Friday, July 20, 2007

Debate Watch: No Anderson?! No Candy?! Why'd I Even Show Up For This Thing!

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 4:48 PM

CNN senior VP David Bohrman gave folks a tour of the CNN/YouTube debate set prep on Friday. While Andeson Cooper and Candy Crowly weren't there, I'm sure I'll be bumping in to them later this weekend.

It’s three days to the big event and you can tell. The metal frame of the backdrop looms over the half-completed stage, but Bohrman assures us that everything is on schedule. It’s the same set the network used for it’s New Hampshire debates, only modified to fit the Citadel facility, with YouTube, the S.C. Democratic Party, and Citadel logos incorporated into the backdrop. There’ll also be a huge, 25-foot-wide, 18-foot-tall screen to display the YouTube questions.

Check out Josh the Interns story this week on the questions. The questions are often specific and personal and rarely involve Iraq. “Most of the questions aren’t big questions,” Bohrman says. “They’re little questions.” If I had a dime for every time I heard this event was revolutionary, I’d be able to afford a weeks worth of gas. But seriously, Bohrman says, “It’s the beginning of figuring out how new media fits in to the process.”

After picking Charleston for the debate, the network scoured the city looking for the right spot. “There aren’t many very large halls,” Bohrman says. Yeah, and that’s how we like it.

Nobody wants to give numbers on the economic impact on Charleston, but Mayor Riley says that the debate’s very presence will be a boom for the city.

“You can’t cover an event in Charleston without covering Charleston,” he says.

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