The political blog Huffington Post, online portal Yahoo and Slate Magazine will host the debates — one for Democratic candidates, one for Republicans — sometime after Labor Day, with PBS host Charlie Rose serving as moderator, the sponsors planned to announce Monday.
Voters will be invited to submit questions, and can blog in real time to share their opinions on the candidates’ answers.
Yahoo Inc., the largest provider of online news, will host the debates and provide the technological expertise to produce them.
Candidates will be able to participate from far-flung locations, speaking and interacting with one another before separate video cameras. The video will also appear on the Slate and Huffington Post Web sites.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has agreed to introduce the Democratic debate, Huffington said. She said the campaigns had all been contacted about the idea and most had indicated an interest in participating.
Ho-hum. Millions of cyberspace debates occur every five minutes via comments, chats and myriad other tech tools. While it’s good to see this type of exchange more to the more unbridled locale of the Internet, it really could have been happening for years. It’s only that, before now, the candidates and their consultants didn’t feel that there were enough of the people they needed to turn on who would turn them on in cyberspace.