FROM John Alexander Nicholson
Will YouTube and Web 2.0 Change American Politics? CNN hyped last night's Democratic presidential debate at The Citadel in South Carolina as "revolutionary" because real people got to ask questions on video. Some students of politics and the media said the event would do for interactive Web 2.0 what the Kennedy-Nixon debates did for TV. Others called it just a tiny step forward, because CNN got to decide which questions the candidates had to respond to. Some 3000 thousand people submitted amateur videos that tackled everything from serious policy questions to sophomoric humor, including a question on global warming that came from an animated snowman. Did the format make for entertaining TV? Were the candidates more authentic? Did it finally come down to politics as usual?
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.