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Arguing for "Open Debates"


Published October 7, 2008 at 2:10 p.m.

Craig "Craigslist" Newmark has called for the presidential and vice presidential debates to be "open."  That is, he's advocating for the debates to be placed in the public domain for public commentary, redistribution, remixing, or whatever. Newmark writes...

The Open Debate Coalition's principles mark a significant step forward in that direction. The Coalition asks that the videos of the presidential and vice presidential debates be released to the public for distribution on the Web, not kept by the television networks that air them. The point is to allow citizens to become a bigger part of the democratic process, to allow them to watch the debates at will and to share their own assessments and critiques.

This is a "big tent" operation; rarely do we see Arianna Huffington and Newt Gingrich, Glenn Reynolds and Markos Moulitsas, agreeing on anything.

Both of the major candidates for president have endorsed the Open Debate Coalition's call, which says...

Specifically, we ask you to embrace these two "open debate" principles for the 2008 debates:

1) The presidential debates are for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the right to speak about the debates ought to be "owned" by the public, not controlled by the media.

2) "Town hall" Internet questions should be chosen by the people, not solely by the media