A few days back, Yahoo announced that they will be hosting two online only debates, one for Republicans and one for Democrats and the co-sponsors of the debates are The Huffington Post and Slate.com. Now, the idea for an online only debate is a great move, but what I wonder is why didn't Yahoo pick another partner to balance out The Huffington Post? Weren't they concerned about picking another partner that is clearly on the left side of the political spectrum. Now, I'm not writing there is something wrong with the site and I do visit (not often) sites that are on both sides of the aisle, but Yahoo could have done a better job picking another partner that was either more neutral or one that could have balanced out HuffPost like Townhall.com. In fact, Townhall would have been the perfect foil to HuffPost. Think I'm off base? Then let's take a look at the content on Huffington Post right now:
So, what do you see? A post from John Kerry. Nice. Another blog post titled Sen Kerry: GOP Is Teetering on the Brink....It's Time to Start Giving Them a Push. For further proof, which is the only part that really matters, visit their blog section for really good balanced commentary.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not writing that there is anything wrong with the site or commentary. What I am writing is that I can't see how Yahoo could view The Huffington Post as being anything but a liberal blog site and The Slate.com as also a left of center magazine site that does not balance out HuffPost. Need more proof, Yahoo? Hit this link from Quantcast and scroll down on the right until you see a column called Similar Audience and you'll see that their similar audience is from the liberal blogosphere.
Why does this matter? Well, Democrats opted out of a Fox News Debate because they believed that Fox News is an Republican only news outlet. I wonder what Republican campaigns think of this online debate format? Here's an interesting perspective from Townhall on the debate and why Republicans should attend it as opposed to the current field of Democrats that opted out of a Fox News Debate.
Nothing against The Huffington Post or Slate, but I really think Yahoo could have done a better job of either a) keeping it totally neutral or b) adding in another sponsor that was on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Again, I have no inside knowledge of what Republican strategies will be behind attending the event, I'm just an online media guy, but Yahoo really missed the boat on keeping this a fair and balanced event. Come on Yahoo, this wasn't even up for debate..