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Debate Countdown: It's GOP Time!

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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the last raucous Democratic YouTube debate starring a left-leaning snowman, the Republican version almost fell apart. But thanks to a plucky band of GOP activist/psychos, the forum was pulled back from the brink of cancellation. And now everyone's pissed again! Well, everyone except the good folks at CNN who are pimping the ever-loving bejesus out of tonight's rumble in Florida and are almost certainly going to slap one of those disconcerting "countdown clocks" on screen by mid-afternoon.

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Fearing a flurry of goofball, off-point stemwinders, Republicans are cringing over an unconventional and potentially zany forum falling so close to primary crunch time. "Sometimes it's best to leave things to professionals" grouses the American Spectator. Democrats, meanwhile, are griping about a CNN producer's comment that "Democratic 'gotchas'" would be culled from the pool of potential questions, noting that the Democratic candidates were not afforded similar protection in their debate. And most troubling of all, the world of academia has studied the submitted questions on YouTube and concluded that whole thing appears to be a "talent show" and that many of the questions are "designed to be ironic, cynical, or provocative for the sake of provocation alone."

In an interview with Town Hall, debate manhandler Anderson Cooper seemed totally copacetic with letting the debate veer into a little free-wheeling frivolity because, "at this point, no one can say they don't know the candidates positions." With that sort of perspective, it's probably a good thing A.C. is already braced for some post-debate flak: "I certainly hope I don't become the story, but there's so many candidates on the stage that somebody's gonna be unhappy."

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