I was very pleased with tonight’s MTV/MySpace debates. MySpace was little more than a marketing partner to MTV, but MTV was on top of it - comments and polls were integrated into the live show in nearly real-time. Some of them actually were hard hitting questions that a network like CNN is scared to show, as we saw when they tried the CNN/YouTube debates. The TRL-esque fans holding candidate signs outside the window were a bit strange, but I’ll take that to the stuffy pre-approved audience members the other debate formats use any day.
Better yet, you can watch the full debate right now on MTV.com since they chopped it up into downloadable-segments as quickly as possible after it was live. The audio quality is excellent, and I would rate the video quality at air-to-antenna quality. Certainly worth watching or listening to if you missed it.
It was not quite the cage match Mashable made it sound like it would be - none of the candidates were actually debating each other - but it was a nice, candid town hall meeting between the four candidates who still matter and the demographic that matters in 2008 and all future elections: the youth - my iGeneration. The mainstream broadcast media would do well to emulate this format if they want to keep an audience in the years to come. It’s strange for MTV News to be more credible than CNN in this election cycle.