THE BLOG

Dimensions of a Potentially Postponed GOP CNN/YouTube Debate

On July 28, GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul's campaign blog had a post headlined "CNN/YouTube Debate Postponed." The post indicated that they had learned the previous day of a postponement, with no rescheduled date yet set. This significant news wasn't immediately widely covered. Reuters, for example, ran a story three days later stating "although a decision might not be made for several days, it's becoming increasingly likely that the debate will be moved in order to accommodate the candidates." The story quoted CNN Washington bureau chief David Borman, "we're still in discussions with the campaigns to resolve scheduling issues".

The Reuters story makes no mention of the Ron Paul campaign post, and Borman's quote is a general one that does not speak directly to a postponement decision having been made.

So what to make of the Ron Paul post, three days earlier, that the decision had already been made to reschedule the debate? And also the lack of coverage in major news reports of the Ron Paul post? The Ron Paul campaign blog post is still currently listed on the campaign website as of today, 8/04.

The July 23 Democratic CNN/YouTube Debate, was generally a critical success. And a ratings success as well. CNet reported that the debate averaged 2.6 million viewers and was the most watched debate by those 18-34 in cable news history. It was also, according to CNet, the second highest watched debate of the current campaign cycle thus far.

You would think that the GOP candidates would be salivating for this type of audience.

A July 28 Fox News story detailed leading GOP Presidential contenders Rudy Giuliani's and Mitt Romney's decision not to attend this Sept 17 GOP CNN/YouTube debate. Giuliani told a Miami radio talk show host, the story notes, that they already have six events on that day, and also that the debate date was selected without the campaign's input. Romney had earlier expressed reservations about the format, indicating in a well reported reference the lack of value of Presidential candidates answering questions from a snowman.

Interestingly, Ron Paul, whose campaign's post was ignored or missed by most of the mainstream media (an apt metaphor perhaps for a campaign with online muscle that this type of debate might favor but which his supporters vocally regularly protest - online - that this "support" is ignored by the mainstream media as major polls find Paul with low levels of offline support) was - if memory serves -one of only two GOP candidates who had agreed to participate in the CNN/YouTube debate.

Who knew that one debate - not yet even held - could have so many dimensions? What will happen next? Stay tuned.