his ability to connect with conservatives at debates is what gave him the ability for a while to compete well with [eventual Republican nominee John] McCain.

    Written responses, including tweets, can be crafted, screened, and proofread. But when someone has to answer a question out loud, right then and there, it gives us more insight into that person's persona. The debates really are the one true primary source we have for the candidates.

  3. #3
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    Re: In A Twitter World, Do We Still Need Debates?

    Absolutely, the twitter debate was a terrible bust. What we really need is a REAL middle of the field moderated debate.
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    Re: In A Twitter World, Do We Still Need Debates?

    Whoa, the formatting on my post got messed up. lol

  5. #5
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    Re: In A Twitter World, Do We Still Need Debates?

    I think these 'twitter and live-chat/video feed' debates are stupid and a waste of time.
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