How to make the CNN/Youtube debate worthwhile

The CNN/Youtube Democratic debate was horrible because a) almost all the videos submitted were incredibly weak, and b) CNN chose the weakest of the bunch. Rather than forcing those who want to be president of the U.S. to defend their policies, the candidates got off easy and were for the most part simply able to launch into their stump speeches.

This problem will continue in one form or another as long as CNN or another biased group is the gatekeeper.

The better way to choose the videos is to ask known quantities (such as bloggers and pundits who have reputations they would presumably want to protect) to rate the videos on their difficulty vs. their triviality or generality. Then, the most difficult videos would be selected.

Each individual rating would be made public. That way, those rating the videos could be held accountable for their selections. If they rate something incorrectly or refuse to rate some videos, they would hopefully face a hit to their credibility. Those rating the videos could also indicate whether they think the statements made on a video are inaccurate; that would be made public as well, and the videomaker and others could reply.

This rating system would be placed at a new site, with each page of the site dedicated to one of the submitted videos. The ratings would be listed next to the video in descending order: the rater's name and their rating. Their name would be linked to their profile, from which the visitor can see various lists: what they have rated (in ascending and descending order) and what they haven't rated.

Their profile would include their name and a link to their site, as well as whether they fall on the political spectrum (self-rated). If someone tries to mislead about their views, that would be obvious. They'd also have to list any affiliations they have to any political parties or candidates; if someone tries to mislead about that, their omissions could be pointed out. The spectrum ratings would of necessity be very simplistic, perhaps seven ratings: very/mostly/somewhat conservative/liberal plus centrist. The ratings would be used to try to obtain a balance among the raters.

There would be two types of users; general registered users, after completing a short and free sign-up process, could leave comments on videos. And, anyone who's spent more than, say, six months writing a blog or otherwise publishing their opinions under their own or a recognizable name would be allowed to rate videos.

Certainly, getting CNN or Youtube to agree to this plan would be a bit difficult. but, at the very least, the list of most difficult videos could be compared with the ones that CNN selected.