Back in 2004, friend of mine and I started a combo website and internet radio show, called Collective Interest Radio. We live-streamed the show from the radio station at the University of Illinois-Chicago. I posted to the website from wherever the mood hit. We interviewed a number of policy types, including the late former IL Congressman and third party candidate John Anderson, Ruy Texiera and Ed Kilgore. For the 2004 Illinois primary election, we held a “virtual debate” among most of the Illinois U.S. Senate campaigns.
We reached out to all Democratic and Republican campaigns and submitted a common set of questions to all candidates. Over the course of a few weeks, we hosted each candidate at the studio, where they provided answers to all questions, as well as a short (but friendly) interview. Later, we hit the production studio to piece together one of us asking a debate question followed by the answers of each candidate.
We ended up with a product that had all candidates providing answers to specific questions–no evading, no funny business. Listeners had a great opportunity to hear actual answers to a set of good questions. We never would have achieved this in a traditional debate format–or even a political debate format.
Yes we had a chance to meet Jack Ryan. You might still remember him. He was the “pretty boy” GOP candidate who was demonized after the public found out that he cheated on his wife, Jeri Ryan, because she wouldn’t get “kinky”. Jeri was also known as “Seven of Nine” from Star Trek:Voyager. And was quite the looker. “Pretty boy” became “pretty weird guy” and he disappeared from the public view.
January 5, 2016