- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Down the YouTube

Oh, woe is us. CNN announced yesterday that Republican candidates will be showcased during a YouTube-enhanced debate in November, no doubt bristling with amateur citizen journalists who pitch questions from some distant spot in cyberspace.

Some already have YouTube fatigue, though.

“Call me a misanthrope, but I was one of those who found the YouTube debate absolutely painful to watch — and not just because it was a Democratic one,” noted Philip Klein on AmericanSpectator.com yesterday. “It was a sad commentary on the decline of political discourse. Republicans may be politically wise to attend so they don’t seem like they’re rejecting new media or dodging questions from the public, but I’m not looking forward to it.”

“Yes, YouTube is about as far from the Lincoln-Douglas debates as you can get,” agreed fellow Spectator contributor Jennifer Rubin. “But the actual questions were not bad at all and in some sense more ‘fair’ than the average snarling question from a mainstream media moderator.”

Greenhorn Gore

“Going green” is only of moderate concern to consumers, according to a Yankelovich survey released yesterday. Only one-third feel much more concerned about environmental issues, while just 22 percent feel they can make a difference.

“Consumers are not drinking the Kool-Aid when it comes to green,” said J. Walker Smith, president of Yankelovich.

“Take Al Gore’s book, ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ Even though it received widespread acclaim from media and scientists alike, 82 percent of consumers neither saw the film nor read it,” Mr. Smith said. “Only 7 percent believe Gore’s ‘myth’ that it’s already too late to do something about climate change.”

The survey of 2,763 adults was conducted April 25 through May 7.

Burst into tiers

Are Republican White House hopefuls neck-and-neck or ear-to-ear? With his second-place finish in the Iowa straw poll, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has moved to “the front of the back of the pack,” according to WMAL’s Fred Grandy yesterday.

Mr. Huckabee, however, credited his guitar playing for his surprise placing in the poll, which gave him 18 percent of the votes, compared with 32 percent that went to Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who spent plenty to promote himself beforehand. Pundits, meanwhile, are squeaking that the affable Mr. Huckabee is moving towards life as a “first-tier” candidate.

But that ain’t it, apparently.

“ ’Free Bird’ is what did it,” Mr. Huckabee said, citing the Southern-fried anthem by Lynyrd Skynyrd, which he played on a bass guitar with Capitol Offense, his own rock band, which serenaded poll participants Saturday.

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