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YouTube, CNN invite cats falling out of trees to US Prez debates

Voters ask questions via low-quality video

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A tip for all you Yanks reading El Reg: This summer, during two U.S. presidential debates scheduled to air on CNN, candidates will answer questions submitted via YouTube by web-cam-wielding Net freaks. A Democratic debate is slated for the night of July 23, with a Republican version to follow on September 17.

The CNN/YouTube Debates were announced this afternoon on the Official Google Blog. "For the first time in history," writes a breathless Steve Grove, YouTube’s head of news and politics, "the questions asked in both a Democratic and a Republican primary debate will come straight from YouTube videos." We feel the need to point out that YouTube hit the Net well after the last presidential election.

The blog post also includes a YouTube video of a 30-second smarm contest between Grove and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. "I’m going to be hosting the event," Cooper tells YouTube users, "but frankly, I’m not going to be doing very much. It’s going be your questions that are asked and your videos that are shown."

Netizens can submit their video questions at www.youtube.com/debates. Videos must be less than 30 seconds, and all are subject to the YouTube Terms of Use. As Anderson Cooper says, “Keep it clean!” ®

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